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#1 2019-01-30 15:35:11

wannabearcher
Member
Registered: 2019-01-30
Posts: 6

Too Much Power Usage?

Hi,

I recently installed Arch Linux on my laptop, but I think it eats up too much power despite TLP is configured, GTX 1060 disabled following this guide (acpi_call), thermald enabled, no Desktop Environment/Window Manager running.

By the way, the OS is running on a 32gb USB key if it makes any difference.

upower -i /org/freedesktop/UPower/devices/battery_BAT0

The following is (partially) the output I get when I run the command above (idle on tty).

battery
present: yes
rechargable: yes
state: discharging
warning-level: none
energy: 43.434 Wh
energy-empty: 0 Wh
energy-full: 63.4182 Wh
energy-full-design: 70.224 Wh
energy-rate: 12.0954 Wh
voltage: 11.744 Wh
time to empty: 3.6 hours
percentage: 68%
capacity: 90.3084%
icon-name: 'battery-full-symbolic'
History (charge):
1548861799 68.000 discharging
History (rate):
1548861799 12.095 discharging

I am fairly new to Arch Linux scene and would like to find out if power usage values can be decreased without damaging the hardware.

Thank you,
wannabearcher

Last edited by wannabearcher (2019-01-30 15:55:00)

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#2 2019-01-30 18:10:05

mpan
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Registered: 2012-08-01
Posts: 478
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Re: Too Much Power Usage?

Unfortunately poor energy consumption performance happens with libre systems. :(

You may install powertop and then check “Device stats” and “Tunables”. This may be the best place to start your search for what is drawing joules from your battery.

Damaging hardware by changing configuration is very unlikely¹.

The best idea would be to measure, if you actually have any excessive energy drain and how changes affect that, objectively. Unless the change is extreme — like “it worked for 4h with Windows, but only 2h with Linux — subjective feelings are usually wrong and only cause people to make random moves.
____
¹ At least directly. Turning HDDs off and on all the time may increase wear.

Last edited by mpan (2019-01-30 18:11:37)


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#3 2019-01-30 18:26:44

progandy
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Registered: 2012-05-17
Posts: 3,262

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

It looks like your laptop uses about 12W without a display server, so a full charge (63Wh) should last a bit more than 5 hours. That doesn't seem too bad to me, my old laptop uses 20W in idle with firefox running.

Last edited by progandy (2019-01-30 18:27:17)


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#4 2019-01-30 20:10:59

wannabearcher
Member
Registered: 2019-01-30
Posts: 6

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

progandy wrote:

It looks like your laptop uses about 12W without a display server, so a full charge (63Wh) should last a bit more than 5 hours. That doesn't seem too bad to me, my old laptop uses 20W in idle with firefox running.

I can assure you that 12W is the lowest value I see. Imagine running a DE, a browser with 5 tabs open and a couple of terminals with these settings. I think I would not be able to use my laptop for more than 2 hours on battery. This is Razer Blade 2017 and I think I should be getting more out of this.

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#5 2019-01-30 21:06:37

ewaller
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From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 16,363

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

Someone needs to go back and study dimensional analysis O_o
[Not the OP; they who designed this beast]

energy-rate: 12.0954 Wh
voltage: 11.744 Wh

I can look around Watt*hours (Energy)  being confused for Watts (power).
I cannot imagine confusing Watt*Hours with Volts.   Whisky-Tango-Foxtrot, over?


All that said, do you trust any of these numbers?  What do you find experimentally?

Last edited by ewaller (2019-01-30 23:47:33)


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#6 2019-01-30 21:08:59

Morn
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Registered: 2012-09-02
Posts: 560

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

wannabearcher wrote:
progandy wrote:

It looks like your laptop uses about 12W without a display server, so a full charge (63Wh) should last a bit more than 5 hours. That doesn't seem too bad to me, my old laptop uses 20W in idle with firefox running.

I can assure you that 12W is the lowest value I see. Imagine running a DE, a browser with 5 tabs open and a couple of terminals with these settings. I think I would not be able to use my laptop for more than 2 hours on battery. This is Razer Blade 2017 and I think I should be getting more out of this.

This German review of the Razer Blade 2017 puts average idle power consumption at 12.1 W, so the Linux value looks correct: https://www.notebookcheck.com/Test-Raze … 328.0.html

It is a gaming laptop though, so I think getting about 2 hours per battery charge is what you would expect. These things are meant to stay plugged in most the time.

Edit: In the next paragraph they mention something about getting 9 hours per battery charge though! Perhaps Windows really has some kind of secret power saving magic that Linux lacks...

Last edited by Morn (2019-01-30 21:22:05)

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#7 2019-01-30 21:50:50

progandy
Member
Registered: 2012-05-17
Posts: 3,262

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

Morn wrote:

Edit: In the next paragraph they mention something about getting 9 hours per battery charge though! Perhaps Windows really has some kind of secret power saving magic that Linux lacks...

They get 9 hours with display brightness medium, but it is still interesting that they basically get 9 hours with a 70Wh battery. That would mean an average power draw of 7.7W.
Maybe power consumption is measured with wall power and windows might use more power even in "power save" mode if it is plugged in.

There is an english version of that test as well
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Razer-Bla … ttery-life
https://www.notebookcheck.net/Our-Test- … l#c2467883
https://www.notebookcheck.com/nbc_battery.html


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#8 2019-01-30 22:17:50

Morn
Member
Registered: 2012-09-02
Posts: 560

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

progandy wrote:

Maybe power consumption is measured with wall power and windows might use more power even in "power save" mode if it is plugged in.

Perhaps Windows is not using the discrete graphics card at all in their 9 h battery test? 9 h vs 2 h for Windows vs Linux is certainly an extreme discrepancy...

