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08/06/2012 05:46                                                                                                          ...
08/06/2012 05:46                                                                                                          ...
08/06/2012 05:46                                                                                                          ...
08/06/2012 05:46                                                                                                          ...
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  1. 1. 08/06/2012 05:46 Laptop with longer battery life - Blog - topbatteries: shenglong yu - My profile Blog entry ponent and also fluctuates in response to environ- • mental conditions such as temperature and system workload. The greater the number of components Laptop with longer battery life or peripherals attached to your laptop and the more work you do with it, the quicker the battery will Friday, Jun 8, 2012 10:55AM / Standard Entry drain. Every program, driver, or service that loads, every background task that runs, and every electro- nic circuit that fires up saps a tiny bit of battery life. Every laptop owner wants to maximize the time Consequently, reducing the number of attached or between battery recharges. Here’s how to achieve active peripherals and minimizing the load placed that goal with a few basic hardware and software on the notebook will prolong battery life. tweaks; as a bonus, they may improve your note- book’s performance, too. Unfortunately, some of the burdens that the manu- facturer or vendor places by default on your laptop’s Longer battery life: Every laptop user wants it, but battery may not be easy to track down and eliminate. few know how to get it without buying a new ma- As a result, you have to make an effort to minimize chine. Though laptop manufacturers have made resource consumption and maximize battery life. great strides over the past few years in increasing the efficiency (and thus the battery life) of their PCWorld has posted simpler articles about how to products, even the most efficient modern machines extend your laptop battery life such as HP laptop bat- don’t last long enough for many users. What you teries, and we won’t cover the same items here. may not realize, however, is that your system is Keeping your laptop cool, dimming its display, and probably loaded with integrated peripherals and enabling system hibernation are all good ways to bloatware that you’ll never use but that consume prolong battery life; but in this guide we’ll be focu- resources and reduce battery life. sing on hard numbers that illustrate the potential benefits of certain modifications. In this guide, we’ll look at ways to reclaim those resources and maximize your Acer laptop batteries. Tweak Your Hardware and Software Some of the steps may require venturing into the BIOS or UEFI of your notebook, while others are You can make a number of hardware and software simpler software tweaks. changes to prolong your laptop’s battery life. Howe- ver, some of these tricks might cause your laptop to Know What Kills Your Battery function poorly or even to cease functioning entirely, so please be careful. Though we tested all of these Before diving in, review why notebook batteries tweaks on our own laptop, we can’t guarantee that die in the first place. From the CPU to the trackpad, they’ll work with your unique hardware; recogni- every component in a laptop consumes power. The zing this, PCWorld cannot be held liable for any amount consumed varies from component to com- Love this PDF? Add it to your Reading List! 4 Page 1
  2. 2. 08/06/2012 05:46 Laptop with longer battery life - Blog - topbatteries: shenglong yu - My profile deleterious changes that might occur as a result of To prevent a particular service from starting auto- following this guide. When in doubt, make a backup. matically with Windows, double-click the entry for it in the list maintained in the Services management On the hardware side, disabling or disconnecting utility, and change its startup type to ‘Manual’ in the unused components and peripherals will go a long associated drop-down menu. way toward improving battery life. On the software side, disabling or uninstalling unnecessary (but re- You probably also have a handful of Windows source-hungry) services and applications will help Services that you can disable to conserve system minimize power consumption. In addition, upda- resources. To see which services are launching au- ting drivers--video drivers in particular--sometimes tomatically on your laptop, click the Start button, helps by enabling the system to optimize or offload type SERVICES.MSC in the Search field, and press certain processes, such as video encoding/decoding, Enter. The services management utility will open from the CPU to relatively power-efficient dedicated and you’ll see a huge list of services installed on hardware in the graphics processor. the system. Windows’ built-in System Configurations utility The vast majority of services listed in the manage- (MSCONFIG) lets you quickly prevent unnecessary, ment utility are vital to the operation of your OS, and resource hogging programs from launching with you shouldn’t touch them. But if you scrutinize the the OS. list carefully, you’ll undoubtedly find a few services that you can safely disable. We recommend going Since every program or service that loads in Win- through the list one by one, reading the descrip- dows consumes system resources, you should di- tions (performing Internet searches for research if sable the ones you don’t need or want. Start by necessary) and disabling only the services you’re launching the Windows System Configuration utility absolutely sure you don’t need. On our project note- MSCONFIG: Click the Start button, type