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Vista Eating Battery Life

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the glutton-for-power dept.

Windows 379

LWATCDR writes "It looks like more issues with Vista drains notebook batteries. Using the Aero interface really eats into your notebooks battery life. Of course one of the new 'features' of Vista is supposed to be better power management. This provides a great opportunity for a showdown. How long until someone loads Vista on a MacBook and compares run time? It would provide a flat playing field now that Apple makes Intel-powered notebooks."

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Hmmm (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18992777)

processor intensive process uses more energy. turn it off. duh.

Re:Hmmm (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18992797)

I have something to report - Vista virtually sodomized me. Call the Belgian police! Help!!

AMD64 (1)

Diamond Tree (51604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992831)

I've been trying to figure out for some time whether my battery drains faster in any significant way between Fed Core 6 and XP on an HP nx6325 x86_64 laptop (two partitions). I don't think there's any significant difference. Anyone know otherwise?

From what I've gathered about Vista, that XP would outperform it on battery life doesn't surprise.

But the Mac x86 test would be yet another "nail in the coffin" as people move farther from Windoze.

--
learnjapanese.poddedcell.net // Learn Japanese with Step Up Nihongo

Re:AMD64 (1)

Richard McBeef (1092673) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992869)

I put Red Hat Enterprise 3 on a laptop recently that used to have Red Hat 7 on it. Not surprisingly, the battery drained faster. Performed worse too.

Re:AMD64 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18992985)

Newer linux kernels will support "dynticks [lwn.net] " that might slightly extend a laptop's battery life.

Re:AMD64 (5, Insightful)

Kythe (4779) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992983)

From what I've gathered about Vista, that XP would outperform it on battery life doesn't surprise.

From what I've gathered about Vista, XP would outperform it in just about every way imaginable, except in its ability to funnel vendor-locked-in cash to Microsoft.

Re:AMD64 (5, Insightful)

MontyApollo (849862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993147)

>But the Mac x86 test would be yet another "nail in the coffin" as >people move farther from Windoze.

If the coffin is a freaking mile long. There are quite a few nails to go. Reading Slashdot can give you a biased view of the real world.

Re:AMD64 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18993383)

Why bother? Every time I see a post with "windoze" or "M$" or whatever other name, I just quit reading. If a person can't communicate above the level of discourse that happens on a grade-school playground, I very much doubt that what he has to say is going to be insightful.

Re:Hmmm (1)

ACS Solver (1068112) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993077)

The really funny part is how Aero, which is so resource-intensive (and apparently battery-intensive as well) jhas been the main marketing point for Vista.

Re:Hmmm (4, Insightful)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993245)


How's that funny? MS has to sell Vista to OEMS and OEMS want more ways to force you to upgrade your hardware...and everytime the general populous upgrades their hardware, they're forced into buying a new copy of Windows. It's mutually beneficial to both MS and the hardware industry to advertise this out the wazoo!

Re:Hmmm (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993345)

Well, it's part because the power consumption is due to graphics card load, which won't slow down the OS in general, so it's mainly a problem for laptops. But I thought these were already intended to use the "regular" Aero interface, and not Glass.

Re:Hmmm (5, Informative)

secPM_MS (1081961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993103)

The more stuff you have running, the shorter the battery life. I am paranoid, perhaps a side-effect of decades in security, and I am not interested in glitz. The first thing I always did with Vista was to turn off Glass and go into advanced security settings and optimize for performance. I then turned off the Vista sidebar. Battery life under such conditions is better than XP.

I am now running LongHorn Server Beta 3 on my notebook, running as a standard user. Glass and Sidebar are not even available, and my battery life seems to have gone up significantly, I assume because fewer processes are running. IE is hardened on server and it is certainly more secure. And yes, I have enabled the wireless functionality and search indexer. My desktop does look much like Win 2K.

Security tends to go up as you run less functionality. It appears that battery life does so as well.

Re:Hmmm (2, Funny)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993213)

IE is hardened on server

Still wondering why you need a security-challenged web browser on a server, hardened or not.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Twanfox (185252) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993273)

A Terminal Server, where users use thin clients and run programs off the server? Hmmm.

Re:Hmmm (5, Informative)

secPM_MS (1081961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993323)

Actually, if you configure it for security, IE7 is probably less security challenged at this point than Firefox or Opera. The low rights / protected mode does add some additional barriers to exploits.

