12 Replies Latest reply on Dec 7, 2016 11:21 AM by Intel Corporation

    NUC thinks it is running on battery


      I've noticed seemingly random performance drops in some games, like overwatch. The drop is more than 50%, from 60fps avg to 20fps. The performance hit is persistent, i.e., not during intense action where you would expect a drop. It is even noticeable at the title screen.


      While poking around in the intel control panel, I disabled "Extended Battery Life While Gaming", which dynamically adjusts the frame rate to prolong battery life. Problem solved!


      The option is only available for Battery mode. What might trigger my NUC to think it is running on a battery? Performance is fine on a fresh reboot. Perhaps the cause is the system waking from sleep, display entering sleep mode, prolonged idling or my uninterrupted power supply?

        • 1. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery
          Intel Corporation
          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

          Hello :
          In this case the best thing to do first will be to get in contact with Microsoft directly in order to find out more information about the “Extended Battery Life While Gaming” option, to verify what this option does and under which scenarios is needed.
          This scenario seems to be related to the operating system, not hardware.
          That option is normally is present on mobile devices, like laptops or notebooks. In this case since the processor on the NUC is embedded and it cannot be removed; therefore, Windows will recognize the NUC as a mobile device, that is why you have that battery option on the operating system. So, it will be better to check with Microsoft in order to find out if that option is needed to play games.
          The game was already tested by Intel, and there was not any problem in regard FPS drops, on the following link you will find the recommended settings to play Overwatch:
          As an option one of the things to try will be to un-install the game deleting the registry of it and then re-installing it again, on the following link you will find the option of how to do that:
          Also, remember that it is recommended to have your system up to date in order to have better performance, such as graphics driver, chipset driver and BIOS version.
          On the link below you will find the latest version for the graphics driver for your NUC, version 4542:
          Here you have the latest version of the chipset driver:
          And here you have the latest version of the BIOS, 0042:
          Microsoft’s support site: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us
          Microsoft’s phone number: 1 800-642-7676
          NOTE: These links are being offered for your convenience and should not be viewed as an endorsement by Intel of the content, products, or services offered there.
          Any questions, please let me know

          • 2. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery

            Thanks, I do have all the latest drivers and bios.


            Even if Windows is incorrectly detecting the NUC as a mobile device, Intel might want to create a fix in their driver. I doubt I'm the only one experience the performance drop, and I wouldn't be surprised if this bug is related to performance issues discussed in other threads.


            As I noted, the drop seems to happened randomly. But once triggered, it does not go away until the system is rebooted. Because games will run regardless of battery mode, some users may be experiencing the bug without noticing it. For example, older games might maintain a reasonable frame rate despite a 50% performance hit.

            • 3. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery



              If you have your UPS connected to your PC using USB, then Windows will think that you have a system that can run on batteries (because you actually do). This power-savings mode could thus be activated in the right circumstance. Disabling this option (as you have done) is the correct and proper way for you to disable this kind of response.


              I can't say I understand exactly why this mode is actually being activated. Perhaps you had a short power fluctuation (one you might not even notice yourself) and the UPS kicked over to battery mode for a short time? I have seen this happen with my UPS units (I know because I see pop-up alerts from the UPS software package (APC's Powerchute PE) that I have installed). I have never noticed any slowdown as a result, however - but this is likely because I'm not much of a gamer.


              Hope this helps,


              • 4. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery

                UPS is not connected via USB.


                Could a power fluctuation trigger battery mode without a USB connection?

                • 5. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery

                  My understanding is that Windows needs the UPS' USB device-type information to determine that a battery is out there. I suppose other mechanisms are possible but it's beyond me. To know for sure, you likely need to ask the experts at Microsoft.


                  • 6. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery

                    Something else is going on. This morning I attempted to play Starcraft 2 and the frame rate could barely maintain 30 fps. I checked "Extended Battery Life While Gaming" in the control panel. It was disabled, so I tried enabling it. Instantly my frame rate more than doubled to over 60 fps. I then disabled it again. The frame rate stayed above 60fps.

                    • 7. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery
                      Intel Corporation
                      This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                      Hello :
                      Thank you very much to for the information provided above.
                      To :
                      I just wanted to confirm the information posted previously as correct, there are some inconsistencies in the behavior of Windows, as you mentioned above disabling or enabling "Extended Battery Life While Gaming” does not always work the same.
                      At this point to re-install Windows from scratch will be another option to try as a troubleshot step.
                      But right now to get in contact with the experts at Microsoft will be the best thing to do because they might have further details about this situation.
                      Any questions, please let me know.

