1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking Benchmarking Platform
Phoromatic Test Orchestration

Is PowerTop Still Useful For Extending Your Battery Life?

Michael Larabel

Published on 26 June 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 2 - 18 Comments

Three years ago Intel had released PowerTop, an open-source utility for Linux that would analyze how well your laptop was conserving power and would allow users to easily tune their system for maximum battery life via simple power optimizations. By simply running this utility, some users were able to significantly extend their battery life. However, is this utility still useful and needed with a modern Linux desktop? The most recent release of PowerTop (v1.11) was a year and a half ago, so we are seeing how well PowerTop is still able to reduce the power consumption of Intel notebooks/netbooks running Linux.

This testing is simple. We performed clean installations of an Ubuntu 10.10 daily snapshot on a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 notebook and a Samsung NC10 netbook. The Ubuntu 10.10 installation on each carried the Linux 2.6.35 kernel, GNOME 2.30.2 desktop, X.Org Server 1.8.2 RC2, xf86-video-radeon 6.13.0, xf86-video-intel 2.11.0, and an EXT4 file-system. The Lenovo ThinkPad T60 has an Intel Core Duo T2400 (1.83GHz, dual-core) CPU, 1GB of system memory, an 80GB Hitachi HTS541080G9SA00 SATA HDD, and an ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 GPU. The Samsung NC10 has the Intel Atom N270, 2GB of system memory, a 32GB OCZ Core SSD, and Intel 945G integrated graphics.

We first monitored the battery consumption rate for both the notebook and netbook after performing the clean install and then again immediately after following all of PowerTop's power tweaks. For both Intel computers the only recommendations on this clean Ubuntu 10.10 installation were enabling WiFi power savings, disabling the unused Bluetooth interface, enabling USB auto-suspend for non-input devices, and enabling HD audio power-save mode for the netbook. On both devices with and without the PowerTop recommendations, we monitored the power consumption rate when the systems were idling for five minutes and then again, under different workloads that included running OpenArena followed by immediately running the OpenMP-powered GraphicsMagick benchmark and then the PostMark disk benchmark. This testing was automated and battery results monitored via the Phoronix Test Suite.

Latest Articles & Reviews
  1. GLAMOR + RadeonSI 2D Acceleration Is Quite Good For Open-Source AMD 2D Performance
  2. AMD Radeon R9 290 OpenGL On Ubuntu 15.04: Catalyst vs. RadeonSI Gallium3D
  3. Ubuntu 15.04 Offers Faster OpenGL For AMD Radeon GPUs On Open-Source
  4. Ubuntu 15.04 Brings Some Graphics Performance Improvements For Intel Haswell
  5. Sub-$20 802.11n USB WiFi Adapter That's Linux Friendly
  6. The Lenovo T450s Is Working Beautifully With Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. A Lot Of Improvements Are Coming For Mir 0.13, Including Work Towards Libinput
  2. Mobile Optimizations Coming For Phoronix
  3. Wayland 1.8 Alpha Release Delayed
  4. Godot Game Engine 1.1 Up To RC State
  5. ATI Rage128 Driver Now Has RandR Support
  6. Microsoft's Visual C++ Team Is Improving Clang For Windows
  7. Kodi 15.0 Beta 1 Released
  8. Lucid Sleep Support Is Being Worked On For The Upstream Linux Kernel
  9. Improvements On The Way For GNOME's Nautilus File Manager
  10. Wine 1.7.42 Implements More Of Direct2D
Most Viewed News This Week
  1. It Doesn't Look Like KDBUS Will Make It For Linux 4.1
  2. Trying Out Microsoft Visual Studio Code On Linux
  3. The Many Features Of The Linux 4.1 Kernel
  4. Microsoft Releases New Code IDE For Linux!
  5. Linux 4.1-rc1 Kernel Released, Packs In Several New Features
  6. GCC 4.9.2 vs. GCC 5 Benchmarks On An Intel Xeon Haswell
  7. QEMU 2.3 Officially Released
  8. Debian 9.0 Is Codenamed Stretch