11 Januari 2009

How to extend battery life in the BackTrack??

Can your CPU do this? The idea is, jide have a notebook and I want to extend the time of working on the nootbook without being pluged into the electric outlet. There are many possibilities how to do it. It definitely means that you have installed linux based operating system. You can save something by taking away modules that are unnecessary for hardware or by reducing the backlight of LCD. And what is the second biggest time glutton right after LCD? Yes, it is the CPU. The are two possible solutions how to save something from the battery. So called throttling is simply a thing that inserts into the processor a command “don´t do anything, don´t count anything, don´t search anything”. The time of this depends on the setting and it can last miliseconds up to seconds. The processor takes the same amount of electricity but it cools itself and therefore the cooling fan does not turn on so often and you should save something. What saves for sure is to bring down the CPU frequency.
CPU with reduced frequency is good to use when you work with a text or when you are doing a not so demanding calculation work. When reducing the frequency the CPU should not get warm so much. Unfortunately jide have not tested it so far so I can´t tell the temperature differences before and after. But I´m pretty sure that this gave me about 15-20 minut of the battery life. Then when taking away modules such as sound card, ethernet, wi-fi, etc. simply everything except the keyboard LCD HDD Touchpad, the notebook will last for 4 hours. And thats nice. I´m planning to test it besides this in combination with throttlingem, but about this next time.

And now, how to do it. If you find out that your processor supports scaling (steping) you can go further. So you can install utility cpufrequtills002 from kernel.org. My distro Backtrack3 (Slackware) had some troubles with compilation, so I downloaded from http://slax.hosting4p.com/modules.php module cpufreq.ko (*.ko yes it´s from an older distribution, now it uses *.lzm). Converting is possible with utility ko2lzm. After converting add cpufreq.lzm to modules folder and restart. After restart it was necessary in my case to load module for CPU frequency steping - p4-clockmode.

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