Save battery usage on your laptop  

Posted by Laptop Tips

Here are some tips to help you save the batteries on your laptop:

What consumes power?
Electronic and mechanical components consume energy (Electricity).
There are devices like the hardisk, DVD reader, screen etc. There is also the Motherboard and the processor.
So you should keep in mind, the more you use the processor i.e. the Cpu rate used will consume more power.
When you are playing to 3-D games, more power is consumed than using a simple text editor.

How to reduce consumption of power
-The Screen brightness can be adjusted. Try to reduce but enough to be able to see easily.
-Adjust the Energy Usage in Windows so that it can turn your screen and hardisk to stand by mode when not in use.
- You can even stop Windows, Use the hibernation Mode. This will help Windows to start more rapidly.
- There’s an option to avoid the CPU to run at a maximum speed, which will help to reduce power usage.
- Some devices (graphic cards, modems, PCMCIA cards) do turn off when they are not used. So some devices cannot be used when they are on power saving mode.
- Use integrated devices on your laptop and avoid using the mouse (it consumes more power). So try to reduce the use of USB devices.
- Defragment your hardrive regularly, i.e. once each month. Less the hard disk is fragmented, the less there will be trips heads playback, and therefore there will be less current consumption. Use BootVis which is useful to manage your system files at startup.. then windows will start more rapidly.
Another important fact: The more you have programs running and consuming CPU time, the more you eat of course.
- Close down on programs running in the background. Itunes, Desktop Search, etc. All these add to the CPU load and cut down battery life. Shut down everything that isn’t crucial when you’re on battery.
- Add more RAM - This will allow you to use the laptop memory, rather than relying on virtual memory. Virtual memory results in hard drive use, and is much less power efficient. Note that adding more RAM will consume more energy, so this is most applicable if you do need to run memory intensive programs which actually require heavy usage of virtual memory.
- Keep operating temperature down - Your laptop operates more efficiently when it’s cooler. Clean out your air vents with a cloth or keyboard cleaner.

Configuration of your OS
It is important to disable unnecessary programs and services.

Disable unnecessary services, especially the Indexing Service. This service is a little heavy on CPU and lots of disk access.

Reduce the number of programs launched at startup. There are certainly full are useless (QuickTime Task Java Update Scheduler, Office toolbar, "Quick Start" Office, RealPlayer, etc.).

Change the subject of Windows: Use the standard theme. Indeed, the Aqua theme for Windows requires a bit more computing power, and therefore consumes a little more current.

Disable visual effects (animations, transition effects). They are pretty, but require the CPU to make further calculations, and thus consume more current. Especially under Vista, and Linux (with Beryl / Compiz / XGL): All the 3D effects and transparency are major consumers of CPU. Turn them off.

Disable ClearType.
If it is not necessary, cut the sound (mute);

Avoid animated screensavers (3D or otherwise). Choose the screen saver or the standard Windows screen blank. Do not forget to enable the economy to energy to the screen in "Power Management".
If you do not use your WiFi connection, disable it. This saves your WiFi to deliver consistently to find an access point (it consumes power).

Under Windows 95, 98 and ME, use programs such as ATM (Another Task Manager) to force the processor to execute the instruction HTL (halt) when it does nothing. This helps to save energy. (Some laptops are already supplied with utilities doing this). This manipulation is not necessary under Windows NT, 2000, XP, 2003 and Linux because they already use a standard instruction HLT.

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