Poor battery life on XPS 13 9310

I am trying to figure out why my battery life on my XPS has gotten so bad lately. I used to be able to use my computer on my lunch at work on Thursday, take it home all weekend and come back Monday and there will still be some charge left in it. It could be at roughly 15-20% after a 3 day weekend.

However. I can not go overnight without the battery being completely dead.

This is quite disappointing when compared to the battery performance I used to get.

Anyway, Is there a command you can use, or a flag you can add to the ps command or some tool that will allow me to see which processes are using the most battery?

I also do not have any applications running right. This computer has been sitting on my desk beside me suspended. Every few minutes though, it will flash to the lock screen for a few seconds, and go back to sleep.

Can anyone point me in the direction I can look to see what is keeping my computer awake/causing poor battery life?

I used to leave this thing on the Balanced power profile. Now I have to leave it on Battery Saver pretty much all the time to get any reasonable time on the battery.

This may not be a Fedora issue and may be a Dell issue but I would like to see what I can find with software first.

I can add to the empirical evidence: I have a new Dell XPS 9520 15" laptop (i7-12700H) and the battery life under Fedora is miserable. Admittedly I have a lot of Firefox windows and tabs (like well over a hundred tabs loaded although many have been put into low energy/suspended mode) and a couple of Chrome windows (12 tabs). I’m mostly watching YT vids and keeping tabs on various Linux forums… I seem to be only getting around 1.5 hours battery life max. In the worst case I’ve experienced so far the battery level was going down 1% about every 40 seconds!

I did put it to sleep once overnight while on battery power and the next morning it had drained the battery. It’s typically plugged into the mains.

On Reddit it looks like 4-5 hours is a typical usage on battery poiwer. That’s probably running Windows.

I’ve made the machine dual-bootable into Windows 11. I should see if there’s a measurable difference between the two operating systems, and I should probably close all these windows and tabs!

In the survey that Dell asked me to respond to I gave the XPS 9520 very high marks, except for battery life. Then again it does have a power-hungry Intel chip with 14 cores so maybe it’s to be expected.

The battery life can be there. As I mentioned I used to take it home on a Thursday and it be good sitting in my backpack all weekend and still had a slight charge on Monday morning.

I’m not sure if it’s a package I have downloaded or the BIOS update that I had a few weeks ago that killed that great battery life.

I may reinstall and see if that helps but I am trying to avoid doing that if I can find something simple.

I got the Developer edition from Dell that came from them with Ubuntu on It.

Not sure if they make changes to the BIOS for that one compared to Windows machines or not.

I realize this is an old thread but as I usually lag a model or two behind I just upgraded my Kaby Lake XPS 9370 (8th gen) to a Tiger Lake model 9310 (11th gen). The quality of the XPS 13s is in freefall and I actually still get a far better experience with the older 8th gen series in performance, heat, and battery life. I’ve done a few things to performance tune in Fedora 39 and have a few notes for the record:

The 11th gen really wasn’t much of an upgrade so they basically just forced overclocking in efforts to show better performance. Even the move from 14nm to 10nm fabrication didn’t help much and I don’t see much better native performance except when using newer features like AVX512, better GPU, etc. The 4.1Ghz overclocking of Turbo Boost causes major battery and heat issues. They also tried to make the fans quieter, probably because of complaints from previous generations’ fan noise. This causes major performance issues especially with Intel Turbo Boost enabled which sets max 4.1Ghz speed on the CPUs. I have disabled Turbo Boost in the BIOS because this machine clearly can’t handle 4.1Ghz. The normal 2.8Ghz is the sweet spot.

Intel’s cooling is still handled by the compromised and defunct Management Engine subsystem and possibly QST which means the OS tuning profiles don’t have much control over actual CPU speeds or fans. Earlier systems before QST had the ability to manually override higher PWM fan speeds which was nice and easily set with tuned profiles.

Systemd-powerprofilesd was renamed to power-profiles-daemon recently in Fedora and this is the tuning system used from the battery widget when you set profile to Power Save / Balanced / Performance. These profiles are a good start but they don’t do nearly enough to help battery life. I continue to disable/mask that service and use good old tuned/tuned-adm instead which yields much better battery life and performance.

Common complaints also include the uncontrollable CPU throttling down to 800Mhz when the battery is low. This happens within the ME/QST subsystem and can’t be overridden by the OS tuning profiles which is a major frustration. This apparently happens even while you’re plugged in if your charger isn’t powerful enough. Bottom line, the system requires too much power even for the charger so Intel put safety in the firmware to ensure a system wouldn’t run out of power even on a charger.

The whole experience is not ideal and you can see why Intel is struggling lately.

sudo systemctl mask power-profiles-daemon
sudo systemctl enable --now tuned
sudo tuned-adm profile laptop-battery-powersave

Adjust the profile as necessary and/or add this command to the power events.