Sign up ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

I am running Ubuntu Server 12.04 on an HP Mini 311. It has an Atom 270, 3GB ram, NVIDIA ION graphics. When running windows 7 with the screen off and no programs running the power consumtion from the wall was measured as 7-9W. With Ubuntu server running, with ACPI, powertop options good. the power consumption is 17-20W. powertop reports that speedstep is clocking the CPU at 800MHz instead of the max 1600MHz and that the CPU is idling at least 95%. What other optimizations does Windows do that I can also customize to bring the power consumption down to a minimum?

Some other Details:

Power consumption is key, but I have no problem with the laptop at full power when I am actually running tasks.

I am suspicious that the GPU, even though powertop reports it at 0% usage, is in some non optimized state. I have not installed any nvidia drivers.

The bios has a switch enabled to allow the fan to turn off when consumption is low. The fan turns off if running WinXP and idling but is usually running in Win 7.

share|improve this question
You should definitely install the proprietary Nvidia drivers. In my experience they do a lot better job when it comes to power saving mode. – André Stannek Nov 16 '12 at 15:02
@stonedsquirrel does this even make sense on a server? is there a CLI for the Nvidia drivers? – Jeremy Nov 16 '12 at 15:21
It makes sense especially on a server. The driver is the one responsible or recognizing that you don't need the graphic cards rendering power at the moment and thus saving power, e.g. by lowering the cores frequency. As I said, in my experience the Nouveau driver doesn't do that very well if at all. I don't know about a CLI for the Nvidia driver but once activated it runs fine without any further setup. – André Stannek Nov 16 '12 at 15:51
@stonedsquirrel I tried that, however, I saw no difference in power consumption. I did, however notice that the CLI seemed scaled to something like 640x480 type resolution instead of 1366x768. – Jeremy Nov 17 '12 at 2:16

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.