Talk:How to reduce power consumption

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How about linking to this page from the main page?

--Thinker 21:08, 17 Nov 2005 (CET)

Best battery discharge times

With your best power saving, what kind of battery power times are you guys experiencing? The best that I can do with my t43p with the standard (6cell) battery is 2h, and with the ultrabay battery is 1 hour. All of the power saving 'tricks' - hard drive spindown, even adjusting the brightness of my display, has relatively modest effect (~20% max), although CPU throttling definitely reduces power consumption.

In terms of discharge rate, I really can't get below 19,520 mW/h with the hard disk off, wifi on, cpu down to ~700 MHz, and display on minimal brightness with ATI driver power save enabled. In my "normal usage" environment (WiFi on, word processing / non cpu-intensive programming, etc.) I average 21,000 mW/h.

Of note, I have the UXGA display, which might be a huge power guzzler. I have friends with an X40 that claim 5 hours from the 9 cell...

--gsmenden 16:56, 10 Feb 2006 (EST)

ThinkPad T43, SXGA+, undervolted, fan disabled, minimum brightness, disk off, WiFi off, GPU power saving: 13 to 14W, i.e., slightly over 3 hours with a new 6-cell battery. See How to reduce power consumption.

--Thinker 22:46, 10 February 2006 (CET)

Interesting... that would imply ~5W for the bigger screen? That seems high. Could you tell me your basal rate at 700 Mhz by chance? - everything else should match my system (using your fan control v.28 (-thanks!), minimum brightness, disk off, WiFi off, GPU power saving enabled with ATI driver.)

--gsmenden 18:16, 10 Feb 2006 (EST)

The 13-14W figure is with automatic cpufreq scaling and low load, so it's effectively at 800MHz (minimum speed for this 1.86GHz processor). Are you undervolting the CPU too?

--Thinker 00:36, 11 February 2006 (CET)

To my understanding it would seem very unlikely that the higher resolution/bigger display uses a lot more power than lower resolution/smaller ones - except the case that they would have four light tubes instead of one. I'm pretty sure that X series displays have ónly one. Wyrfel 01:20, 11 February 2006 (CET)

for T42 with 14" XGA, ATI 7500 at 80/100MHz, 600MHz@0.7V, hdd off, wifi off, linux:

 1) min. brightness - 7,6W
 2) brightness is 4 of 7 - 8,6W
 3) max. brightness - 10,1W

2200bg in battery mode consumes ~0,4W. and I bet the iron can go lower runnig windows with native drivers. the only thing I really miss is powerplay support for 7500.


You mean they nearly doubled the minimal power draw when moving to the T43's Sonoma chipset and Dothan CPU? So you actually get 5-6 hours from a 6-cell battery?! Spooky.

--Thinker 01:42, 11 February 2006 (CET)

well, I'm not sure about 6 hours, but 5h doesn't look hard to achieve. 7,6W is a real bottom here. I couldn't get lower. The regular rate I feel comfort at is rather 10-11W. But even that, 5h is possible with a new 6cell battery.

PS. this is why I returned 2668-4DU back and bought 2373-FWG. Sonoma really sucks, IMHO. I hope Intel has learnt the lesson and the next lines won't so hungry.


Ok - the 15.1" 1600x1200 must be a real power monster, although I have not applied the undervolting patch. I'll give it a whirl when is released.

Update - tried the undervolting patch with some nice results - my lap is noticably cooler, and the fan spends more time off. With only a few process running (no kdm and kde -> only very basic window manager) and a black background text sceen, undervolted, fan disabled, minimum brightness, hard disk off (standby), WiFi off (ipw not loaded), GPU power saving, I can *still* only get down to 17.5 W/h. D'oh!

Still, the screen is worth it if only for the sheer number of women who note, "my, what a nice screen you have" (just one this afternoon. :) It is a strange phenomenon. --gsmenden 21:45, 10 February 2006 (EST)

Haha, good one, gsmenden :)

On my T43 here, I have around 13300mW, when:

  • cstate=C4, 800Mhz, undervolted (0.716V, rather than 0.988V)
  • wifi=off, bt=off, fan=off, brightness=minimum
  • X300 put into "low" mode (it's a 15" SXGA+ screen)
  • pretty "dark" setup (I have basically all-black desktop)

Full charge is around 77000mWh. With, say, 14000mW one should last 5.5 hours on a 9-cell battery.

I can't really say that I see any other obvious venues to pursue to reduce power consumption.


igorr, how do you disable wifi? did you try to eject dvd drive?


Disabling wifi can be accomplished by echo 1 > /sys/class/net/eth1/device/rf_kill.

Ejecting the dvd drive? Why would that affect power consumption?


yeah, rf_kill does right. if I eject dvd drive or simple type echo eject >/proc/acpi/ibm/bay, I save about 0.4W.