I ran powertop, and it says that the Realtek audio codec is using 100.0% of the cpu. Is this a problem?
I'm running Ubuntu 11.10 32-bit on Intel® Core™ i7 CPU M 640 @ 2.80GHz × 4 Sony VAIO laptop.
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No, it just means that you have (probably digital) sound output enabled. If you have some sound outputs, such as digital (optical/coaxial) or hdmi you are not using, then you can blacklist their drivers and you might save some battery. They will be listed in
lsmod something like, snd_hda_code_realtek and snd_hda_codec_hdmi. By adding these to
/etc/modprobe.d/blacklist.conf you can disable them.