Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life [solved]

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Petermint
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Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life [solved]

Post by Petermint »

What is the lowest power notebook processor to run Cinnamon and Firefox?

I am about to buy a new notebook. I do not play CPU or GPU intensive games. Cinnamon, Firefox, some Gimp image editing, and a little Bluray playback are the limit. Intel built in graphics should be fine. Long battery life with light weight are the priorities. Has anyone experience with the most recent notebooks?

14", 15". 4k not needed. I am happy to open the machine and install a terabyte SSD because most of my computing is disk intensive. From what I can see, a mid range i5 would give me heaps of power. There is a funny mix of regular and low power chips. All the speed reviews are aimed at games, not real computing. :D

I am marking this as solved. There is enough info to confirm that the Atom is a touch slow and I need at least the next model up. The replacement, Apollo Lake devices, are announced and not yet in the shops. I can wait a few months.

Jumping from a 2 core i5 to a 4 core i5 or from1.6 GHz to faster are both alternatives in the current market because so many ultrabooks have i5s and there is no difference in price, the big price difference is the screen size and disk size.
Last edited by Petermint on Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Longbottom
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Re: Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life

Post by Longbottom »

I run Mint 17.3 MATE on a netbook with an Atom N570 processor. Firefox works fine, just like most films and editing RAW image files, although practically no games (except for Open TTD - the only game I play) work. So I would say basically anything stronger than a crap atom processor is enough for Mint if you don't plan to play games or edit movies on it.

Petermint
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Re: Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life

Post by Petermint »

"crap" is technical term I am not familiar with. :D

http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu ... 40+1.66GHz
The Atom N570 has the same number of cores and clock speed as my i5. The Atom must have a good video processing section. I wonder if all Atoms are the same.

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Pierre
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Re: Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life

Post by Pierre »

if you plan on watching YouTube or similar videos,
then you will need a decent CPU, & probably at least 2Ghz
- you could get away with 2Gb ram, though.
but for Gimp. you would need even more RAM, for it to play with.

so now, you are looking more at a Laptop, rather than a Notebook.
:o
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Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
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Petermint
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Re: Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life

Post by Petermint »

2 * 1.6 GHz core is enough for the highest resolution youtoob I have viewed. It also works on the better resolution from Vimeo. In that speed processor, recent Intel i5 chips should have sufficient built in video for bluray. Certainly not true about 6 years ago. Back then you had to have an add on chip for bluray.

One problem with my current computer is the high power used by the old processor, 17 watts. The battery does not last long enough. New processors use less power. The Intel M-5Y70 uses only 4.5 watts. The Atom Z3795 has the same clock speed as my current processor, 4 cores instead of 2, and uses only 4 watt. One site says of the Atom Z3795: "video acceleration and display resolutions up to 2560 x 1600 pixels are no problem for the chip".

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Re: Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life

Post by Longbottom »

Petermint:
The Atom N570 has the same number of cores and clock speed as my i5. The Atom must have a good video processing section. I wonder if all Atoms are the same.
I wish :-) Doesn't matter how many cores it has, when the cores hardly do anything. Like all atom processors, it's weak (I'm getting a new one anyway, but that's because the machine is falling apart). HD video doesn't work - but 720p and lower resolutions run OK. Works considerably better now with Mint than before when I ran Windows 7 on it.

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Re: Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life

Post by Petermint »

OK, I need HD. Forget the Atom. Back to the i5. Or an i3 or M series. Has anyone used either for viewing HD video?

Or maybe forget it. I looked online for an ultrabook less than 2kg with HD. They all have at least an i5-6200u and that uses 15 watts. Currently there are no notebook manufacturers interested in doing anything other than copying each other.

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BG405
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Re: Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life

Post by BG405 »

Sorry for the essay! Didn't intend to ramble on. Just an insight into what the later Atom based machines are capable of ...

For in-browser video playback you'll need something with a bit more power than the Atom, mainly due to all the crap they load the pages with. However I have most scripts blocked and download the videos I want; these work fine including 720p on my netbook running KDE. That's when I'm not making people dizzy messing about with Wobbly Windows and other fancy desktop effects, or xscreensaver, or Google Earth etc.. the video still plays it's just (partially) hidden by the other stuff :mrgreen:

As an experiment a while back, I downloaded a couple of videos in 1080p mainly to see if the Dell would play them OK on the TV, which it does, flawlessly. Then decided to try them on the Acer (with the N570) playing them over the LAN. Didn't expect much but they did play OK on the netbook - video not the smoothest but watchable & excellent audio, no stuttering at all. Couldn't even play 720p with the old Win7 OS, on the same machine, from a local file.

Just played a windowed 720p video with all this lot running and CPU shot up to around 126% (?) but is dropping below 100% sometimes.
- GIMP open with 1 photo
- Kdenlive, idle but running - I just hovered over it & the preview window shows curent state. Preview window of Dragon (with video playing) - perfectly in sync & no significant CPU hit ... was also moving windows about with no noticeable effect. Desktop effects on as video player not in fullscreen mode.

