Laptop battery usage, proportional to apps?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Bolimomo, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. 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?
  2. It's not the number of apps so much as the type of apps. Some apps use the CPU, disk, graphics, network, etc. more and they drain the battery faster. Others use less resources.
  3. promagma


    Also most mobile CPU's have Speedstep which lowers the speed and saves power when you're only using a few % of your CPU .... and when trading your internet connection is running full speed ..... wireless especially can suck up a lot of power ....
  4. eagle


    One thing I have remarked about the cellphone battery is that when staying in the low signal receiving area the battery drain faster in standby mode and probably in talk mode too. The reason is probably the CPU is constantly running high speed to seek signal around.
  5. Thank you very much guys! That makes a lot of sense. I never thought of the "type of application" but just the number of applications. I think I will go easy on the File Save when on battery power. :p
  6. Actually it's just the transmitter, not the CPU. If you are in a weak signal area, it means you are far form the nearest tower or have a lot of junk between you and the tower. And if your phone can't hear the tower, then the tower can't hear your phone unless your phone cranks up it's transmit power. In a weak signal area, you'll also get less talk time, too.
  7. Vorpal


    Your machine sounds fairly new, but another factor is that the batteries do start to lose efficiency after a couple years and you will notice less and less average run-time off of a full charge. That life can vary depending on how often you charge and whether it is a full or partial discharge, etc.

    Plenty of tips on maximizing battery life out there if you google "laptop battery life" or similar.
  8. tips to lengthen the life of your battery:

    take it out when your laptop is plugged in and you don't need to charge the battery. your laptop generates heat and heat gradually shortens the lifespan of laptop batteries

    better yet, store your laptop battery in the refrigerator when it's not being used. I heard it's best to store it when it's 40% full to lengthen lifespan.

    worst place to leave a battery is in a hot car or similar situation.

    This is based on a research paper I came across on the web one day when I researched this issue.
  9. i never used the battery as much as I thtought i would