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PowerTop and Battery Life

Filed under
Hardware
Software

ntel recently released a very slick little tool to audit and improve power consumption. This is great for me, because I'm a road warrior (take my laptop everywhere), but I like to travel light, so I rarely bring the power supply with me. Luckily my laptop has a (quoted) 7 hour battery life. I was surprised that the actual life did approach that, usually being able to get 6 to 6.5 hours out of it. However, 6 hours is not a whole day. If I could get 8 hours out of it, I'd feel more confident in leaving the power supply at home.

Currently I run GNOME+Beryl, some applets, and have wifi on most of the time. When I'm not using the computer (read: walking somewhere), I just turn off the wifi radio and close the screen. Suspend to RAM doesn't work with the Mandriva kernel (funny because it works great with Ubuntu), and suspend to disk is too slow for me. I set the CPU to "ondemand" with laptop-mode-utils, and the drive timeout to 40 sec, so with the lid closed, it uses very little power.

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