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Boost that battery: Tips and tricks for laptops

Brian Nadel | June 6, 2014
No matter how good your laptop's battery is, it's still easy to run out of power by day's end. Here are some ways to keep your system running.

The results? I was able to reduce my laptop's thirst for electrons by 20% from a peak of 36.6 watts of power before the changes to 29.1 watts after, as measured by Joulemeter, software that measures power consumption (I averaged the results of three runs).

More to the point, I increased my system's battery life by 33 minutes to 4 hours and 40 minutes of runtime between charges.

Of course, there's no such thing as a free lunch, and this increase in power efficiency and extended battery life came at the cost of all-out performance. I ran "before and after" tests using the system's score on PassMark's PerformanceTest benchmarking software, and the laptop's score fell from 1,750.0 to 1,698.6, a 3% drop.

The good news? I wouldn't have known about the difference if I hadn't measured it -- it was not a noticeable decline.

For me all the work, setting changes and a slight loss of performance has been more than worth it. I get more life out of a charge, my system is more efficient and I don't have to plug in as often. I call that a win-win.


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