Windows: Frequent unnecessary dGPU wake-ups causing 50%+ faster battery drain

It appears that on windows, alt-tabbing, opening the start menu, switching active windows, etc frequently cause a dGPU wakeup regardless of power modes/settings. When the dGPU wakes up, it results in a slow increase in overall battery drain of around 10W then a subsequent slow decrease back to original. This cycle takes between 45 seconds and 2 minutes to complete, resulting in a absolutely monumental impact to battery life.

I’ve eliminated as many variables as possible, including turning off windows’ desktop animations, adjusting power modes, making sure there was nothing unnecessary running in the background, etc. Sometimes the laptop seems to get into a state where these actions don’t wake the GPU for a while, but eventually it comes right back.

This bug is this difference between getting 5+ hours of battery life and getting 2-2.5 hours–it is a massive issue.

(bottom left is the dGPU, note that not every wakeup is caught by hwinfo, the first one was missed, the second was caught). The charge rate in the middle-left shows the massive impact).


Yeah, this is a windows specific problem that is affecting all hybrid systems including Intel + Nvidia. It’s not framework or AMD specific.

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On my old intel razer with an nvidia rtx 3080, I don’t recall having wakeups from alt+tabbing or start menu access. I also don’t think it had such a profound effect on power utilization for 45 seconds or more.

I think one thing that was throwing me off a bit is that I believe the “charge rate” is smoothed over about a 20 second window–I tested this by turning brightness between max and minimum, and observed a smooth increase/decrease instead of a jump. This indicates that the wakeups are just very high power use spikes which are getting averaged over a long period of time.

It does appear that hwinfo has a mode to not wake the dGPU, which is helping me get more accurate information–but it seems like there’s just something going on in either the driver or windows that causes the wakeups sometimes, but not at others. I’m going to keep monitoring it and looking for patterns.

It’s just crazy to me that if we can solve this issue, the laptop could gain 2+ hours of battery life with no real drawback.

I don’t like linking reddit, but read this thread:

You’ll notice complaints coming from both AMD and Intel+Nvidia users. It something in Windows. Completely clearing drivers and trying with original drivers etc, doesn’t work.