Summary: Linux Battery Saving options are not so automatic. Battery life may be poor. These steps may help.
Details: While modern Intel CPUs use P-States to keep CPU power levels optimum, I have found it does not take into account if the PC is running on AC or Battery Power. This causes rapid power drain - even when doing mundane tasks (i.e. browsing, email, writing, not gaming).
Activate POWERSAVE governor (Many kernel configurations have PERFORMANCE as default)
Apply POWERTOP application --auto-tune option
And some more obvious ones
Disable unused features, i.e. Bluetooth
Suspend unused system processes
These items more than doubled available battery time from just under 2 hours, to over 4 hours.. The powersave governor reduces the CPU frequency, and the powerertop application optimizes acpi settings.
These commands may help (your distro may have init scripts for this, but in case:
$ echo "powersave" | tee /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu*/cpufreq/scaling_governor
courtesy Slackware rc.cpufreq init script
$ powertop --auto-tune
YMMV but I hope this information is useful. Perhaps there are comparable settings for AMD processors.
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