I would note that locked down as it its, it does break a lot of web sites. Paranoid as I am, I typically have explicit distrust keys for Flash and I disable all multimedia to avoid parser errors.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993377)

All primary web browsers are security challenged. Or do you intend to dispute various security issues in e.g. Firefox in the past, just to pick the main OSS browser? I really haven't seen *that* many exploits for IE 7 yet.

The last time.... (4, Informative)

SQLGuru (980662) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992793)

The last time someone posted a question about "How long", it was answered in the first post.

Unfortunately, I don't have a Mac, or I'd do it. But maybe this counts: http://www.macworld.co.uk/mac/reviews/index.cfm?re viewid=2215 [macworld.co.uk]

Layne

Re:The last time.... (5, Interesting)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992873)

At least last time I tried to run Vista on my MBP, part of the problem was Apple drivers that weren't optimized for power saving. The processor ran at full speed all the time (where on OS X it used SpeedStep) and the HD would never spin down. Thus I don't know how much of the fault is Microsoft's and how much is Apple's.

With that in mind, I got about 60% the battery life from Vista that I got from OS X.

Still, though, OS X's decent battery life gives the lie to the idea that "it's a processor-intensive process. Duh." If the Aero interface is eating battery, then why isn't Aqua, which is just as full of eye candy?

Re:The last time.... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18992957)

If the Aero interface is eating battery, then why isn't Aqua, which is just as full of eye candy?

Because OS X has "Teh Snappy" (patent pending).

Re:The last time.... (2, Funny)

n2art2 (945661) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993335)

Boy good thing I named mine. . . . "The Snappy"

I wouldn't want a patent fight with Apple.

4.3B last quarter (-1, Offtopic)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992799)

Batteries or no, Microsoft is doing just fine with Vista [blogs.com] .

Re:4.3B last quarter (4, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993065)

Why don't you Read that article? MSFT deferred ALL Vista sales from October 2006 to the first quarter.

So everyone who bought a PC for christmas and got a Vista voucher is also counted in that list. So all those Vista Business sales only got counted in the first quarter.

PC sales are down, how can Vista Sales be sky high? maybe because MSFT counted 1.5 quarters of vista sales in one quarter. what they did is technically legal, but one can't judge Vista sales by it because of what they did. As it artificially inflates the numbers.

Lets see who they do in this quarter. Especially with Dell selling XP machines again.

Re:4.3B last quarter (3, Interesting)

gfxguy (98788) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993319)

I'd like to add that everyone who bought XP earlier this year got a "free" upgrade to Vista... I know because I was one of them. However, while I paid the shipping and handling to get it ($10), it's sitting in a drawer unused. I wonder how many of those there were, because I'm sure they were counted, too.

Obligatory Slashdot car analogy (4, Funny)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992801)

Obligatory Slashdot car analogy:

That's like saying you're expecting great savings from a fuel management system on a V12 Aston Martin.

Re:Obligatory Slashdot car analogy (4, Insightful)

jeevesbond (1066726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992881)

That's like saying you're expecting great savings from a fuel management system on a V12 Aston Martin.

Shame this Aston Martin runs like it's got the engine of a Lada though.

Re:Obligatory Slashdot car analogy (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993347)

I know the car analogy isn't supposed to make sense, and your comment was funny, but in this case it's true - when you install a new OS it's like buying a new car without an engine and having to use the one from your previous car. So yep, your Aston Martin really does have the engine of a Lada though.

It's not a V12 Aston Martin (5, Funny)

cpu_fusion (705735) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993255)

Vista is a Pinto with a jet engine mounted on it backwards, painted Zune Brown, with a dealer-installed decal on the side that says "XTREME!!!"

Note: not a troll nor flamebait; just having fun here with the analogy. :)

Re:It's not a V12 Aston Martin (3, Funny)

acidrain69 (632468) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993349)

>Vista is a Pinto with a jet engine mounted on it backwards, painted Zune Brown, with a dealer-installed decal on the side that says "WOW!". And you have to buy the Ultimate Edition for twice the price to be able to let someone else drive, or do work on the engine.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Obligatory Slashdot car analogy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18993437)

Yes, but I would assume that a V12 Aston Martin also do not perform sluggishly.

Vista is alike a 1960 WV with guys doing drugs in the back. Forget about gas mileage 'cause you've spent all your money getting high and tasting colours and you ain't go nowhere.

Re:Obligatory Slashdot car analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18993497)

Last I checked, Aston Martin's were good cars. It'd be more like expecting excellent mileage out of a Caprice Classic.

