power efficiency

Richard Pieri richard.pieri-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at public.gmane.org
Tue Nov 24 18:31:56 EST 2009

On Nov 24, 2009, at 5:52 PM, Chris O'Connell wrote:
> I don't think there is anything inherent in the OS X operating system that
> contributes greatly to the battery life being extended.  The power
> management options are similar to that of Windows or Linux.  Perhaps there
> is something going on behind the scenes to in the OS to extend the battery
> life.

The one thing that I really hate about Linux on notebooks -- and I have more than my fair share of experience with it :) -- is power management sucks. Some of it is the hardware manufacturers' fault, failing to correctly or completely implement the power management specifications.  Some of it is Linux's fault, such as the incomplete ACPI implementation early on, and that's not really a fault so much as a lack of developers working on it.

Apple doesn't have either of these problems, especially with the x86 hardware. The hardware is reference-grade or better and Apple itself has a team of developers who know the hardware and write drivers to make it work correctly.

That said, Apple does run the fans at lower speeds than one might expect, so the notebooks run a bit hot.  Not unduly so; temperatures do remain within tolerances for the hardware.  So they do run hot under load.  The lower base fan speeds make a noticeable difference in battery life and noise level -- the two reasons Apple does it that way.

--Rich P.

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