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Friday, June 02, 2006

Battery Life: Intel Celeron vs VIA

Kevin at JKOnTheRun has posted a Battery Use/Life comparisson between these two processors. This is his conclusion:
It appears that the Intel Celeron configuration is slightly more efficient than the Via setup from this preliminary analysis.

Kevin, I think you got a very wrong conclusion this time. Lets do a little bit of math.

29 Wh in Q1/26 Wh in eo = 1.11 (around 11%)

Now lets take one of the readings:

11.3 in eo/10.0 in the Q1 = 1.11 (around 11%)

So, from this simple operation you can conclude/see that both processors are consuming the same amount of energy. But...and here is the good part, if you check your Q1 processor performance, you will find that your processor in entering in what is called C3 State. Processor have 4 states of power saving, in the first 2 states C1 and C2, the processor is not saving almost any battery. After that you have C3 state where the processor save around 10 to 15% of battery compared to one processor that does not enter C3 state. Processor should enter in C3 state when the processor is not used heavily. The last one is C4 state; this gives the maximum of battery saving but to be honest. I only have seen this C4 state mentioned in some articles. I have not found a notebook with this state listed in the Performance Monitor Tool.

The Q1 enters and works in C3 state, while the eo does not enter at all in this state due to bad configuration of the VIA processor in these devices. So the right conclusion would be that the VIA processor installed in eo/PlaceBlade is around 15% more efficient from the point of view of battery saving than the Intel Celeron installed in the Q1. But unfortunately, AMTek has not done a good job at all implementing these processors in these units.

There are other numbers on that comparisson that are very interesting, for example. With brightness set at minimum both UMPC use almost the same amount of power. If the USB controllers are disabled in the eo these units enters in C3 state and having the processor working in that state you can see how the VIA processor becomes 13% more efficient than the Intel Celeron installed in the Q1. The reason why the VIA processor does not enter in C3 State is due to a bug in Windows XP SP2 that stops processor from entering in this state if an USB device is connected. In the case of the eo, the WiFi and BT are just usb cards connected to the main board. This is why to have the eo entering in C3 State we had to disabled the USB Controllers.