Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Save Power With PowerTOP

Nowadays, many people already started to use laptops rather than desktops (mostly for mobile workers and also college students who wanted to access Internet via free hotspots area provided in several places). One of the biggest challenge for hardware vendors is about Power Saving on laptops, because laptops used a battery for their source of power (which is rechargeable). They wanted to have longer battery power by adding new features and technology that will help to increase the efficiency of the battery usage. Most of the modern laptops can survive for about 3-5 hours (probably more) without being plugged in on AC power (my laptop can hold out up to 3 hours if i used it for browsing with WiFI and probably more if i turned off the WiFI). In some occasion, you can't plug it on AC power, so you have to make sure that your batter is fully charged when you want to go out with your laptops. It's bad thing to have your laptop shutdown in the middle of presentations with the clients lol

For this reason, Intel Corporation has released a new tool for GNU/Linux operating system, called PowerTop, a tool that helps you find what software is using the most power. By fixing (or closing) these applications or processes, you can immediately see the power savings in the tool. You'll also see the estimated time left for battery power. Here's the opening paragraph from Intel's website:
Power usage is a hot topic for computer users everywhere. For some, it's a matter of how long a laptop lasts without being plugged in. For others, it's controlling the temperature of hundreds of systems within a datacenter. For all of us, it's about keeping the electricity bill under control and being kind to the environment.
As of release of Linux kernel 2.6.21, Linus has integrated a tickless idle feature which means that the kernel will no longer used a fixed 1000Hz timer tick (currently only for 32-bit architecture. 64-bit users will have to wait for future kernel release). It will use a dynamic timer tick and adjust it according to the requirements at that time. This will boost a lot when the CPU is in idle condition, giving longer battery life. This application will also try to give suggestions to improve your configuration if it found that your system is not yet configured for optimized configuration. Combining this feature and also PowerTOP, you can diagnose your system better and (hopefully) solves your power problem and reduce your bill at the end of the month wink

Happy Diagnosing...