Vista could eat kittens (3, Funny)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992819)

and Microsoft's marketing team would still sell it by the bundles.

Re:Vista could eat kittens (1)

Kythe (4779) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992927)

Yep. And you'd have MS fanboys claiming XP ate kittens, too, back when it was introduced.

Re:Vista could eat kittens (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993267)

And you'd have rabid anti-Microsoft people claiming it's not kittens, it's human babies.

Vista... sucks? (1, Funny)

kmhebert (586931) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992825)

Apparantly so. I have heard lots of complaints about all kinds of aspects of Vista and yet I have yet to see anyone really saying "Wow Vista is GREAT install it NOW you don't know what you're missing!!!" So, well -- why get it? Except when forced to when buying a new, Windows-pre-installed PC?

Re:Vista... sucks? (1)

bogie (31020) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993151)

People like Vista because A) it's new, shiny, and different B) they wasted a crap load of money on the "Ultimate" edition or C) they are foolish enough to believe it is an upgrade over XP. In some ways it is actually an upgrade over XP, in many many others ways right now it is a big step backwards. Face it, people are going to use it no matter how bad it is.

Re:Vista... sucks? (2, Insightful)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993359)

Actually I like it because it manages to be more responsive on my machine than XP, despite what people say about the performance. UAC is actually a good idea too, despite the panning by Slashdot... its basically sudo. Oh and before you mention it, no I don't find it annoying. I rarely see the popups. Maybe once a week.

And I didn't pay for it either. I got it through MSDN.

But no, its not for everyone. Mine is probably a rare case, and the drivers are immature. Its not a good idea for the average user to switch right now. And its definitely not worth paying for it.

Re:Vista... sucks? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993193)

I actually sorta like Vista, but I still tell people not to buy it. Too new, drivers are immature, and too pricey for too little improvement.

Re:Vista... sucks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18993235)

I ran the 30 day trial of Vista Ultimate, and I have to say.... it's not worth it.

I'd like to see Microsoft release the Aero theme for XP as a $25 Plus! pack.
If they did that, as well as release the Vista game pack for XP as a $20 Plus! pack, I'd buy both of those and never give Vista another look. They did a great job on the games and my kids love Purple Place. My wife runs Vista Home Premium on her laptop and likes it, but I've got a free upgrade laying on my desk and don't plan on installing it.

Re:Vista... sucks? (2, Insightful)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993293)

I like Vista. No, it's not "great". But one thing I like is that the UI is never stuck. You never see "invalid" window regions, you know, when you drag one window across another one that's frozen. (At least not in Aero.) I realize other OS'es worked that way first, though. I also like the new explorer interface. The glass theme is already starting to feel a bit old, but whatever. I'd like to see other effects besides glass. OS X has those cool slurping minimize/restore windows; I wouldn't say no to that.

I still wouldn't recommend anyone else to install it. The main reason to avoid it is backward compatibility. If a home user is currently entrenched in XP, they should wait another couple years. By then, more of their applications/peripherals are more likely to be compatible. Then they'll be fine. But if they're willing to make big changes right now, and not bug me for too much support (because I'm not familiar with it), I'd suggest they try Macs. I probably wouldn't recommend Ubuntu, just because if they were enough of a DIY type they'd probably already have tried it themselves. Anyway, just my gut feelings on the subject.

Re:Vista... sucks? (1)

mrchaotica (681592) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993379)

Vista allegedly has much improved support for Tablet PCs, which is enough for me to consider trying it out on my Thinkpad (which came with XP Tablet Edition, but also qualified for the $10 Vista "upgrade"). However, for anything other than a tablet there's no way in Hell I'd consider Vista -- any normal computer ought to run Ubuntu or OS X instead.

MacBooks are MUCH more efficient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18992837)

When not running all those PC-only games and apps.

Re:MacBooks are MUCH more efficient (1)

Cheezymadman (1083175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993299)

And they don't look as good. And they won't do anything that even remotely makes real money. And they won't right click.

obligatory (5, Funny)

Odiumjunkie (926074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992841)

Vista is trying to drain your laptop's battery. Cancel or Allow?

Re:obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18993231)

Allow or Re-boot.

Re:obligatory (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993419)

You've been using Gnome for too long. It's Allow or Cancel here. :-p

First post...NOT (5, Funny)

SevenHands (984677) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992855)

I would have had first post, but I had to plug in my laptop.

