I have been curious how opensuse works on my new laptop and how it compares to Windows 7 in practical usage regarding powermanagement. So I decided to make a small test and find out using a dual boot setup with the operating systems installed on separate partitions.
Windows 7 professional 64-bit SP1, updated with all default recommended windows update patches, HP Power Assistant with a maximum powersave setting plan when running on battery
OpenSUSE 12.1 64-bit LXDE desktop, updated with Yast all default recommended patches, powertop all suggestions activated as recommended by the tool
HP ProBook 4530s, i2410M, 8Gb RAM, 320Gb harddisk, BIOS F.0A, intel HD 3000 graphics, 15" display, Atheros Wi-Fi/BT combo, Realtek LAN, Ericson LC2010 WWAN, Liteon Webcam, Nec USB3 hub, fingerprint reader (disabled in BIOS), HP multi DVD/CD-R/W optical drive
Operating on battery, minimum screen brightness, connected online using WWAN 3G network, disabled BT/WLAN in network manager (opensuse) / HP connection manager (windows)
opensuse 12.1 (powertop/lm-sensors)
firefox browsing: 13.4-19.2W, temp 42-45 deg C
skype: 24.4-25W, temp 50-51 deg C
windows 7 (HP power assistant/realtemp)
firefox browsing: 8.5-13.1W, temp 36-39 deg C
skype: 13.1-14.2W, temp 42-44 deg C
It is quite clear that the Windows 7 setup uses considerably less power and generates less heat. The software tools might not provide a 100% reading at all time but at least gives a approximate idea on power/heat situation.
What can I do to make opensuse more power efficient and preferably to same as Windows 7 level?