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#9 2019-01-30 22:42:01

wannabearcher
Member
Registered: 2019-01-30
Posts: 6

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

Morn wrote:

Edit: In the next paragraph they mention something about getting 9 hours per battery charge though! Perhaps Windows really has some kind of secret power saving magic that Linux lacks...

I also used to get around 7 - 8 hours on Windows using an unofficial power plan called "Maximum Battery Saving". Though the pc would run much slower than it does normally.

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#10 2019-01-30 23:07:44

Morn
Member
Registered: 2012-09-02
Posts: 560

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

wannabearcher wrote:
Morn wrote:

Edit: In the next paragraph they mention something about getting 9 hours per battery charge though! Perhaps Windows really has some kind of secret power saving magic that Linux lacks...

I also used to get around 7 - 8 hours on Windows using an unofficial power plan called "Maximum Battery Saving". Though the pc would run much slower than it does normally.

Well according to the wiki you can use cpupower to throttle CPU frequency. So maybe you should try to find out what that Windows power plan does exactly and try to duplicate it under Linux. Something to do with disabling the discrete graphics card and throttling the CPU probably. Maybe you could also lower WiFi transmit power.

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#11 2019-01-31 10:44:24

wannabearcher
Member
Registered: 2019-01-30
Posts: 6

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

Morn wrote:

Well according to the wiki you can use cpupower to throttle CPU frequency. So maybe you should try to find out what that Windows power plan does exactly and try to duplicate it under Linux. Something to do with disabling the discrete graphics card and throttling the CPU probably. Maybe you could also lower WiFi transmit power.

The user who created the configuration file I mentioned also demonstrates the modifications with images.

I will attempt to apply these modifications to Arch Linux, which will not be thorough because of the lack of drivers. For example, you can see in the images that the user just set Intel(R) Graphics Power Plan and Link State Power Management to Maximum Battery Life, which I do not know what they do under the hood.

Last edited by wannabearcher (2019-01-31 10:44:47)

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#12 2019-01-31 11:38:01

progandy
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Registered: 2012-05-17
Posts: 3,262

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

Backlight settings are in /sys/class/backlight/, there are some tools to manage it as well.

You should also be running thermald with the "Energy conserve" preference (ENERGY_CONSERVE or QUIET in the config). You could use dbus to set this if you want to switch between performance and energy conservation with e.g. run-on-ac/run-on-bat.
https://github.com/intel/thermal_daemon … et_pref.sh

Last edited by progandy (2019-01-31 11:38:25)


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#13 2019-02-01 11:03:00

wannabearcher
Member
Registered: 2019-01-30
Posts: 6

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

Morn wrote:

Well according to the wiki you can use cpupower to throttle CPU frequency. So maybe you should try to find out what that Windows power plan does exactly and try to duplicate it under Linux. Something to do with disabling the discrete graphics card and throttling the CPU probably. Maybe you could also lower WiFi transmit power.

The values in the first post of this thread were recorded with the discrete graphics card off (I already had disabled the Nvidia GPU).

I will undervolt the cpu by 100MHz and find a way to lower WiFi transmit power, then check the power consumption.
EDIT: I rechecked my TLP configuration and noticed that the CPU is already restricted to work at 30% at most when running on battery. I may even decrease this value further since i7700HQ is a powerful processor and I won't be needing much power on Linux without plugging in the laptop.


progandy wrote:

Backlight settings are in /sys/class/backlight/, there are some tools to manage it as well.

You should also be running thermald with the "Energy conserve" preference (ENERGY_CONSERVE or QUIET in the config). You could use dbus to set this if you want to switch between performance and energy conservation with e.g. run-on-ac/run-on-bat.
https://github.com/intel/thermal_daemon … et_pref.sh

I executed the command startx and set the brightness to 3% (thought it was already set to a very low value); I, furthermore, created the configuration file for thermald and set it to run in QUIET (no ENERGY_CONSERVE option found in the thermald manual) mode. However, I did not notice any difference in power consumption.

Last edited by wannabearcher (2019-02-01 15:53:24)

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#14 2019-02-01 17:04:02

kokoko3k
Member
Registered: 2008-11-14
Posts: 1,786

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

Keep in mind that an usb key may draw even 2.5w.

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#15 2019-02-01 17:17:22

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 16,363

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

kokoko3k wrote:

Keep in mind that an usb key may draw even 2.5w.

IF they are a USB 2.0 device and are obeying the 500mA limit defined in the specification.   USB 3.0 devices can go to 900mA, or 4.5W @ 5V.


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#16 2019-02-01 18:25:33

wannabearcher
Member
Registered: 2019-01-30
Posts: 6

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

ewaller wrote:
kokoko3k wrote:

Keep in mind that an usb key may draw even 2.5w.

IF they are a USB 2.0 device and are obeying the 500mA limit defined in the specification.   USB 3.0 devices can go to 900mA, or 4.5W @ 5V.

From this information, can I infer that I will decrease the power consumption by a notable amount if I install the OS on the internal SSD rather than a 32gb 3.0 USB key?

Last edited by wannabearcher (2019-02-01 18:28:13)

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#17 2019-02-01 18:41:30

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 16,363

Re: Too Much Power Usage?

wannabearcher wrote:

From this information, can I infer that I will decrease the power consumption by a notable amount if I install the OS on the internal SSD rather than a 32gb 3.0 USB key?

Not necessarily. I just did some quick research and it seems 120GB SSDs draw between 25 and 100 mW.  It seems to be so.

USB Flash drives seem to draw a time average of about 200mA, or 1W (1000mW). 
Those numbers suprise me. I would not expect an order of magnitude difference.


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine. -- Alan Turing
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