[Mageia-discuss] Why would runlevel 3 take more power?

Norman Carver carver at cs.siu.edu
Mon Oct 3 03:35:44 CEST 2011

Set up a new server for home use (DNS, files, etc.) and
was gratified to find it using around 50 watts when the
older machine it replaces was using around 90.
However, just before sticking it in the closet, I changed
it to runlevel 3 since I won't be using the GUI typically.
I had assumed this might reduce power usage a bit
more, but surprisingly it caused the power draw to go UP
by about 3 watts!  I thought it a fluke, but verified that
this is a real phenomenon:  the machine draws about
3 watts less when X and KDE are running than when
they are not.  Seems like running more processes should
cause more power usage.  Any ideas what might be
causing what I see?  Odd.

I note that:
(1) I set kernel scaling_governor parameter for
each core to ondemand for any runlevel;
(2) whether logged into KDE or just sitting at the
DM the power usage is stabilizes at the same level
when in runlevel 5;
(3) I have not made any power settings in KDE and
the power applet is not running;
(4) runlevel 5 has all the same services as runleve 5
plus: dm and atieventsd.

Thanks for any insights!

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