Laptop and Netbook Battery Usage: The Breakdown
For the life of me, I can't find the article that I pulled this graphic from! I seem to recall it was on a Microsoft blog, but every search I use fails to find it. Regardless, it's legitimate and quite enlightening I think. It demonstrates the reality of battery/power usage on current laptops/netbooks, and busts the myths that some people still cling to, such as:
- "If I switch from a hard drive to an SSD, I'll get better battery life!". Nope, not really - modern hard drives are ultra-power efficient and assuming your system has sufficient RAM, switching to an SSD won't do much for your battery life.
- "Turning off Wifi and Bluetooth will get me better battery life" Perhaps, but only slightly - at only 4% of power consumption, networking technologies being turned on or off won't make a big dent in power consumption.
The biggest thing that will allow you to eek out maximum battery life on your laptop? Turning down the screen brightness. Nothing else you can do will make as big of a difference as that one change. The good news is that as we see more integration of chipset functions and GPU functions into the CPU, the overall chipset and GPU chips will use less power, and ultimately give us better battery life. That's why the new AMD Fusion APUs (CPU + GPU) and Intel's Sandy Bridge CPU + GPU chips are so interesting...they will bring about a level of chip-level power savings that we haven't seen thus far.
I think 2011 is going to be a great year for laptops and netbook!