Link state power management – should you enable or disable it

A Windows PC comes with a wide range of features and customization options. We can modify and adjust all these different options according to our preferences. One of these characteristics is the Link State Power Management.

This feature allows Windows to work with PCIe lanes and configure them accordingly to save power or optimize performance. Enabling/disabling it has different effects on a system. It especially favors laptops because the power saving modes can be changed depending on the battery capacity of the laptop.

Let’s review in detail and decide whether you should enable or disable it.

What does link state power management mean?

The power option that falls under PCI Express, Link State Power Management, allows us to implement the Active State Power Management (ASPM) policy for qualified links in an idle state. In simpler terms, this mechanism grants power savings to devices through ASPM.

The device state changes from – On to Off, when data is not transferred over the link.

Three options are available for power management in the PCIe option. These two options are divided in terms of; the level of power saving and latency they provide.

The three power saving modes are:

  • Moderate energy savings: In this mode, the PC transforms the state of the link on. In other words, your PC saves less power, but recovers from sleep mode faster.
  • Maximum energy savings: In this mode, the PC transforms the state of the link stopped. Therefore, it saves much more power, but the recovery time from sleep mode is slower.
  • Disabled state: During this state, the PC does not save energy. (Likely to cause less latency)

How can I enable/disable it?

Enabling or disabling link state power management has its pros and cons. Which you choose depends on how you use the PC. Anyway, let’s see how you can enable the settings On Where Stopped.

Follow these steps to learn how you can enable/disable it:

  1. Hit windows key + I, Settings > System.
  2. Below Power and sleep option, click Additional power settings.
  3. Click on Change plan settings next to your current diet plan.
  4. Then click on Change advanced power settings.
  5. Under the PCI-Express section, expand the Link State Power Management.
  6. From Settings drop-down menu, choose the state you want.
    choice of state
  7. After that press Apply and OKAY.

Should you enable or disable it?

So the question remains, should you turn it on? Or leave it. The answer entirely depends on your preference. If you prefer lower latency and don’t care about saving power, disabling it would be the best option. But, if your PC’s power cord isn’t plugged in all the time and you need to save power, turning it on would be optimal.

If you want to enable it, you have two options; Moderate and maximum energy savings. You can use them interchangeably depending on what you prefer. Moderate helps you get better latency, while Max Power Saving ensures better battery savings.

If you’re someone who plays a lot on your PC, changing these settings might benefit you. For example, if you turn the setting off, it might give you a slight FPS boost.

This happens because when PCIe (where your GPU is connected) starts to consume a lot of power, Windows caps the power consumption, which also limits power to your PCIe port. If the settings are disabled, Windows disables these processes, allowing your PC to run at maximum performance in exchange for a performance boost.

Alan A. Seibert