Hello Since I started using coreboot, I have noticed my battery doesn't seem to last as long. I have a very simple linux install on a separate partition that I use to compare power consumption, so I decided to verify if my perception was true. After some quick tests, I noticed the power profile seem to have changed a whole lot, so I decided to check exactly how much by running some tests.
I had saved results when running the thinkpad bios, so I decided to get more measurements to compare the thinkpad bios to coreboot on the W520. The test environment is X with just a xterm open to display powertop results. Nothing else is running: there are just 130 wakeups per seconds (with 100 coming from tick_sched_timer), and according to powertop all the cores are in mode C7-IVB between about 98 to 99% of the time. So it should be the best environment to have accurate results without software interfering. To reduce sources of error, I always start from a cold boot, with the machine cold, no previous fan activity. With normal power saving options (everything toggled in powertop), network stopped, and measurement repeated every 5 seconds during 10 min and averaged, I get: BIOS: 11W Coreboot: 19W With the powersave governor BIOS: 9W Coreboot: 17W With brightness reduced to 200 BIOS: 8W Coreboot: 16W The steps between each operation seem identical (activating powersave: -2W, reducing brightness: -1W) however the baseline is off by about 8W. This is on the exact same software environement, running the exact same linux kernel with the exact same kernel options. (and no, the NVidia GPU was not enabled in corebooy. Both results were on integrated GPU only) I found that weird, so to confirm these results I put the hard drive into a borrowed W530. It has the exact same CPU and screen as my W520, the same USB peripherals (except a colormeter) and a similar memory configuration (4 dimms): I get about the same as the bios results I got before: 11W on the minimal install, going down to 8W at maximum power saving. However, with coreboot I just can't do any better than 16W. The difference of 8W is quite a lot, as with all powersavings applied, running coreboot mean taking 2x as much power. The room temperature hasn't changed (I have a thermostat), and I don't believe a single USB peripheral can take 8W. So I think there is only one conclusion: I have a lot of work to do on my W520 port to get even close to the initial power savings So I wonder if there is anything I can do to improve power savings? What are some basic suggestions?? The full 8W difference means there should be at least a few low hanging fruits!! Thanks Charlotte
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