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Saving lots of power on your PC when idle and while you are using it (Read 2753 times)
electron
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Saving lots of power on your PC when idle and while you are using it
Jul 26th, 2011 at 5:26pm
 
On a lot of PCs the CPU will let you vary it's clock frequency when it is not being used, like when you are reading a web page.

This can be done automatically and you can turn the mode on and off easily. A lower clock frequency makes the CPU draw less power.

This is not simply a screen saver that turns off your monitor, although I hope you have that enabled too.

The places to find these settings are:

In Windows XP, these settings are found under Control Panel -> Power Options

In Vista, Control Panel -> System and Maintenance -> Power Options.

From those controls you can select a "power plan". Set it for Power Saver and then select Change Plan Settings.

Before exiting the Power Options applet, you can also click Change advanced power settings and then set the Hard disk -> Turn off hard disk option. Click OK, then click Save Changes.

Some CPUs may not let you do this, and some hard drives may not power down, you will have to watch it and check to see what happens with your Kill-A-Watt meter.

If it does work, when you walk away, it's saving you power. Even when you are working you are saving power if the CPU is not needed.

When doing something like playing videos or playing games it shouldn't reduce power, but if it starts to slow things down, just turn it off.

You also should check that your screen saver isn't using CPU and causing it to look like it's being used for something, pick a screen saver that doesn't use any CPU, but something that turns off the monitor.

Of course, it's best to turn off your computer when you're not using it for a long time. Turning your computer on and off doesn't require more energy and it won't wear it out more quickly. As a matter of fact it saves wear on the hard drive and fans.

The Energy Star people have a free program called EZ Wizard for XP that may help with changing settings
http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=power_mgt.pr_power_mgt_ez_wiz

Windows Download site has the FREE "PC Power Partner"
http://www.windows7download.com/win7-pc-power-partner/nryvionv.html

You can find other free programs if you look around.
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