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I'd like to compile a list of best practices for getting the most out of a single charge of a typical notebook battery (be it Li-Ion or Li-Poly). Sources would be great as well.

I've heard, for instance, that the best things to do to improve battery performance (not the total lifetime of the battery, just single charge performance) are, in descending order of effectiveness:

  1. Turn your display all the way down.
  2. Turn off WiFi
  3. Turn off Bluetooth
  4. Spin down disks when they're not in use.
  5. etc…

I'd like to get sources together for these and other tips for extending life-between-charge for any battery on any notebook (as these really are all about Demand Management rather than Life lime extension.

Thanks!

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6 Answers 6

If you can turn down your processor speed that helps. A lot of Intel processors will run at less than half of their normal speed (mine goes from 2GH to 800MHz). AMD processors will do this as well but they have to be the black version of the chip, regular ones won't do it.

A lot of windows computers have utilities that do this automatically but Linux users may have to install the ability. In Arch Linux it's called cpufrequtils.

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Do you have a link to evidence for or how-to on this? –  Tim Visher Apr 12 '10 at 0:10
    

Hibernate/Deep Sleep your computer when it's not in use. This will make the machine take longer to wake back up but it will also use no battery power at all while you're not using it.

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You're monitor is the most power consumptive apparatus in your Notebook. As such, reducing the screen brightness and the amount of time before the screen blanks will enhance the battery life between charges..

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Turn off your Notebook if you're charging the battery.

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So the battery should only be in the notebook if it's being used without A/C power or if it's charging and the notebook is off? –  Tim Visher Apr 11 '10 at 23:30
    
This would reduce the time-to-charge, but why would it increase the battery run time? –  JRobert Apr 12 '10 at 0:25
    
@JRobert: My thoughts exactly… –  Tim Visher Apr 12 '10 at 1:09

Due to the nature of Wireless communication, disabling your wireless card(Windows, Mac) is an effective way to reduce your power consumption and thus boost battery performance.

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A higher density battery will always improve battery will improve the performance of any PC. This isn't strictly an answer to this question but if everything else has been done and the performance still isn't good enough, the only option is to upgrade.

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