PowerTOP Still Worthwhile For Extending Linux Battery Life In 2018
Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 26 July 2018. Page 1 of 3. 14 Comments

Intel's open-source PowerTOP utility has been around for more than a decade now for aiming to extend the battery life of x86 Linux laptops. Following the recent Linux laptop battery life benchmarks of various distributions, a Phoronix Premium patron was asking whether PowerTOP still makes a difference with 2018 Linux distributions... Here are some fresh test results.

Long story short, yes, PowerTOP still makes a difference in 2018 and can often provide meaningful power-savings. While recent Linux kernel releases have done more to put the hardware in a sane power-savings state by default, it's still not all out-of-the-box and there are cases where Linux might never force some power-savings functionality as the default due to the possibility of causing problems for quirky hardware not properly following specifications, etc. Even on recent laptops with recent Linux distributions are generally a fair number of tunables exposed by PowerTOP such as for enabling various chipset and disk drive power-savings features.

For those curious about the performance impact I used the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon and ASUS UX301LAA laptops I had handy to run some battery power consumption tests when using Antergos 18.7-Rolling out-of-the-box and then again when enabling all PowerTOP tunables so they went from being in their "bad" shape to "good" for maximum power-savings. Antergos 18.7-ISO-Rolling is currently relying upon the Linux 4.17 kernel.

This simple benchmarking is quite straight-forward for honoring a premium supporter's request so let's get straight to these results from the Phoronix Test Suite. Besides premium supporters having my highest priority for attention to honoring of test requests, those patrons also enjoy the web-site ad-free, multi-page articles on a single page, and other benefits.



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