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Notes on Power-Saving Mode
AC97 and HD-audio drivers have the automatic power-saving mode.
This feature is enabled via Kconfig CONFIG_SND_AC97_POWER_SAVE
and CONFIG_SND_HDA_POWER_SAVE options, respectively.
With the automatic power-saving, the driver turns off the codec power
appropriately when no operation is required. When no applications use
the device and/or no analog loopback is set, the power disablement is
done fully or partially. It'll save a certain power consumption, thus
good for laptops (even for desktops).
The time-out for automatic power-off can be specified via power_save
module option of snd-ac97-codec and snd-hda-intel modules. Specify
the time-out value in seconds. 0 means to disable the automatic
power-saving. The default value of timeout is given via
CONFIG_SND_HDA_POWER_SAVE_DEFAULT Kconfig options. Setting this to 1
(the minimum value) isn't recommended because many applications try to
reopen the device frequently. 10 would be a good choice for normal
The power_save option is exported as writable. This means you can
adjust the value via sysfs on the fly. For example, to turn on the
automatic power-save mode with 10 seconds, write to
/sys/modules/snd_ac97_codec/parameters/power_save (usually as root):
# echo 10 > /sys/modules/snd_ac97_codec/parameters/power_save
Note that you might hear click noise/pop when changing the power
state. Also, it often takes certain time to wake up from the
power-down to the active state. These are often hardly to fix, so
don't report extra bug reports unless you have a fix patch ;-)
For HD-audio interface, there is another module option,
power_save_controller. This enables/disables the power-save mode of
the controller side. Setting this on may reduce a bit more power
consumption, but might result in longer wake-up time and click noise.
Try to turn it off when you experience such a thing too often.