Is Windows Vista's Aero Interface a Battery Hog?

Discussion in 'Vista News' started by Jason, May 15, 2007.

  1. Jason

    Jason

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    Microsoft Corp. responded Monday to discussion of Windows Vista's over-hearty battery appetite by acknowledging that the new operating system's fancy graphics use more power. But it downplayed the impact of the UI's power needs.



    Recent stories on Web news sites, in newspaper technology columns and in popular blogs moved Microsoft to react with a posting of its own. Nick White, a program manager with the Vista team and the usual author of the group's official blog, owned up to Vista's power needs with one breath, then dismissed it the next.



    "The Aero theme drives the GPU [graphics processing unit] harder and therefore uses more power," said White. "But in the big picture, it's really not that much more."



    Most of the criticism about Vista's laptop lifespan centered around the Aero interface, with claims batted back and forth that it did -- or did not -- have an impact on battery use. The drop in battery performance, reported some users, ranged between 15 percent and 30 percent compared with the same system running Windows XP SP2.



    White contested that. Most laptop displays, he said, account for between 15 percent and 25 percent of the system's total power drain, but "in our testing we've seen that turning on Aero consumes only about 1-4 percent more of battery life," White argued. "In terms of making your battery last longer, turning off Aero will not go very far."



    Although Vista's power manager automatically disables windows transparency when a laptop's running off battery power, there's no option to completely disable the Aero interface. One programmer decided to fix that. According to a blog on the Microsoft Developers Network (MSDN) site, Clint Rutkas has created a small utility that automatically disables Aero.
     
    Jason, May 15, 2007
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  2. Jason

    Ken4me

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    Ihave noticedthat the battery life on my new HP laptop with Vista Home Premium, doesn't seem to last as long as my previous HP laptop with Windows XP Pro. I have a 12 cell high capacity that can last for about 5-6 hours average without charging.

    My new laptop, which also comes equipped with a 12 cell high capacity battery seems to last about half of that time. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
    Ken4me, May 19, 2007
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  3. Jason

    Camride

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    Oddly enough on my Dell E1505 it ran only about 15-20 minutes shorter than with XP MCE. I'd do some actual comparison tests but I don't have the laptop anymore. I found tweaking the advanced power settings while on the battery to help alot with power consumption though. Keeping the index slightly more out of date than normal helped alot since it Vista wasn't accessing the HD nearly as often. That is one thing I really like about Vista is you can tweak how the OS operates while on AC and on battery.

    And obviously Aero is going to use more power, but I don't think it's the main culprite when on battery power. I think the fact that Vista tries to keep the index up to date constantly really hurts battery power as it's reading the HD anytime you change anything to keep tabs on where everything is. Though Aero may consume more power on a laptop with integrated graphics vs a dedicated card, since the integrated is going to have to work harder to run Aero. I'm just guessing on that though.

    :)
     
    Camride, May 29, 2007
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  4. Jason

    Jason

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    I turned my indexing off since I dont use the search very much. And it helped my laptop regain some more power. It couldnt keep up otherwise, was constantly doing stuff.
     
    Jason, May 29, 2007
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  5. Jason

    Ken4me

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    How do I go about turning off indexing? I could not find a way to turn this feature off.
     
    Ken4me, Jun 7, 2007
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  6. Jason

    Camride

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    Ken,



    To turn off indexing while on battery(best to leave it on during AC so it can keep the index somewhat up to date) you need to go to power options. Under power options there is an advanced link that will take you to an overwhelming amount of options. If I can remember right I believe indexing options are towards the bottom of the list. I'm not at my Vista machine so I can't tell you where it is for sure right now. I'll try to update this post tonight when I can look at it.
     
    Camride, Jun 12, 2007
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  7. Jason

    blackhat

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    I've read somewhere that the aero interface only consumes 4% more battery life



    but vista is already an energy hog from itself

    [​IMG]
     
    blackhat, Jul 8, 2007
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