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I am working on a traffic surveillance project which performs various image processing tasks with a number of visual sensors and a computing platform. My basic task in the project is the power optimization/management. I am using a ZOTAC-IONITX computing platform (Intel ATOM CPU + NVIDIA ION GPU). The problems that I am currently facing are:

I am unable to model the power consumption of various components e.g., processor, GPU, hard drive, memory etc, since there seems to be no way to measure the power consumption of individual system components. Since I don't have a power consumption model, I cannot come up with a power optimization algorithm. I am currently working on Linux. Is there any way to measure/model the power consumption of individual system component?

I would really appreciate any suggestions in this regard.

I have already checked powertop. It doesn't tells the power (watts) consumed by a component (e.g., microprocessor). It just gives information about the power state the processor is in (However there is no way to change the power state by the user) and the processors that cause processor to wakeup.

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migrated from Aug 3 '11 at 9:23

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

"(However there is no way to change the power state by the user)": You change it by disabling unneeded CPU-using processes. – Mechanical snail Aug 3 '11 at 11:27

Oh yes there is a way:

The site contains tons of information on tuning systems consumption.

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Try with "powertop". It show the power consumption for all system, wakeups, P-states, etc.

powertop screenshot

I don't know if my suggestion is that you search. is the best site for information relative to power consumption in Linux (from Intel engineers).

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only works when running on battery, so not for desktops AFAIK. – Gunnish Feb 17 '13 at 18:11

The main power hogs are going to be the CPU and the GPU. For the CPU, powertop provides detailed information you can use to reduce its power consumption, as others describe.

For the GPU, there is Is it possible to reduce graphic processor power consumption?. If you want to know the power consumption, you can check the specs for your model, or try disabling the GPU and comparing the computer's total power draw.

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