Abstract

The utility of a portable computer is critically dependent on the period it can be used while running off the battery. In this paper, we present a study of power consumption in Apple Macintosh computers. We measure the existing power consumption for each system component using built-in measuring tools. Since total power consumption is a function of user workload, we use eight user workload traces to determine power use as observed in practice. Apple currently implements some simple power-saving features, and the effectiveness of those features is estimated; we find typical power savings of 41-66%. After the use of basic power-saving techniques, we find that the major power users are the backlight (25-26%), the CPU (9-25%), the display (4- 17%), the video circuitry (6-10%), and the hard drive (4-9%). We then evaluate possible changes in system hardware and software with regard to the power savings they might offer.