How to make use of Graphics Chips Power Management features

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Power Saving With A Framebuffer Console

In order to use the dynamic GPU clock-scaling similar to what has, you need to use the radeonfb kernel module. You'll need to enable the CONFIG_FB_RADEON in your kernel configuration. If setup correctly you should see something like the following in your kernel log:

radeonfb: Dynamic Clock Power Management enabled

DynamicClocks in the Radeon Xorg driver

The xorg X server has support for a power saving feature from ATI called PowerPlay. Xorg calls this feature DynamicClocks. It can be enabled in the server by adding Option "DynamicClocks" "on" in the Device section in /etc/X11/xorg.conf

Section "Device"
       Identifier  "Videocard0"
       Driver      "radeon"
       VendorName  "IBM Thinkpad"
       BoardName   "ATI Radeon Mobility M9"
       Option      "DynamicClocks" "on"

With this option enabled, the X11 server should print (/var/log/Xorg.0.log):

(**) RADEON(0): Option "DynamicClocks" "on"
(II) RADEON(0): Dynamic Clock Scaling Enabled

How to use it

After enabling it, my first question was how do I control it? After reading about it, the answer is: you don't have to, it manages the power consumption for you.\ on Debian

Because debian doesn't have yet - Installing a non-intrusive server on Debian.

Update: has made it into Debian. See: [1]

There are also sarge backports available here or here.

Add the following line to your repository list:

deb sarge main 

Extrenal Sources