Windows 10 vs Windows 8.1 – Which is better in Battery Life [Benchmark Tests]


In the Windows 10 vs Windows 8.1 battle, a key important parameter is battery life. This is of utmost significance when you are using a laptop, notebook, tablet, mobile.

In 2019, the case of Windows mobile can be put aside, as Microsoft chief Satya Nadella confirmed to concentrate more on making apps for Android and iPhone.

Another important factor to consider in 2019 is the end of support for Windows 7. Already, Microsoft has been issuing notifications to existing users, that meant to upgrade to either Windows 8.1 or 10, by Jan 2020.

Since Windows XP support ended long back, the only chance for existing Windows users is to either upgrade to Windows 8.1 or 10. In this regards, let’s see some comparative benchmarks of Windows 10 vs Windows 8.1 battery life.

Case Study #1

In the latest upgrade of Windows 10 to v 1809, it was found that apps use most of the battery life. This can reduce the extended time of your battery. Windows 8.1 did not have that many built-in apps which were automatically updating in the background.

So while testing the difference in battery power between the two OS, one has to take notice of the apps installed and notifications that they present.

As it depends on the Wi-Fi network, the amount of battery life remaining, it should be an important parameter in the benchmark check.

Case Study #2

Time : Around May 2018

The Windows 10 v1803 battery life was tested with different browsers using Surface books and reported on WindowsReport.

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Edge’s Surface laptop lasted 14 hours and 20 minutes when streaming video, which is actually a drop of an hour and 42 minutes on its previous update. However, Chrome clocked up 12:32:58 and Firefox lasted 7 hours and 15 minutes.

On the contrary, Opera conducted its own research in 2016 with its browser’s native power saving and ad blocker enabled. The Opera Developer (39.0.2248.0) lasts 22% longer than Edge (25.10586.0.0) on Windows 10 laptops. In this test, the battery lasted around 4 hours .

Case Study #3:

The following specs were used in this benchmark test and reported on AVG.

  • high-end multimedia notebook – the Asus UX-501.
It’s equipped with a Core i7 (which clocks up to 3.6 GHz), 16 GB of RAM, a rather powerful GeForce 960M GTX and a blazing-fast 128 GB SSD.
  • speed testing software, PCMark 8

Time : July 2015. Windows 10 Build 10240. (includes July 27th update)

The battery life between Windows 10 and 8.1 was compared in 3 different aspects.

1. While working
2. Gaming
3. Watching video

The notebook was allowed to run dry till the battery life ended. In the first and third case, Windows 10 was a winner by a small margin.

While working Windows 10 beat Windows 8.1 by 9 minutes in all the 3 iterations tested using the in-house PCMark 8 app of AVG. In the video watching category, Windows 10 scored an impressive 36 minute edge over 8.1.

Another vital parameter to be compared in battery life statistics, is its performance while playing a game. For this aspect, GTA 5 was chosen as the gaming benchmark.

In this step, Windows 10 poorly performed than 8.1. There was 10 minute difference in battery life between the two. This is 13% worse performance than 8.1.

From this study, we can conclude that there is not much difference in battery life duration between Windows 10 and 8.1. A rather surprising fact is that Windows 10 lasted 3 hours while playing a single video of 1080p resolution using Windows Media Player.

Case Study #4:

In another study by pcworld.com, they used two identical HP Spectre x360 laptops of same configuration to test Windows 10 and Windows 8.1. To test the benchmarks, PCMark 8 Creative Conventional was used.

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Test Time : Somewhere before the release of Windows 10 in July 2015.

The Creative Conventional, for example, tests simulated web browsing, photo editing, video editing, gaming and group video chat. The Home load adds writing and casual gaming

The difference between graphics, cpu peformance, winrar, gaming, 7zip was not much of value. It looks as the benchmarks were a tie.

From this study, it can be concluded that not much of difference exists in battery life benchmarks.

Case Study #5:

In this test, different laptops were used to test the battery life between Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Test Time : Somewhere in Mar 2012.

Though it is somewhat old to come to a conclusion on battery benchmarks. It should be seen on how battery life is for outdated hardware.

It is observed that Windows 7 lasted much longer (around 6 hours on two laptops and 3 hours on 1 laptop) compared to Windows 8.

The three laptop configuration was something like this:
1. ASUS Zenbook UX31
2. Samsung Series 7
3. Dell Inspiron 15

Based on the above study, a partial conclusion can be made. Windows 10 has an upper hand over Windows 8.1, as it fails in comparison with Windows 7.

It is found that Windows 8 lasted only around 3 to 4.5 hours on the first two laptops mentioned above. The test was made by continuous surfing on the web using Wi-Fi and Firefox.

Case Study #6 :

Test of Battery life on Windows 10 vs Windows 8.1 Mobile version

Time: This was conducted somewhere in Mar 2016.

Nokia Lumia 930 and Microsoft Lumia 640 mobiles were used.

The results were compared using Windows 8.1 mobile version and then after upgrading to Windows 10.

The WP Bench battery test was conducted to know the difference in battery life for both the OS versions.

On Lumia 640, battery lasted around 4 hours in both Windows 10 and 8.1. On Lumia 930, it just lasted around 2 hours for both the versions.

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It can be concluded, that battery life is the same for both Windows 10 and 8.1 based on this test.

Case Study #7:

Test time : Around Oct 2013

In this benchmark tests, Windows 8 battery life was compared on different Surface devices. It was observed that Apple iPhones had battery life and optimization than Windows tablet and mobile devices.

Microsoft Surface Pro 2 lasted 6 hours of battery life on a web browsing test using Wi-Fi. Not much difference was observed between Microsoft Surface Pro, Pro 2, RT versions.

But later it was found that Microsoft Surface Pro 2 had a bad firmware. When it was updated, it was found that the battery life improved from 6.5 hours to 8.5 hours, an approximate improvement of 25%.

This in contrast to the media briefings made by Microsoft that Windows 8 will have battery life compared to 2009 version.

Case Study #8:

Test time : Somewhere in Oct 2013.

In this study, Sony VAIO Pro 13 battery life was tested on Windows 8 and 8.1. There was not much of difference between the two.

In the light test, around 8 hours of battery life was observed. This reduced to 3 hours during the heavy test.

In another test, different video programs were used to test the battery life of Windows 8.1. MPCHC, VLC, Windows Media Player, and the Modern UI Video app of Windows 8.1 were used as the test programs to run a video of 2.03 Mbps MP4 with an AVC High L4.1 profile video stream and a 93.8 Kbps 2-channel AAC audio stream.

Using the Metro Video app of Windows 8.1, Sony VAIO Pro 13 lasted around 8 hours using both 1080p and 720p version. There is not much difference to compare.

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