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Thread: Battery life with Thinkpad T430

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  1. #1
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    Battery life with Thinkpad T430

    Hey Forums,

    I was wondering if anyone has experiences with the current T430 Thinkpads and Ubuntu 12.10 or 12.4.
    Background: I just got a X1 Carbon and was so disappointed by battery life - couldn't get idle power drain down below 12w when idling with reduced screen brightness, no radio and ubuntu 2d and after applying the common tweaks laptop-mode-tools, powertop GOOD things, and i915 kernel params stuff.
    This machine wouldn't last longer than 2-2,5 hours for my usage (web development).
    Long story short: I haven't given up Thinkpads alltogether and was looking at the larger devices. I like their keyboards, trackpoints and durability.
    Does anyone own a T430 and get good batery life with it? Please write your processor model, applied tweaks and powertop usage when idling.

    Thank you very much,
    Paul

    P.S.: Does anyone know if there is noticable differences in power consumption between the Ivy-Bridge i5s and i7s? I.e. i5-3210M, i5-3320M, i5-3360M, i7-3520M. Would I get significantly different battery life off them in day-to-day usage? I guess the faster processors draw more power at load, but they are also finished faster. So I supposed it comes down to idle power usage
    Last edited by pschyska; December 22nd, 2012 at 02:21 PM.

  2. #2
    offgridguy's Avatar
    offgridguy is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Re: Battery life with Thinkpad T430

    I know this doesn't answer your question but i have found with my thinkpad L512
    i get less Batt. life with12.04 than with windows 7.
    2 to 2 1/2 hours would be maximum for me.
    I have read other threads that suggest the same thing with other makes of
    laptops as well. I like ubuntu and continue to use it, but it is not easy on resources.

  3. #3
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    Re: Battery life with Thinkpad T430

    Yes, that seems to be a common problem.

    The T430 with 9-cell appears to be the notebook in my profile which has the highest battery life (94wh) though. If that's not enough you can even add another 94wh slice battery

    I'm kinda spoiled by the macbook pro's ability to run you through a working day on a single charge

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    offgridguy is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Re: Battery life with Thinkpad T430

    Quote Originally Posted by pschyska View Post

    I'm kinda spoiled by the macbook pro's ability to run you through a working day on a single charge
    Wow, i'm impressed, i had no idea that kind of battery life was available with a laptop.
    Do you know if the same would hold true for the macbook air ?
    edit; I noticed the P.S. of your original post, i am not sure if a more powerful processer
    would use significantly more battery. My understanding is that the monitor is the single
    largest user and depending on the amount of graphics you are using will draw proportionatly
    more power.
    Personally i don't like using a dim screen even though it saves power, i also don't
    like to slow down the performance even though that saves power as well.
    Last edited by offgridguy; December 23rd, 2012 at 01:45 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Battery life with Thinkpad T430

    I feel bad about getting someone attracted to apple devices in my first thread on this forums
    I've never used a MBA but I heard from friends and colleagues that the battery life is actually very impressive for a device this slim.
    I.e.: http://osxdaily.com/2012/06/26/batte...an-advertised/

    I'm afraid that this doesn't hold true when using ubuntu though When I installed Ubuntu on my machine the battery life dropped in half at least.
    I know the current Macs are very similar to PCs, but I can imagine there are some differences in the hardware still, and I guess the available drivers are not very good. When booting Windows on Macs, the battery life is allegedly not great either.
    The good battery life might be an effect of Apple controlling both hardware and software. I guess that's why the most PCs shipped with Windows have a worse battery life in Linux.

    OT: I'm looking at the Dell Latitude E6430. It's damn ugly, heavy but gets good reviews for battery life and keyboard, which are my main priorities.

  6. #6
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    Re: Battery life with Thinkpad T430

    I have an older thinkpad (T43p) and I compiled my own kernel with voltage tweaks enabled. I use PHCtool to undervolt and thinkpad fan control to lower the fan speeds as well as dynamic clocking the ATI video card. I still only get 2 hours on a 6-cell battery. Watt-savings when from 22-24 watts to 17-18 watts. At least now the battery life is on par with WinXP Pro. You can buy a battery that fits in the DVD bay. It roughly doubles battery life. So now you are at 4 hours.
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    Last edited by tgalati4; December 23rd, 2012 at 02:18 AM.
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    Unumquodque potest reparantur. Patientia sit virtus.

  7. #7
    offgridguy's Avatar
    offgridguy is offline Grande Half-n-Half Cinnamon Ubuntu
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    Re: Battery life with Thinkpad T430

    I have been looking at macs for some time now, this battery life factor for me is a
    huge selling point.
    As my username suggests, we live entirely off-grid, powering our home entirely
    on solar power. At this time of year power consumption is not a small issue.
    I could always curtail my computer use.

    The Dell sounds good too.

    edit: actually one reason i am interested in the MBA is another member in the forum thought the macbook pro was overkill, simply
    more computer than needed, and he is a far more advanced user than i.
    Last edited by offgridguy; December 23rd, 2012 at 02:39 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Battery life with Thinkpad T430

    Please consider that T430 uses an optimus-enabled VGA card. Did you installed bumblebee and try to turn the useless Nvidia card off via bbswitch to see how it affects on the battery life?

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