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Where does my power go?

Recently I have read about a nice little tool brought to us by Intel. It is called PowerTop, and, as the name suggests, looks a bit like top.

The difference is that it doesn't show you which process burns how much CPU-time, but which processes are the main consumers of electricity going from the wall to your computer.
If your CPU supports frequency scaling it will also show you on which speed it is running at what percentage of the time, thus also indicating a trend on power-consumption.

But that's still not everything. It even makes suggestions what keeps certain parts of your system from going to sleep, and what you could do about it.

I don't think all this data is 100% accurate, but as an indicator on what you spend all your money for the electricity-bill for I think it's quite usable. And maybe the tips PowerTop gives can even help to safe a dollar or two each month. ;-)


PowerTOP is a lot more


PowerTOP is a lot more useful for laptop and laptop optimizations.

This is a great program! I

This is a great program! I might even implement some of its suggestions. I'm just not sure what the top item on the list represents: 24.6% (127.2)       <interrupt> : extra timer interrupt which seems to spend most energy...

Some, or most, of the stuff


Some, or most, of the stuff shown there seems to be kernel-stuff.
That timer-interrupt might be related to the ticks the kernel uses. Recently a tickless timer has been implemented, which should be better to let the CPU sleep a bit more. I think it's also suggested from time to time in PowerTop to use that.

Oh I see. Well it does make

Oh I see. Well it does make sense for the kernel to be among the most power consuming systems..

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