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If i switch my os to linux, will i save electricity?

by lraearl / February 28, 2009 11:20 AM PST

i am currently running xp on my hp desktop replacement laptop (pavillion zx5040us), which has an intel pentium 4 2.80ghz processor, 512mb of ram, an ATI mobility radeon 9200 graphics card, a broadcom 802.11b/g WLAN wifi adapter, and a 60gb hard drive.

also, if i switch, will i be able to manage my memory better? will i be able to use the potential of my processor, as well as the potential of the other components listed above, better? will my boot up times be faster?

also, i ask the same questions if i were to dual boot it with my xp. im sorry if i didnt ask my question well or if i didnt give enough details.

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Linux and your electric bill
by white-bread / February 28, 2009 12:49 PM PST

I don't know about the electric bill part.
Yes, memory management is better.
Yes, you can use the CPU to its full potential.
Yes, boot time can be faster.
Yes, you can dual boot.

There is a howto on here for repartitioning the drive without destroying information.
You may want to install Linux in a virtual machine so that you can adjust to it before installing it physically as a host.

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yes i already know that you can dual boot linux with windows
by lraearl / February 28, 2009 12:56 PM PST

i guess i didnt ask the question clearly. would i have the same benefits if i was going to dual boot it with windows rather than completely replacing windows with linux?

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Very good point.
by FrankQC / March 11, 2009 12:38 PM PDT

White-bread is right.

Boot times -CAN- be faster if you know how to optimize the Linux distribution. Memory management is better and you can dualboot with it.

Another strong point was the Virtual Machine. It's always good to screw around Linux in a Virtual Machine before doing anything too drastic as main OS.

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No..but you might have more fun.
by ahtoi / March 1, 2009 3:46 AM PST

and you know what they say about having might not turn off that computer which will end up using more electricity. But..on the other hand, your problem maybe more than just difference in OS. usage. Good luck to you.

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does not save electricity....
by ggmittal / March 10, 2009 3:24 PM PDT

i don't think installing linux in any way can save electricity.

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Saving power
by 3rdalbum / March 13, 2009 10:46 PM PDT

You might save a little bit of power by having nonfunctional wireless... sorry if that remark sounded cryptic. Broadcom wireless cards are notorious for not working well with Linux.

Your memory will be managed better than Windows XP, but remember that you'll be comparing the latest Linux distributions with an 8-year-old operating system; the latest Linux distributions will actively use more memory than Windows XP. 512mb will get things running.

You've got a Pentium 4 2.8GHz processor - your processor doesn't have a lot of potential that won't already be usable in Windows. Having said that, you experience a lot less full-system-slowdown on Linux due to better scheduling of tasks.

If you ran anti-virus on Windows XP, or if you've been running that particular copy of XP for a long time, then your bootup times will be faster on Ubuntu. If not, then they will probably be slower.

Dual-booting with XP doesn't change the answers - if you choose the "Linux" item in the boot menu, the computer will work just the same as if you had wiped Windows and installed Linux as single-boot. If you choose the "Windows XP" item in the boot menu, the computer will work just the same as if you'd never installed Linux.

As for power use, I'm not sure about whether the latest Ubuntu or one of the latest distributions will beat the 8-year-old Windows XP for power use. One positive feature on Linux is the Powertop program, which will be available from your distribution's package manager. This program counts the number of times your CPU "wakes up" from power-saving state per 10 seconds, and gives you suggestions on how to minimise the number of wakeups. Fewer wakeups means better energy efficiency; if you run Linux on a mobile device, you should use Powertop and check out the suggestions at

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