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When I plug in my laptop (Asus EEE pc with brazos) it can't play a movie without lagging. When I unplug my laptop from the power socket, the lag goes away.

I'm a bit baffled by this because I expected this behavior to be the other way around.

I'm on the latest Xubuntu. Is there a place where I can extensively check the powerplans, as the default power manager is quite poor.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

I presume this behavior is inconsistent with the settings for the power manager in your system settings? I found the same as you, that Ubuntu doesn't handle laptop power management very well "out of the box". I had to install laptop-mode-tools. So far I have seen much more typical power consumption without having to configure it.

If you're just interested in seeing what's going on first, install powertop. That will show you what's consuming the most power and give suggestions on what options to turn on and off.

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