Battery performance on MSI Alpha 17

Hi, I have a brand new MSI Alpha 17

Running great on Endeavour OS.

One thing I am noticing is that I am gettting 4 hours instead the supposed 7 hours of office use I should be getting on battery.

Should I just tweak TLP? (I understand TLP is a working service on default installations) maybe use also powertop?
Or should I install or tweak something else for this specific MSI laptop?

thanks!

I’m using a MSI laptop myself. TLP is a must.
To help you measure the effect of your TLP tweaking efforts you can use powerstat from AUR (it works best without power adapter plugged in). I’m usually launching powerstat with these params: powerstat -d 5 1.
You can also use s-tui to see what you can expect when hammering the CPU under battery.
Undervolting can extend battery life and improve performance (when capped because of throttling).
You could also try slimbookbattery, and slimbookamdcontroller. I had good results with slimbookbattery.

1 Like

thanks @nate !
So, for the sake of time (I have a bunch of things to do today, including setting up ardour and jack), I could just install slimbookbattery and go with the GUI? that way I’d skip messing with TLP?

thanks!

Theoretically yes. I’d check the results with powerstat to make sure it worked.

I’m trying this on my HP laptop Ryzen 4700u. I see the powerstat command runs for 460 seconds or something. That’s a long time. You don’t leave it running that long do you?

it’s for generating a report. Yes, you have to leave it running for 460 secs. (less than 8 minutes), no big deal.

I don’t understand the report. It shows no watts being used?

Edit: Shows 99-99.8% idle?

Edit2: Guess that’s good then.

I usually don’t care for the report. I use powerstat for the real-time power draw to check if the power settings i just tweaked have the desired effect.
If you care for the report, then maybe running powerstat with other parameters might make more sense.

Is your computer plugged in? It shows the real power draw only when on battery.

I read that after and ran it a couple more times. It just doesn’t show wattage in the last column. I’m not sure how to read it. I have it set on low performance and i don’t notice it suffering any.

I only look at the last column.
Here’s how it looks if I have the machine plugged in. After 7 seconds I unplug it.

You can compare the power draw with the battery capacity. If you have a power draw of 15 watt, and a battery of 75wh you can expect 5 hours of battery usage.

The last column just stays at zero.
Edit: Tlp is installed but i never touched anything. So i installed what you had above.

Edit2: I didn’t have slimbook battery enabled. I try again.

@nate
Okay …now i got it working showing drawing quite a bit at the start but then after running for a while just idling it showed zero again. When i stopped it it had .019 average. I’m going to run it again full cycle and see.

It had mostly zero all the way until the very last two cycles. Then it showed this at the tail end of the second last cycle and last cycle.

18:04:14   0.1   0.0   0.4  99.5   0.0    1    536    704  11.01 
18:04:15   0.2   0.0   0.4  99.4   0.0    1    492    694  11.01 
18:04:16   0.4   0.0   0.1  99.5   0.0    1    507    634  11.01 
18:04:17   0.1   0.0   0.3  99.6   0.0    1    483    621  11.01 
18:04:18   0.5   0.0   0.6  98.9   0.0    1    959    921  11.01 
18:04:19   0.5   0.0   0.5  99.0   0.0    1   1011    950  11.01 
-------- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ------ 
 Average   0.5   0.0   0.4  99.0   0.0  1.3  990.4 1012.2   1.31 
 GeoMean   0.0   0.0   0.0  99.0   0.0  1.2  702.5  856.6   0.00 
  StdDev   1.0   0.0   0.4   1.5   0.1  0.5 1399.5 1014.6   3.11 
-------- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ------ 
 Minimum   0.0   0.0   0.0  88.6   0.0  1.0  355.0  563.0   0.00 
 Maximum   8.4   0.1   3.2  99.9   0.4  4.0 11872.0 12036.0  11.01 
-------- ----- ----- ----- ----- ----- ---- ------ ------ ------ 
Summary:
System:   1.31 Watts on average with standard deviation 3.11  
Note: Power calculated from battery capacity drain, may not be accurate.
[ricklinux@eos-xfce ~]$ 

Edit: It’s a 3 cell internal 41 watt hr battery. HP website shows 8-9 hours battery life but i think running on performance it won’t get anywhere near that unless it’s on energy saving somehow.

I get almost same results with slimbookbattery on Energy Saving and off

ENERGY SAVING:


Average 4.7 0.0 2.2 93.1 0.1 5.1 11022.4 6944.7 23.74
GeoMean 3.6 0.0 1.9 93.0 0.0 5.0 8999.2 5991.0 23.68
StdDev 3.2 0.0 1.1 4.2 0.0 1.3 6646.1 3630.6 1.65


Minimum 1.2 0.0 0.8 83.0 0.0 3.0 3574.2 2718.3 21.75
Maximum 12.2 0.0 4.7 98.0 0.2 8.0 28562.5 16243.4 27.35

OFF:


Average 5.0 0.0 2.5 92.5 0.0 1.8 13338.8 8110.7 24.48
GeoMean 4.5 0.0 2.3 92.4 0.0 1.5 11848.2 7495.6 24.40
StdDev 2.2 0.0 0.9 3.1 0.0 1.6 6967.2 3440.0 2.09


Minimum 1.6 0.0 1.1 84.5 0.0 1.0 4539.2 3516.9 22.34
Maximum 10.7 0.0 4.7 97.2 0.1 8.0 33657.0 17981.3 30.51


Does this mean it really is not doing anything?

Hard to tell, if you use external monitor or other peripherals, they might increase the power draw irrespective of the power setting. Also try to fiddle around with the power settings for each profile (advanced mode).

Did you try installing slimbookamdcontroller? My experience is only with Intel CPUs. Maybe AMD does things differently.

My power draw is around 20 watt. If I disconnect the external monitor attached to the HDMI port I get only 15watt power draw, and if I also disconnect the usb3 hub, which itself has another monitor attached to it, I get around 7-10 watt. I din’t see much change when switching from performance to energy saving, but this is because the CPU has a good power management out of the box, and because there is a factory preset prower profile that kicks in at hardware level when operating on battery.

As I said in my first post, undervolting gives you a good result performance and power wise. I got my CPU boost frequency to increase with 400 or 600 mhz (can’t remember now), it being initially limited because of the maximum allowed power draw from the factory. Reducing the voltage allows more performance in the allowed power budget, not to mention it keeps the CPU cooler, and hence the whole system more silent.

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