Mac Notebooks Battery Life rules (3, Interesting)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992879)

The one thing I will agree to is that Apple notebooks have some of the best battery lives I've seen.

Everytime I've used an iBook or a Powerbook, I'm amazed at how long the battery lasts. While some other brands (e.g. Dell) have decent battery life compared to others (e.g. HP and Toshiba, at least in my experience), I'm always knocked off by Apple notebooks' battery life.

Now if only Apple notebooks had two mouse buttons instead of hacks around it. :)

Re:Mac Notebooks Battery Life rules (2, Interesting)

dal20402 (895630) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993001)

Also, Apple laptops seem to treat batteries better, at least from my anecdotal experience. Most of the Dell/HP laptop owners I know end up with horrible battery life after not that many cycles. After the same amount of use, my Mac laptops have typically only lost a bit of their capacity. (My current MBP with 180 cycles on the one-year-old replacement battery has about 90% of its original capacity.) Whether this is due to better power-management software, better battery design, or better battery cooling, I couldn't say.

As for the two mouse buttons, it was a problem until Apple came out with the two-fingers-plus-click move last year -- now I definitely prefer that to a physical second button, because the huge first button is still so easy to hit and I never accidentally right-click.

Re:Mac Notebooks Battery Life rules (3, Informative)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993029)

I never had a PPC unit, but the dual core x86 units aren't that great, 3 hours at best. My four year old Compaq gets about 2.5 hours.

Re:Mac Notebooks Battery Life rules (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993253)

I suggest you replace your battery, My MBP runs easily 4-5+ hours on battery. I usually use it for well more than half the work day on battery without issues.

Re:Mac Notebooks Battery Life rules (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993447)

I get three hours from my MBP (Core 2 Duo) in the garden with the screen brightness at full. If I'm inside, or in low light conditions and can get away with turning the backlight back down, I get about four hours. This is a bit better than my old PowerBook, but the battery is physically much larger in the MBP.

Re:Mac Notebooks Battery Life rules (1)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993053)

"Now if only Apple notebooks had two mouse buttons instead of hacks around it. :)"

You have a second mouse button on the touch pad as long as you have more than one finger on your hand.

Re:Mac Notebooks Battery Life rules (4, Informative)

arrrrg (902404) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993087)

My Macbook Pro never got more than 3.5 hours of battery life. In contrast, the Acer I had before got 5 hours out of the box, and that could be upped to 8 by swapping out the cd drive for a backup battery. Battery life is probably my biggest complaint with my Macbook Pro.

Re:Mac Notebooks Battery Life rules (1)

bassgoonist (876907) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993165)

I totally agree, battery life is short...I get 2.5 hours in vista, tops.

Re:Mac Notebooks Battery Life rules (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993249)

Good on the Acer - I also get 3.5 or so on my MBP, but I get less than 2 on a thinkpad. I get about 45 minutes on the Dell I had before that :D

Maybe I should check out Acer?

Re:Mac Notebooks Battery Life rules (1)

seaturnip (1068078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993281)

That's only because you've forgotten that Apple batteries are made by Sony, otherwise you'd be complaining about how terrible the battery life is.

There are more things than aero which drain the ba (3, Insightful)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992935)

There are more things than aero which drain the battery in vista:
aero is one of the factors, but, there is a lot of additional startup disk processing even after the ui has been started
the drm which is in there left and right adds additional processor cycles
the desktop search adds an additional processing overhead etc... etc...

or ot sum it up added automated features simply need energy!

The battery drain is less annoying than another load of idiotic features, UAC for instance is what sudo and the osx do but solved in a totally idiotic fashion, the new explorer is a lousy clone of mac osxs pathfinder (basically a clone of the worst features of finder and pathfinder), the system cofiguration tool setup is outright confusing with display settings for instance being distributed into 5-6 various tools some dont even have the slightest to do with the display settings.

the new start bar is outright annoying to hell, the search is inelegantly solved and annot be put into the tray where it really belongs, no decent desktop switcher, startup times are longer than a fully configured linux.
The Expose copy is outright useless, Vista home allows you to backup for a restore you have to upgrade to ultimate, the wireless configuration is lousy as hell. The half transparent border effect causes motion sicknes... etc...

The only positive thing I really noticed is once it is loaded programs startup in no time, netbeans takes about 4 seconds openoffice around 3 and that on a 5200rpm notebook drive. There seems to be some serious app caching going on which optimizes the load times, especially java programs benefit tremendously from it. Tomcat 0.8 seconds, netbeans 4 seconds awesome.

