I don't know enough about computer chip hardware. Here is my observation: I have a HP dv9730us laptop. When I used this laptop without plugging in, I used to be able to work on it for a little bit over 3 hours before the battery is drained. This morning I forgot to plug the laptop in. I started using it for trading and have many charting and trading apps running, with Internet access and such. Just only 1 hour after I started, Vista complained that the battery power has only 4% left. I was really surprised. I thought... maybe incorrectly so, when you power on a laptop it should use the same amount of power whether you run only 1 app or 10 apps, as the rest of the CPU cycles would be just wasted on idle. Is this not the case? To best utilize my limited battery power, should I limit my apps on the laptop to the minimal when not plugged in?