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Thread: Broadcom CrystalHD power consumption when idle?

  1. #1
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    Default Broadcom CrystalHD power consumption when idle?

    I just received one of these mini-pcie cards and stuck it in my netbook, after a little fiddling around I got it working brilliantly with mplayer, however it's idle power consumption concerns me...

    I typically can get up to 7.5 hours on battery on this machine (idling, of course), but with this card installed battery life is reduced by just over an hour, even when not in use.

    Having the kernel driver module loaded or not makes no real difference.

    Anyone else have any such experiences with this thing, or any advice/tips on how to truly "suspend" the card when not in use?

    ASPM is active, with L0 and L1 supported by the card according to lspci.

    At this rate I may end up ordering a mini-pcie to pcie adapter and just using it in my desktop instead...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadako View Post
    I just received one of these mini-pcie cards and stuck it in my netbook, after a little fiddling around I got it working brilliantly with mplayer, however it's idle power consumption concerns me...

    I typically can get up to 7.5 hours on battery on this machine (idling, of course), but with this card installed battery life is reduced by just over an hour, even when not in use.

    Having the kernel driver module loaded or not makes no real difference.

    Anyone else have any such experiences with this thing, or any advice/tips on how to truly "suspend" the card when not in use?

    ASPM is active, with L0 and L1 supported by the card according to lspci.

    At this rate I may end up ordering a mini-pcie to pcie adapter and just using it in my desktop instead...
    I've never considered a laptop to be a media playback machine. More of a "get work done" machine. I do have a crystalhd card, but in an HTPC, so I don't notice anything regarding power consumption on it. You might want to contact Jarod Wilson (expert on crystalhd driver) and ask him about it. His email address is jarod@wilsonet.com

  3. #3
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    I upgraded to kernel 3.0.3 (from 2.6.39.4), and actually thought this was "solved", as battery life was now reported as around 7.5 hours with the card, which is close enough to what I had before the card, but I just removed the card to check and without it battery life is now reported as just over 9 hours, an hour over the manufacturers' own over-estimated max, which is just nuts...

    I'm going to do a few full discharge tests with dpms turned off, without the card then with the card with and without module/firmware loaded, to see what battery life I can really get, I'll email Jarod Wilson about it then if I find a real difference like what's being reported.

    I don't think of the notebook as a media playback machine, but it's nice to have the ability, and I got sick of waiting for vaapi support for GM45 from intel, I travel a bit and it's useful to be able to watch a few downloaded 720p tv shows if I want.

    droidhacker: I presume you use the card with XBMC or similar, how do you find seek latency, it's the one "complaint" I'd have with it with mplayer, but given how it operates it's understandable, just wondering if it's any different with other players.

    Anyways, thank you for the reply, I'll update this thread with whatever I find from the battery life tests, in case it's of any interest to others.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadako View Post
    I upgraded to kernel 3.0.3 (from 2.6.39.4), and actually thought this was "solved", as battery life was now reported as around 7.5 hours with the card, which is close enough to what I had before the card, but I just removed the card to check and without it battery life is now reported as just over 9 hours, an hour over the manufacturers' own over-estimated max, which is just nuts...

    I'm going to do a few full discharge tests with dpms turned off, without the card then with the card with and without module/firmware loaded, to see what battery life I can really get, I'll email Jarod Wilson about it then if I find a real difference like what's being reported.

    I don't think of the notebook as a media playback machine, but it's nice to have the ability, and I got sick of waiting for vaapi support for GM45 from intel, I travel a bit and it's useful to be able to watch a few downloaded 720p tv shows if I want.

    droidhacker: I presume you use the card with XBMC or similar, how do you find seek latency, it's the one "complaint" I'd have with it with mplayer, but given how it operates it's understandable, just wondering if it's any different with other players.

    Anyways, thank you for the reply, I'll update this thread with whatever I find from the battery life tests, in case it's of any interest to others.
    Yeah, the seek delay sucks. I'm not sure what the source of that is, possibly it has to reset the decoder to seek.

    I use xine. I don't like XBMC since it is a bloated slow mess of GL. Why must they mix GL into a media player? What is the purpose????!?!?

    Which crystalhd chip do you have? 970010, 970012, or 970015? Last time I checked, which I admit was a while ago, the 970015 wasn't supported by mainline, but had to be built as a module. Has this been updated now?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by droidhacker View Post
    Yeah, the seek delay sucks. I'm not sure what the source of that is, possibly it has to reset the decoder to seek.

    I use xine. I don't like XBMC since it is a bloated slow mess of GL. Why must they mix GL into a media player? What is the purpose????!?!?

    Which crystalhd chip do you have? 970010, 970012, or 970015? Last time I checked, which I admit was a while ago, the 970015 wasn't supported by mainline, but had to be built as a module. Has this been updated now?
    I have the 970015, and yeah, it still isn't supported by mainline.

    Of course, I didn't know this at first, and went grep'ing through the kernel source checking for the pci id reported by lspci to figure out why the hell the driver wasn't identifying the card...

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