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About 16 weeks ago, I switched over from Windows 7 to Ubuntu 13.04, because I could work more efficiently with it. But I kept Windows 7 in a dualboot.

I noticed the following:

  • when Windows 7 ran idle, the power consumption was: 88 W
  • when Windows 7 was sent into standby, it was: 23 W
  • when Ubuntu 13.04 runs idle, it is now: 133 W
  • when Ubuntu 13.04 is sent to standby, it is: 101 W

What is up with that power management? Standby power consumption seems horrible to me and could be a reason for me to switch back to Windows, as I use standby quite often instead of shutting down, as I have to open lots of tools (and login etc.) each time.

All measurements were made with the same measuring equipment and the same periphery (everything turned on).
The computer definitely goes into standby, as the power LED becomes blinking and coolers are shut off.

What could I do to make power consumption better, especially in standby?

System specs:

  • Intel(R) Core(TM) i3-2120 CPU (stock clocks and voltage)
  • ASUS P8H77-M Pro
  • BeQuiet Straight Power E9 400 W

Some commands' output that could help:

sebastian@UVE:~$ uname -a
Linux UVE 3.9.0-030900-generic #201304291257 SMP Mon Apr 29 16:58:15 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

sebastian@UVE:~$ top
top - 23:00:35 up 13:38,  2 users,  load average: 0,26, 0,32, 0,38
Aufgaben: 262 total,   1 running, 258 sleeping,   0 stopped,   3 zombie
%Cpu(s):  2,3 us,  0,8 sy,  0,0 ni, 96,9 id,  0,0 wa,  0,0 hi,  0,0 si,  0,0 st
KiB Mem:   7861716 total,  4012328 used,  3849388 free,    28644 buffers
KiB Swap:  2088956 total,  1109900 used,   979056 free,  1407520 cached

sebastian@UVE:~$ lsmod
Module                  Size  Used by
msr                    12908  0 
nfsv3                  34774  1 
nfsv4                 217180  0 
usblp                  18284  0 
hid_generic            12548  0 
usbhid                 47346  0 
hid                   101248  2 hid_generic,usbhid
vmnet                  55771  17 
vsock                  52846  0 
vmci                   87554  2 vsock
vmmon                  76108  5 
snd_hda_codec_hdmi     37407  1 
snd_hda_codec_realtek    46511  1 
coretemp               13596  0 
snd_usb_audio         147350  2 
uvcvideo               82296  0 
kvm_intel             138733  0 
videobuf2_vmalloc      13056  1 uvcvideo
videobuf2_memops       13202  1 videobuf2_vmalloc
snd_usbmidi_lib        29477  1 snd_usb_audio
kvm                   452835  1 kvm_intel
videobuf2_core         40785  1 uvcvideo
videodev              131329  2 uvcvideo,videobuf2_core
snd_hda_intel          44397  3 
snd_hda_codec         190010  3 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_intel
ghash_clmulni_intel    13259  0 
snd_hwdep              13613  2 snd_usb_audio,snd_hda_codec
usb_storage            61749  0 
cryptd                 20501  1 ghash_clmulni_intel
snd_pcm               102477  4 snd_usb_audio,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel
snd_page_alloc         18798  2 snd_pcm,snd_hda_intel
snd_seq_midi           13324  0 
snd_seq_midi_event     14899  1 snd_seq_midi
eeepc_wmi              13151  0 
asus_wmi               24794  1 eeepc_wmi
snd_rawmidi            30417  2 snd_usbmidi_lib,snd_seq_midi
sparse_keymap          13890  1 asus_wmi
snd_seq                61930  2 snd_seq_midi_event,snd_seq_midi
snd_seq_device         14497  3 snd_seq,snd_rawmidi,snd_seq_midi
ppdev                  17106  0 
psmouse                97838  0 
microcode              22923  0 
snd_timer              29989  2 snd_pcm,snd_seq
bnep                   18258  2 
rfcomm                 47863  0 
bluetooth             251354  10 bnep,rfcomm
serio_raw              13215  0 
i915                  631614  4 
parport_pc             28284  1 
snd                    69533  22 snd_hda_codec_realtek,snd_usb_audio,snd_hwdep,snd_timer,snd_hda_codec_hdmi,snd_pcm,snd_seq,snd_rawmidi,snd_usbmidi_lib,snd_hda_codec,snd_hda_intel,snd_seq_device
nfsd                  260175  2 
auth_rpcgss            40877  2 nfsd,nfsv4
nfs_acl                12883  2 nfsd,nfsv3
nfs                   170267  3 nfsv3,nfsv4
video                  19467  2 i915,asus_wmi
lockd                  77317  3 nfs,nfsd,nfsv3
sunrpc                242438  23 nfs,nfsd,auth_rpcgss,lockd,nfsv3,nfsv4,nfs_acl
drm_kms_helper         49082  1 i915
binfmt_misc            17540  1 
fscache                57914  2 nfs,nfsv4
mac_hid                13253  0 
wmi                    19256  1 asus_wmi
drm                   295908  5 i915,drm_kms_helper
mei                    46588  0 
soundcore              12680  1 snd
lpc_ich                17060  0 
nls_iso8859_1          12713  1 
i2c_algo_bit           13564  1 i915
lp                     17799  0 
parport                46562  3 lp,ppdev,parport_pc
r8169                  68680  0 
ahci                   30063  4 
libahci                32088  1 ahci

I hope the gurus can solve my issue :-/.

share|improve this question
    
101W of heat without coolers running will quite literally melt your CPU in seconds (or whatever component is consuming that much power while idle). To verify - send the system to sleep, if after a few minutes you can see no smoke :) and the heatsinks inside are cool to touch then it's most certainly a measurement error. –  Sergey Jul 8 '13 at 23:24
    
Also please list your periphery - do you have a printer included into the measurement, for example? Does the monitor go into the powersave mode? I've got a similar system and it consumes ~55W when running Ubuntu, but that's only for the box, no periphery –  Sergey Jul 8 '13 at 23:27
    
Standby should be using less than 5 W. If it is really still drawing 101 W, then there is no way it is in standby. –  psusi Jul 9 '13 at 2:42

1 Answer 1

With a neighbor and his measuring equipment, we measured everything again. Seems like my perma-on-measuring-solution has had some kind of buffer overflow after more than a year of use now. Switching through options for added wattage over time and so on, many values were 0 and did not increase anymore. However, after disconnecting everything, it continued to show 50 W of power consumption.

After knowing this, we have used his plug adapter and got those values:

  • W7 idle: 85 W
  • W7 standby: 12 W
  • Ubuntu idle: 71 W (oops)
  • Ubuntu standby: 12 W (oops²)

Seems like my measuring tool broke quite the same time I switched to Ubuntu and thus it looked like Ubuntu caused all this...

The 12 W is not the PC alone. This measurement also includes the printer, screen, external 3.5" HDD and two telephones, all in standby.

I'm sorry for not having checked the measuring equipment before bothering you. Thanks for your hints!

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