                      • 8. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery

                        Ok I've figured something else out. The performance hit isn't random. I can replicate it by locking the computer with WindowKey + L and waiting for the monitor to go to sleep. That only takes a few minutes.


                        Selecting either enable or disable "Extended Battery Life for Gaming" immediately fixes the frame rate. This can be done while the game is running.


                        I've noticed the same issue with two different monitors and two different NUCs. I'm using the default Balanced power profile.

                        • 9. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery
                          Intel Corporation
                          This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                          Hello :
                          Thank you very much once again for sharing that information.
                          Did you check with Microsoft about what the “Extended Battery Life While Gaming” does and when it is necessary to use it?
                          Also, did you check with them why Windows is recognizing it as if the game is running on battery?
                          Any questions, please let me know.

                          • 10. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery

                            Alberto, Microsoft/Windows will likely direct me to back to Intel.


                            Anyway, I'm pretty sure I've gotten to the bottom of the problem now. I can consistently reproduce it by waiting for the display to turn off after locking the system with Win+L. After downgrading to graphics driver 45.01, I can no longer reproduce it. The control panel for this driver looks different. For example, there is no option to create 3D profiles for specific applications.


                            I had to follow this guide to prevent windows from auto-updating my driver: How to Prevent Windows from Automatically Updating Specific Drivers .


                            Can you forward this info to the driver devs?

                            • 11. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery
                              Intel Corporation
                              This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                              Hello :
                              Thank you so very much for sharing that information, I am sure it will be very helpful for all the peers viewing this thread.
                              It is great to hear that you were able to find a work around in order to fix this problem, if it is working with driver version 4501 it means that the issue occurs due to a regression bug on a newer driver, and yes, depending on the driver version some options will be different on the graphics control panel for some applications.
                              The reason why we referred you to Microsoft before was basically to understand what the “Extended Battery Life While Gaming” feature does, and under which scenario is needed to be enable or disable since the support we provide is for hardware not much related to software.
                              In regard to your request, of course I will forward this information to the proper department so they can take this scenario under consideration and we will start an investigation on this matter.
                              In order for us to do that, please fill as much information as you can on the following chart:

                              CategoryQuestionsAnswers (N/A if not applicable)
                              DescriptionProvide a detailed description of the issue 
                              Please place an X to the right of the option showing how often you see this issue using specific steps. (Ex: 'Every few times a game is started it flickers.' <- This would be "Often")Always (100%):
                                 Often (51-99%):
                                 Sporadic (20-50%):
                                 Very Sporadic (<20%):
                              Hardware (HW)Brand and Model of the system. 
                              Hybrid or switchable graphics system?
                                 ie Does it have AMD or NV graphics too?
                              Make and model of any Displays that are used to see the issue (see note2 below).
                              = Local Flat Panel (Laptop panel)
                                 EFP = External Flat Panel (Monitor you plug in)
                              How much memory [RAM] in the system (see note2 below). 
                              Provide any other hardware needed to replicate the issue.
                                 ie: Cables&brand, cable type [vga, hdmi, DP, etc], dock, dongles/adapters, etc
                              Hardware Stepping (see note1 below). 
                              Software (SW)Operating System version (see note2 below). 
                              VBIOS (video BIOS) version. This can be found in “information page” of CUI (right click on Desktop and select “Graphics Properties”. 
                              Graphics Driver version; for both integrated Intel and 3rd party vendors (see note2 below). 
                              SW or Apps version used to replicate the issue. 
                              ConfigurationsSingle display, clone, or extended (see note2 below). 
                              Display resolution & refresh rate setting of each display (see note2 below). 
                              AC or DC mode, i.e. is power cable plugged in or not? 
                              How to reproPlease provide steps to replicate the issue.  These steps are very crucial to finding the root cause and fix.
                                 A screenshot to illustrate the issue is a huge plus. A video of the failure is even better! Attach to the post or provide the YouTube link.
                              Also, please install the SSU tool (System Support Utility):
                              You will be able to download it on the following link:
                              Once you do that, the tool will allow you to save the information as a file, so, once you save it, please also attach it to this thread, in order for us to see it.
                              And besides that please right click anywhere on the desktop and look for the option: Intel® HD Graphics control panel, once you open that, choose "options and support", then select "information center", and then choose where it says "file" at the bottom, you will get a text file, please attach it to this thread, so we can verify it.
                              Any questions, please let me know.

                              • 12. Re: NUC thinks it is running on battery
                                Intel Corporation
                                This message was posted on behalf of Intel Corporation

                                Hello :
                                I just wanted to check if you saw the information requested above?
                                The reason why we need those reports is to forward all this material to the proper department as you requested before.
                                Any questions, please let me know.