Re:There are more things than aero which drain the (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993091)

Actually UAC isn't really idiotic, and it doesn't solve the problem in a way thats appreciably different than sudo. It basically does the same thing. The administrator account actually runs as a user, and the UAC will raise it up to administrator for certain tasks.

The thing with UAC is it shows all the security problems, in terms of ACLs and required permissions, that exist in Windows today. People find UAC annoying because they're using software which requires admininistrator privileges. They find it annoying because Windows requires admin privileges for the entire control panel, instead of making permissions more granular, and giving the user some control over his or her own settings. They find it annoying because their ACLs for files and folders are set up wrong.

In my uses of Vista, I see UAC pop ups in three instances: when I'm in the control panel, when I'm installing software, and when I'm running poorly coded software that assumes administrator-level privileges.

So I think its disingenuous to pan UAC when people should really be worried about the Windows security settings that are causing all these "UAC issues."

Re:There are more things than aero which drain the (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993391)

There are several problems with UAC, the main problem is that the dialog pops up constantly with old software hence basically renders the entire access control pointless! You cannot customize uac to the level that you basically say once uac has been granted to a certain app for a certain critical op, the dialog should not popup anymore, you cannot really trim it down in a significant way it is either uac full or no uac at all. The main problem in the way Microsoft solved the entir thing is, that the dialog pops up constantly, and after a while you simply hit the ok button without even thinking about it and reading the text, hence rendering the entire uac totally pointless. There would have been several ways to resolve this issue elegantly. a) Simply sandbox legacy apps in their own rootspace (jailroot them) and have no uac at all for them b) Make the UAC more intelligent in the way that it remembers the grants which have been given to an app during execution time instead of forgetting it From all possible solutions to deal with the problem Microsoft has chosen the worst one!

Re:There are more things than aero which drain the (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993471)

I can't say I've ever had UAC pop up more than once for a certain app or op. I wonder if it has problems if a process launches other processes? I know that I encountered problems with Macromedia installers on a Windows XP box using "Run As..." (which UAC is probably using at least partially), because the installer would launch other installers in such a way that the permissions for the new process dropped back down to user level.

I think there should definitely be a way to flag programs as "Don't show me UAC for this, just elevate." Maybe a check box on the UAC popup? But then again, there might be security issues there that I'm not seeing.

Re:There are more things than aero which drain the (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993111)

Thats interesting about the app caching btw. I've noticed Visual Studio and most .NET apps are zippy quick on Vista, but I figured it was because since Vista uses .NET a lot itself, that all the librairies were already in memory, but if it has the same effect on Java, MS must really have optimised something in there that helps such runtimes...

Re:There are more things than aero which drain the (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993427)

There probably are two factors. Microsoft probably preloads a load of .net dlls (I am sure the minute disk thrashing after the entire ui is there is partially caused by some of those things) but also it really seems they did a serious caching to ease the pain of apps which have to rely on a load of dependencies.

Re:There are more things than aero which drain the (1)

deviceb (958415) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993113)

lol.... so you do or do not like Vista? I could not tell.

Re:There are more things than aero which drain the (1)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993313)

Lets say it that way it is a step back from ubuntu and osx...

No suprise here - same for XGL or AIGLX (5, Insightful)

GroundBounce (20126) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992973)

I've started turning off XGL on my laptop when running on battery since it noticably eats into the battery life. This is really just FUD, it's not just a Vista issue.

Re:No suprise here - same for XGL or AIGLX (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993095)

That is what I was wondering. To be honest I expected Linux to not do well with battery life since power management hasn't been a big priority for Linux. I want to see OS/X vs Vista on an Apple notebook. Sort of an Apples vs Apples comparison.

Re:No suprise here - same for XGL or AIGLX (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993239)

It's not just Aero it's the way it hits the disk so much - it has processes in there that for example after writing to a directory it decides to scan the disk and cache the whole directory. Fine in theory but when you've got the disk thrashing for 5+ minutes at a stretch that eats battery on a laptop.

Switching all the search/cache crap off is really hard - there are several services you have to kill, and they're not all obvious.

