Monday, May 3, 2010

Granola reduces computer power consumption by scaling the CPU

Granola is a safe to use power management software for x86 based systems, laptops, and PCs running Linux and Windows that reduces power consumption by the computer by automatically optimizing the system to use energy more efficiently without compromising performance or availability.

Granola does this by actually throttling the CPU speed when performing jobs that demand minimum processing power, so that the power used by the CPU is lowered. The user never notices the difference. According to benchmarks published on their site, Granola lowers total system energy use by 10-35% even when a system is 100% utilized.


The underlying technology behind Granola is called dynamic voltage and frequency scaling or DVFS. It allows software running on a computer to lower the power of the CPU without turning the system off.

When your computer is working hard (for instance, when you are playing a game) the CPU needs to be at full speed so that it can work effectively. When your computer is "relaxing" (for instance, when you are browsing a web site) your CPU can "dim" itself by slowing down execution without you noticing. In the lower state, the CPU consumes less energy, thus making your computer more efficient.

Using sophisticated workload modeling and prediction algorithms, Granola can determine when your computer is working and the CPU needs to be "bright" and when your computer is relaxing and the CPU can be "dim" without affecting your work. This allows Granola to automatically change DVFS modes to save energy when you can while still running at full speed when you need it. The software also allows manual control of “bright” and “dim” modes.

An informative screen lets you know how much energy, money, CO2 and percent of CPU energy you will save in a year, or the cumulative amounts you have already saved.

For Granola to work, your computer BIOS must support DVFS and it must be turned on. Most modern Intel and AMD boards support this feature. If your BIOS doesn’t support this, you won’t be able to use this software. Checkout the list of supported systems.

Related: BatteryCare, PowerSlave


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