Besides the processor the graphics card consumes huge amount of electricity. Above all, the latest high end graphics chips have presented a high energy consumption, which is needed to reach high levels of performance. In the desktop graphics cards the issue relatively easily by simply installed an extra power connector on the graphics board, so that the graphics card can draw power directly from the motherboard. Many motherboards can meet the energy needs of current graphic artists often no longer sufficient.
By using faster 3D graphics chip in the notebook segment although playable frame rates are possible in complex 3D games, but also consume these powerful and energy hungry graphics chips much power. For notebook users this means that the battery life is limited. Now the graphics chip manufacturers like ATI and Nvidia were asked to develop technologies that reduce these strong power consumption thus enabling longer battery life yet not to affect the performance. Called the ATI PowerPlay power management technology, the Nvidia counterpart PowerMizer it.
When one talks about to use a notebook on battery power, so often the ultimate goal is mentioned four hours to have full power available. The chemistry of the battery currently holds us back still. The battery technology has evolved in more but the big breakthrough that will be needed to lift the battery technology to the next level can not wait. In the meantime, we have found other ways to optimize the use of energy in the notebooks, while at the same time one has to do with the progress of the new notebook technology.
In the drivers of mobile graphics chips allow PowerMizer or PowerPlay options, the energy consumption manually in several steps. For example you the NVIDIA GeForce 4 Go between the three settings Maximum battery life, maximum performance and balanced, which is an interim solution to choose. The differences in performance that also imply a different power consumption with them are mainly achieved by the fact that the clock on the video card is lowered or raised depending on the setting. This needs the GPU less voltage. Both smaller and smaller voltage clock enable a power-saving mode.
With maximum battery life of the graphics clock is set as low as possible so that energy can be saved. This option is recommended especially if you are traveling only used Office applications such as Word or Excel, for graphics performance plays virtually no role and thus saves you a lot of energy. It was only in more demanding applications such as a 3D game, you should set the maximum performance. In addition, the voltage at low industry 1.575 V is lowered.
The power saving technologies and PowerMizer PowerPlay feature further than the so-called AC-detect that automatically switches to maximum power when a power outlet is on and switches to maximum battery life when the notebook over and draws its power from the battery. This option can also deactivate and apply the settings manually.
When one runs the Geforce 4 Go for maximum performance, so the entire system consumes a total of 42 watts. Even with a balanced attitude ie an intermediate solution between maximum performance and maximum battery life, the system consumed only 37.4 watts, representing a decrease of 12%. 25% of total energy consumption can be saved if one operates the Geforce 4 Go with maximum battery life. In this setting, the notebook uses only 33.6 watts, so you can extend the battery life by Œ.
In addition to extended battery life to power saving technology for video cards brings another positive effect with it. If one lowers the clock and voltage, the graphics card of course need not be the full cooling capacity of the cooler, which now has to rotate with less revolutions per minute. As a rule especially the active cooler on the video card, the processor and the motherboard chipset are the strongest noisemakers in the system. With the energy saving technology must not run at full capacity and thus also provides a quiet operation of notebooks. Also, the heat generated by the graphics card is so reduced.