I switched aero off after about a day. Non aero looks pretty identical to me and uses less memory/cpu.

ubuntu (1)

monte48lowes (629031) | more than 7 years ago | (#18992999)

I am curious how the bettery life compares for two relatively identical laptops with one running Vista (aero on) and ubuntu/kubuntu with beryl. Since Dell will be shipping laptops later this month with ubuntu Feisty it seems like a fair comparison...for battery life only. Mike

Re:ubuntu (1)

markbt73 (1032962) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993221)

Well, I don't know about newer laptops, but I have an ancient ThinkPad 380D running Damn Small Linux that has about twice the battery life it did in its former life as a Windows 98 machine. It seems like both the HD and the cooling fan run less often now.

In Soviet Russia.... (0, Redundant)

trailerparkcassanova (469342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993019)

Macbook drains YOU!!!!

It could be the sidebar (3, Informative)

bogie (31020) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993039)

Whenever you mouse over it, or anything basically happens with it your cpu gets spiked. I'd be interested in seeing if disabling the sidebar helps with battery life. Someone should also compare if certain widgets are causing problems.

Re:It could be the sidebar (1)

iceOlate (1094287) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993487)

It's not just when you mouse over the sidebar that the CPU spikes... Moving the mouse ANYWHERE causes it to spike... If I just move my mouse pointer around the screen in a circle, not touching the sidebar, the CPU will still spike up to as much as 30%. Hell, just editing the text in this window here (without moving the mouse) has caused the CPU usage to go up to as much as 7%. This is on a brand new Intel Core 2 Duo machine, with 2GB RAM. It does have a shitty Intel Integrated graphics card though with 384MB shared video memory, so that may have a bit to do with it.

Overall, I'm not impressed with Vista, and am only using it because it was pre-installed in the new workstation I'm using at work. I've also noticed major problems with the wireless configuration (connecting to the wireless access point) on a student's laptop here at the university. Problems that were never present in XP.

Disk indexing (5, Insightful)

Shados (741919) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993051)

The indexing is most definately one of the main issues, I'd dare say even more than Aero. I have 2 fairly noisy SATA drives in RAID 0 (on a desktop machine though), and since I've moved to Vista, they're driving me insane. I have more than enough RAM to turn off swap completly without any issues on Vista, yet I hear the disks scratching sound almost continually.

Thats the only issue I've had with Vista so I guess its not a big deal, but...

Don't you have to enable Aero manually? (3, Informative)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993057)

I don't know about notebook users, but when I purchased and installed Vista, Aero was not initially running. I had to go select it from the Themes area of the Display control panel.

So when they write the following:

When Aero is turned off, battery life is equal to or better than Windows XP systems. But with it turned on, battery life suffers compared with Windows XP.

Seems like more of an issue with educating users. Although, maybe someone will develop a miserly mobile GPU that's optimized for what Aero does.

Finally, this part of the article is a bit screwy:

Microsoft said it commissioned a study (click here for PDF) that found no difference in "responsiveness," or application load time, between a notebook with Aero disabled versus one running the fancy graphics: implying that Aero doesn't put too much of a load on the system.

I don't think the study implies that. It just says that application load time is unaffected. Aero's going to draw more power through the GPU even when applications are not being loaded...

Re:Don't you have to enable Aero manually? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993143)

It was on by default for me, but I had the Ultimate edition. I believe Vista will grade your computer based on its hardware and if its too low, then it will disable Aero by default.

Re:Don't you have to enable Aero manually? (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993271)

Yup. Crappy old video cards = no Aero. Why? Cause Aero actually uses the video card's GPU. If the GPU can't do it, Aero can't run.

In the couple of installs I've done on older hardware, the video card was the only thing that needed to be upgraded. I figure just about anything you can get at Fry's above $75 will work...

Re:Don't you have to enable Aero manually? (1)

Lazerf4rt (969888) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993325)

Damn, and I had just purchased a Core 2 Duo system with an NVIDIA 8800 GPU. And it disabled Aero. Kind of a slap in the face. :-) Oh well!

Re:Don't you have to enable Aero manually? (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993407)

Beats the heck out of my AMD X2 4200 and GeForce 7800 GT, so I think we can write this down to a problem with Microsoft's detection code.

Re:Don't you have to enable Aero manually? (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993445)

Well, you need the 8800 drivers. :-p

Vista was released before the Geforce 8800 wide availability, so you have quite high expectations. ;-)

You should be able to get them after a Windows Update check.

Yeah but (1)

Elkboy (770849) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993069)

The EU will maybe pass a law against minimum battery life or some such. Then there will be support for Vista!

Not so (4, Informative)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993125)

according to Tom's Hardware [tomshardware.com] . There is no difference in power consumption between XP and Vista w/ Aero.

Re:Not so (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993435)

Someone tell the batteries which are draining out!