MSCONFIG book, we found a handful of services that we could in the Search field, and press Enter. In the resulting safely disable, including the tablet PC input service, window, click the Startup tab to see all of the pro- remote desktop-related services, the BitLocker drive grams that start with Windows. You’ll probably see encryption service, and a Qualcomm Gobi Download a number of programs that you won’t mind disa- Service associated with an integrated 3G modem that bling. Our project notebook (an Acer Aspire) listed we had never used. Bear in mind that our specific eight items as automatically starting with Windows: decisions may not apply to your situation; if you antivirus software, Steam, QuickTime, three Adobe use BitLocker or if your laptop is convertible into Acrobat-related items, Skype, and Trillian. a tablet, you’ll want to keep the related services enabled. Having your most frequently used applications start with Windows can be handy; but if they’re not vital, To disable a service in the manage utility, double- it’s best to disable automatic startup and just start click it in the list and in the subsequent window that them manually when you need them. On our project opens, and then change the startup type to Manual system, we disabled everything but the AV software. in the associated drop-down menu. To disable items in MSCONFIG, simply untick the box next to each program, apply the changes, and If your laptop’s system BIOS or UEFI doesn’t permit restart the system. you to disable unused integrated peripherals, try Love this PDF? Add it to your Reading List! 4 Page 2
  3. 3. 08/06/2012 05:46 Laptop with longer battery life - Blog - topbatteries: shenglong yu - My profile right-clicking them in the Windows Device Manager Another quick and easy hardware tweak that can and then disabling them. save significant energy is lowering your note- book’s screen brightness. We’d suggest reducing Disabling unused hardware or integrated periphe- the brightness to the lowest level that is still easy rals is another great way to conserve resources to read and comfortable for your eyes. and maximize battery life. If your notebook comes with integrated Bluetooth or a cellular modem, for Putting the Tweaks to the Test example, or even a wired ethernet port that you ne- ver use, disabling the hardware will reduce power To gauge the improvement in battery life that our consumption and prevent their drivers from loading test laptop achieved as a result of the software and every time Windows starts. hardware-related modifications described in this article, we ran Futuremark’s PowerMark utility on You may be able to disable integrated peripherals our Core i3-powered Acer Aspire test laptop before in your laptop through the system BIOS or UEFI, or and after making the tweaks. We tested the laptop through Device Manager. The preferred method in three different configurations: unmodified, with is to use the system BIOS, but many laptops don’t maximum screen brightness and all hardware and provide the necessary options to take this route. software enabled; modified with software tweaks To see whether your laptop does, power it off, turn to disable unnecessary startup items and services, it back on, and during the POST sequence (before but with no hardware tweaks; and modified with Windows begins to load) press the necessary key to both software tweaks and with unneeded hardware enter the BIOS or UEFI (it’s usually DEL or F2). Once disabled and screen brightness lowered to 75 per- you’re in the system BIOS, navigate to the Integrated cent. Here are the results: Peripherals menu (if it’s available) and see whether the piece of hardware you’d like to disable is listed Unmodified laptop (100% screen brightness, all there. If it is, select the item and disable it. peripherals enabled)Modified laptop (software tweaks alone)Modified laptop (software and hard- If your system BIOS doesn’t provide the mechanisms ware tweaks, 75% screen brightness) necessary to disable unused hardware, you can di- sable them instead through the Windows Device Battery life3:163:284:19 manager. Note, however, that disabling hardware in Device Manager doesn’t power it down; instead, Times are listed in hours:minutes. the operation prevents the hardware’s driver from loading with the OS. Though not an ideal method, In its unmodified state, the laptop delivered a respec- preventing the driver from loading does saves me- table 3 hours, 16 minutes of battery life, according mory, as well as preventing the hardware from to PowerMark. After we performed a few simple initializing. software tweaks, the tested battery life rose to 3 hours, 28 minutes. But the biggest gains came af- To disable a piece of hardware in Device Manger, ter we fully tweaked the notebook and disabled click the Start button, type Device Manager in the unneeded hardware. With both the software and Search field, and press Enter. In the resulting De- hardware-related alterations in place, the laptop’s vice Manager window, expand the tree to find the battery life improved by more than an hour, to 4 appropriate piece of hardware, right-click it, and hours, 16 minutes; that’s a battery-life increase of choose Disable from the menu. better than 32 percent. Love this PDF? Add it to your Reading List! 4 Page 3
  4. 4. 08/06/2012 05:46 Laptop with longer battery life - Blog - topbatteries: shenglong yu - My profile In addition to maximizing battery life, correctly per- forming these system tweaks may increase your laptop’s performance. Disabling unnecessary hard- ware and software also reduces boot times and frees up CPU resources and memory, all of which should increase overall system performance and enhance your computing experience. May your laptop live long and prosper! Stats • • Age: 27 • Gender: Female • Total visits: 9 Love this PDF? Add it to your Reading List! 4 Page 4