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Jacky247
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-06-2019
Location: DE
Views: 1,325
Message 1 of 15

T490 Battery Life Linux

Hey,

I was wondering if anyone has experience with the battery life of the T490 under Linux, especially Arch.

In reviews I'm reading something between 8 and 10 hours, but I guess that's when using Windows.

Is this true?

 

I recently bought a T490, and while using TLP, and measuring between 8-10W usage in powertop, I only get around 5-6 hours out of my unit, with light use.

When using more demanding apps like Firefox (especially Youtube), battery life drops to 3-4 hours.

TLP is in use, Nvidia kernel modules are disabled (the MX250 is unused) and I just want to know if this is normal?

chba6499
What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-27-2019
Location: US
Views: 1,017
Message 2 of 15

Re: T490 Battery Life Linux

I just received a P43s (which I imagine is almost the same computer with a Quadro GPU). Installed Ubuntu 18.04.1, same result as you. Installed most recent 19.04.3 Ubuntu, same result. Can't seem to get it below 9W idle, which is pretty bad. This is with GPU disabled. With GPU results in 20W usage. Reading about the T480, other people report 4-5W idle, so this desn't sound right.
Jacky247
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-06-2019
Location: DE
Views: 1,001
Message 3 of 15

Re: T490 Battery Life Linux

Hey,

I wasn't expecting any response any more to be honest, but I'm happy that there is someone who noticed the problem too.

 

Being totally aware that the listed battery hours are measured in a laboratory, I'm still very disappointed that they are so far off.

For now I switched to Windows 10 which is a shame. The whole experience really sucks. The device apart from the battery is nice thought, which is why I decided to keep it. Battery live under Windows 10 is considerably better than any linux distro I've tested. I'm at least getting something from 7 to 8 hours.

What you have to keep in mind is, that they are advertising 16 hours of battery life for the T490. If I fully charge my T490 and dim the display to the lowest (not off), in power saving mode, doing literally nothing, I will max out around 11 to 12 hours, so I feel like being lied to.

 

It's a shame that battery life under linux is so bad. I would be happy to at least get to know a reason for this, so I can understand it.

chba6499
What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎08-27-2019
Location: US
Views: 994
Message 4 of 15

Re: T490 Battery Life Linux

Have you tried BIOS changes? I'll try more experiments tomorrow, but I figured disabling most peripherals in the BIOS might do something.

timbba
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-25-2008
Location: FI
Views: 670
Message 5 of 15

Re: T490 Battery Life Linux

Did you get any results on disabling peripherals?

I'm having exact same battery life issues and I'm guessing that MX250 is guilty one: with or without kernel modules (nouveau or nvidia), I assume that MX250 is still always powered on. Bumblebee's bbswitch cannot power off MX250, so I'm having power consumption of 12-25W and 2-3 hours of battery life.
Jacky247
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎08-06-2019
Location: DE
Views: 651
Message 6 of 15

Re: T490 Battery Life Linux

The MX250 was the guilty one, yes. I'm sure you can definitely make it work somehow, but what's the purpose of a dGPU in a laptop that you can't use because it drains the battery.

I ended up returning the T490 and went for a X1 Carbon.

I have a really good battery life now with power consumptions between 3 and 8 watts.

timbba
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-25-2008
Location: FI
Views: 645
Message 7 of 15

Re: T490 Battery Life Linux

I want to preserve lightweight gaming support, so therefore I will not return my T490.

I'm hoping that nouveau or nvidia drivers will eventually support RTD3 correctly. Nvidia already announced support for RTD3 in their proprietary beta drivers, but annoyingly only for Turing cards Smiley Sad

One option though is that Lenovo will support disabling dGPU in BIOS. There is already a request for that asked here.

lakotamm
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-19-2019
Location: DK
Views: 584
Message 8 of 15

Re: T490 Battery Life Linux

Unfortunately, my T490 with MX250 has the same issue. It has grea battery life in Windows 10 and a poor one in Linux. If anyone has an idea how to fix it, please let me know.

lakotamm
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎09-19-2019
Location: DK
Views: 555
Message 9 of 15

Re: T490 Battery Life Linux

timbba
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-25-2008
Location: FI
Views: 538
Message 10 of 15

Re: T490 Battery Life Linux

For me, the solution in Pop!_OS discussion is not working perfectly. Even though blacklisting some of nvidia modules, the driver doesn't want to set the GPU to lower P-states than P8. This is not ideal: putting it to OFF should be the best option and P12-state the second best.

Pop!_OS solution puts the card to jump between P0 and P8.. at least on boot, it is P0 and then it drops to P8. However, I managed to get it to constant P8-state by adding this. 

$ cat /etc/modprobe.d/nvidia.conf 
options nvidia NVreg_RegistryDwords="OverrideMaxPerf=0x1"


But do you get the card to state P12? You can check it by nvidia-smi (below the card name Geforce MX250).

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