Oh FFS (4, Insightful)

Cervantes (612861) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993149)

Sheesh... "If you run the spiffy, high-overhead, bells and whistles interface, you know, the one that uses more CPU and GPU, then your battery life may be shortened." Fucking shocking. I'm shocked. I had no idea that if I use my laptop more, and if I use more intensive applications, that my battery life would be shortened. Wow. I thought batteries, just, yanno, powered things for a set amount of time, and I could play games, burn dvds, run my wireless, and turn on Aero, and it would last exactly the same amount of time as it would if I just left it sitting there.

Seriously, the story here shouldn't be "aero drains your battery". It should be "For the first time since laptops became popular, MS is offering an OS that will actually last longer, when properly configured". Vista w/o Aero lasts longer on a laptop than XP. That's pretty damn impressive, actually.

And it really seems to work too (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993401)

Just got a new laptop for a professor. It claimed a 5 hour battery life but I'm always skeptical of such claims. Well, after a trip to Australia, he tells me it walks the walk. He said that the battery life was superb, easily working all day at a conference (being put to sleep during down times) with power to spare. That's with Vista on it with Aero enabled. Maybe you'd get even better battery life with Aero off, but it seems like there's nothing really to complain about as it stands.

Why ruin a good thing? (0, Flamebait)

beerdini (1051422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993191)

How long until someone loads Vista on a MacBook and compares run time?
Why would anyone want to ruin a perfectly good MacBook by installing Vista even if it is to compare run time?

Bad Drivers / Hardware? (4, Interesting)

coryking (104614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993205)

I'll probably get modded down for this, but who cares....

Since it actually puts your video card to good use, Aero makes things faster, not slower. Would you want your fancy game to use some generic CPU instead of all the specalized functionaly provided by your GPU? Why should your OS be any different? Unless your hardware sucked, you would be a fool to turn Aero off--it just makes your CPU do more work!

What this power consumption business really means is hardware manufacturers need to optimize the parts of the GPU that Vista uses so they consume less power. In a year, new "Vista-Ready" laptops will probably use the same, if not significantly less power than their XP optimized counterparts. Less power you say? Hell yeah! Vista has all kinds of goodies for power management that didn't exist in XP; my desktop computer now suspends itself to... something.. after 5 minutes and will instantly wake up. Dunno if XP could that, but it sure as hell didn't on mine. It was default behavior on my Vista install.

Further, Aero is definitly not eye candy and I'd even argue that it is the first version of Windows that *doesn't* have eye candy. The user interface is crisp, snappy, and far more elegant than anything before it. You barely notice the OS is even there; XP & 95 are very "in your face". I personally love Vista - I dare say that when running on proper hardware it really makes you feel the PC has come of age. All prior windows versions feel clunky in comparison.

I eventually shut off Aero - what a CPU hog. (3, Insightful)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993209)

I got a Compaq Presario laptop with Vista Home Premium about two months ago. It's not a killer laptop, just an Athlon Turion 64 at 2 GHz with 1 GB RAM, but it's sufficient for why I wanted a laptop. Just listening to MP3s through Media Player would shoot the CPU level up to a consistent 35-50% CPU utilization with Aero active. The battery obviously didn't last too long. I finally got so fed up with it that I shut off Aero, dropped the system back to a 2000/XP theme, and installed WinAmp. Listening to the same MP3s that way had the CPU going at around 5-10%. Even when I'm just using it for audio editing or photo editing, now I can use it for a few hours as opposed to about an hour with Aero active.

I will give Vista credit in that the laptop comes back very quickly from sleep mode whereas that never worked well for me in XP, but that's about it. Vista with Aero is the plant from "Little Shop of Horrors" -- FEED ME!!!

Re:I eventually shut off Aero - what a CPU hog. (1)

Osty (16825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993315)

I got a Compaq Presario laptop with Vista Home Premium about two months ago. It's not a killer laptop, just an Athlon Turion 64 at 2 GHz with 1 GB RAM, but it's sufficient for why I wanted a laptop. Just listening to MP3s through Media Player would shoot the CPU level up to a consistent 35-50% CPU utilization with Aero active. The battery obviously didn't last too long. I finally got so fed up with it that I shut off Aero, dropped the system back to a 2000/XP theme, and installed WinAmp. Listening to the same MP3s that way had the CPU going at around 5-10%. Even when I'm just using it for audio editing or photo editing, now I can use it for a few hours as opposed to about an hour with Aero active.

