Fedora 35: Excessive Pipewire Battery Usage

Been following through several of the power performance threads here, and I’m at a pretty happy state with my laptop. Currently around 5 - 7 W of usage on battery while doing basic web surfing.

One problem that I have noticed while monitoring my powertop is that the audio will occassionally use up to 2W even when there isn’t any sound.

I went through the #fedora IRC channel and someone mentioned that occssionally pipewire gets into a looping state and to restart it.

After restarting, I noticed that the utilization dropped significantly. It’s not a perfect solution, as I have some volume control errors after doing the restart.

Here’s the command to restart pipewire:

systemctl --user restart pipewire-pulse.service

If anyone else has also experienced this, would like to see what you have done.

I experienced something like this on Ubuntu (I had replaced pulseaudio with pipewire). I didn’t check the power draw, but I noticed that pipewire would occasionally use too much CPU. Like you, I was able to solve the issue temporarily by restarting pipewire-pulse.

In my case, multiple active audio streams would appear in pw-top, if and only if pipewire was using too much CPU. IIRC, the programs responsible were speech-dispatcher and speech-dispatcher-espeak-ng. I uninstalled these because I never use text-to-speech, problem solved.

Try the pw-top command when pipewire is acting up. If that doesn’t help, maybe some of the commands listed here might help?

Good luck.

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Wow! I found the exact same problem with speech-dispatcher like you did. I didn’t know about pw-top.

I don’t use text-to-speech either, so I’ve removed that package and I hope that may fix my need to reboot. Thanks for your help!

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