The "Winter Linn" video by Clark (have I got this the right way round?) is a good test of video playback performance. On the Acer netbook it played perfectly just now, no tearing, perfect sync. both windowed and fullscreen modes. Other stuff still running.

ETA: Have now tested a 1080p video, both windowed and fullscreen. Very slight glitch part way through, think that's the video as it happened in the same place on the other machine, but barely noticeable.

CPU core temps both maxed out at +56.0°C.

The only issue is that after some recent updates Dragon Player is just a bit too quick to start playing; it's practically instant and there's sometimes a brief audio dropout within the first 250mS or so after you've played a few videos. Seems to be ok again after restarting Dragon Player. Something I have to sort out but subject for another thread.


This little gem handles GIMP fine, with 2GB RAM! And multi-tasking :D I have given it plenty of swap space, about 4GB. It's fine for basic stuff, suppose it would struggle with lots of layers or open images - most of my photos are around 4-5MB each, in JPEG form. I checked GIMP's RAM usage on the Dell last night with 4 images open and a few edits on each, it was using less than 1GB. There's currently one image open on the Acer and it's using about 3% of memory; not sure if that includes swap.

Firefox is the biggest memory hog; currently just over 20% with 148 tabs open in various tab groups. Not all "loaded", of course, but a fair few are. And to be fair, I haven't loaded the Facebook or YouTube tabs on the Acer so they are not actually using any significant resources. Firefox is currently averaging less than 5% CPU usage whereas Dragon Player is around 22.5% just sitting there not playing anything.

I also did a demo of Kdenlive down the pub last night, with the two videos I'm editing to have the video from one and the audio from the other & this didn't struggle at all. It should be noted that all this was done with Firefox running with quite a number of tabs open, this is also very responsive. GIMP also running ... along with a few other programs.

So, in conclusion, the N570 and above should be fine for most stuff, it's just the power consumption you need to consider, as stated. I get around 150-180 minutes with the original battery, would likely get a bit more if I reduced the screen brightness a bit. It's at 66% when on battery which is higher than it really needs to be when used indoors, especially in subdued lighting conditions.


Cinnamon actually runs OK on my Toshiba NB305 with a single-core Atom and only 1GB RAM, but Xfce is much more sutiable for that machine. However, I get around 5 hours with that one. Don't think it'll play HD video though, another thing to test later. So it's really dual- or quad-core you'll need. I'll give the Cinnamon HDD a try later and let you know how it performs on the Acer dual-core.


I can't help being impressed with this machine and have to keep reminding myself it's actually a netbook, especially given its former struggle with Windows bloatware. :mrgreen:
Dell Inspiron 1525 - LM17.3 CE 64-------------------Lenovo T440 8GB - Manjaro KDE with Mint VMs
Toshiba NB250 - Manjaro KDE------------------------K7S5A AMD 1.2GHz - LM17.3 Xfce 32 & WinXP-Pro
Acer Aspire E11 ES1-111M - LM18.2 KDE 64 ----Dell PII 350 64MB - Puppy 4.3 & Win98-SE

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Re: Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life

Post by Petermint »

Your machine sounds borderline good for my usage. I am checking the quality of videos out in the field to decide if they should be deleted or reshot. That occasional glitch might make me delete a perfectly good video. I need just one step up in speed to get reliable playback.

The new n3450 looks good and uses only 6 watt. 4 core. Slightly better graphics. Excellent memory speed. My current machine is still working. I might wait for something like the n3450 to hit the market.

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BG405
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Re: Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life

Post by BG405 »

The audio issue is only on start of playback. It's something I'm looking for a solution to as it didn't happen before recent updates, which speeded up player responsiveness. When I drag the slider back to the start the video always plays perfectly; the mid-file glitch is only with one video file. Hope this helps :)
Dell Inspiron 1525 - LM17.3 CE 64-------------------Lenovo T440 8GB - Manjaro KDE with Mint VMs
Toshiba NB250 - Manjaro KDE------------------------K7S5A AMD 1.2GHz - LM17.3 Xfce 32 & WinXP-Pro
Acer Aspire E11 ES1-111M - LM18.2 KDE 64 ----Dell PII 350 64MB - Puppy 4.3 & Win98-SE

Petermint
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Re: Cinnamon, Firefox,and battery life

Post by Petermint »

A problem like that startup audio would be ok if I was checking one file. I check a few. I will pay to get the extra speed to make sure that does not happen. There appears to be no real choice of hardware above the atom and below the i5. The few devices in that range have a screen that is too small or are missing something else. There are many i5 ultrabooks, giving me the right screen size and everything else. I just have to dump their disk and put a decent SSD in there.

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