How long is "didn't last too long"? I have a ~2.5 year old Dell Inspiron 9300, 1.6GHz P4m, 2GB RAM (I upgraded for Vista), 7200RPM hard drive (upgraded for a small boost in speed), and an ATI x300 GPU with 128MB of onboard RAM (not shared with system memory). I use Aero Glass on that laptop all the time, and I still get 3.5-4 hours of battery life if I'm conservative with the LCD backlight. That's with the bigger 9 cell battery rather than a standard 6 cell, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that my battery usage in Vista is on par with my battery usage in XP before upgrading. In fact as far as I can tell the only hit I've taken to battery life is the natural degradation of the battery over time with use.

Re:I eventually shut off Aero - what a CPU hog. (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993365)

How long is "didn't last too long"?
Um ... "as opposed to about an hour with Aero active." :) I didn't get the higher-capacity battery because I won't use it on battery too often. But I've noticed a significant difference in battery life with Aero off. I guess I should have included the "YMMV" but I figured that would be implied.

Re:I eventually shut off Aero - what a CPU hog. (1)

coryking (104614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993321)

What video card did it have and did it have the latest and greatest drivers?

On good hardware with new drivers, things will be much more snappy with Aero on than off.

Re:I eventually shut off Aero - what a CPU hog. (1)

WidescreenFreak (830043) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993469)

GeForce 6150, I believe. (I'd have to check. The laptop is at home right now.) The most that I can share out right now with respect to video RAM is 128 MB. It should allow me to double that to 256 MB once I double the RAM to 2 GB. One of the first things I do with any new hardware is to upgrade all of the drivers and firmware as applicable. The only drivers that I needed to upgrade at the time were the wireless drivers, but I was connected to my wired network at the time so the wireless network was shut off.

Re:I eventually shut off Aero - what a CPU hog. (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993499)

Eeh...?? That's not Aero's fault, but has to be some sort of Compaq driver issue.

Why is pretty simple -- my Aero is not sharing your behavior.
I just checked on Vista: HD movie played at 10% CPU consumption with Aero Glass.

Mac OS X vs Classic (3, Informative)

mdarksbane (587589) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993211)

The same happened with the transition to Mac OS X. Although they have improved power management with the various upgrades, on my old tibook G4 I could get a half hour or more extra battery life running mac os Classic than I could in OS X.

Quick question (0, Redundant)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993227)

This will get buried under the imminent ~400 comments, but why would anyone use battery power run a known CPU/GPU intensive component that only gives eye candy?

If you want battery life, try selecting the less complex themes in Vista (e.g. look for Windows classic), and turn off many of the enhancements that run in the background, even if they would make long-term usage easier for you.

MS will eat your (battery's) soul! (0, Redundant)

Steve-o-192.168 (1096403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993241)

MMmmMMm Battery Souls (cells).

Vista Drains Our Patience (-1, Troll)

Ichthus777 (1037294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993269)

Well, it looks as if Micro$oft drains our batteries, our pocketbooks, and our patience. I vote for Open Source vs Vista Drain.

With or without ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18993361)

All the "crapware" on the typical out-of-the-box Windows laptop? Now that dual core is routine, the vendors are even less ashamed about adding bloat that burns only a few % CPU in the background. The load doesn't affect performance noticably most of the time (unless running something CPU intensive), but it is chewing through the battery watt-hours for little or no value.

I'm going to test this for myself! (1, Interesting)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993371)

My friend and I have the same laptop, with the same battery. I have an extra HD for my computer, I'm going to install Vista on mine and boot his and mine both to the desktop, and then unplug them.

Let's see which one dies first.


I will post my findings as a reply to this message...

From a MacBook Pro owner (2, Interesting)

theheff (894014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993393)

Vista (with Aero) battery life, under normal conditions, is about 2/3 of the battery life that I get when running OS X on my Core 2 Duo MacBook Pro. I've noticed that Vista does have very good CPU power-savings; it doesn't use full processing power until it is necessary. What I can't figure out is why XP/Vista makes the MacBook Pro run so much hotter. OS X definitely has the higher RAM usage, and CPU usage is nearly the same, yet OS X runs cool and quiet while both Windows installations I've had run warmer. Maybe it's a driver inefficiency or something... it also did this on a Core Duo MacBook I owned. Hmm.

Vista-ready (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18993405)

Wait... Apple's hardware is Vista-ready?

Does it have any sort of Vista logo testing at all?
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