Need to reduce ram / underclock cpu

I need to get the ram usage much lower in windows it currently sits at about 300mb idle. I'd like it to be at about 200 or lower. I already went in and disabled services it doesn't need, and it's running the basic interface and not using any themes. is there any way to set a max limit for windows to use? When the machine is first turned on the ram usage is low when idle . but the more I use it , the more ram it uses. so AT IDLE after an hour of use windows will be using more ram despite nothing different running from when it was first turned on. this is why I'd like to set a cap on it. I'm sure it's saving some sort of recently used file information or keeping the folders I recently accessed in the ram , but I don't need it to do that.

As for the cpu

Any recommended options for underclocking a laptop cpu with no bios options? The goal is to maximize battery life. You might say "the cpu only uses as much power as it needs and doesn't draw power at idle". Well the goal here is to prevent windows and other programs from maxing out the cpu in short bursts which makes the cpu constantly run hot , thus the fan on the pc is always running. The cpu gets upwards of 80c.

If I had a means to underclock the cpu to say 500mhz , it would take longer for it to do things , but it would only be a 3rd of the heat , thus the fan would remain off for longer.

What laptop are we talking about? My own Packard Bell ZG5 also didn't have any real options in the BIOS, but I flashed an unlocked InsydeH2O BIOS from its Acer cousin (same exact internals) and that gave ma a whole lot more. Still no multipliers etc though, but YMMV.

If you're using Windows, IIRC in most versions there should be an option to limit CPU speed or activity in the advanced power options (control panel -> Power -> I assume you know the way from here).
I don't have any Windows VMs installed at this point, otherwise I'd be able to look up and post the exact settings for you.

As for RAM, empty RAM uses just as much power as full RAM, so there's no gain there in terms of battery life.
Seeing as you never stated if you wanted to reduce the RAM usage to conserve battery or simply don't have enough RAM, I thought I'd mention that.

Enable Power Saver battery option, set screen brightness to 0, turn off wifi, get an SSD

Also I believe you can set a maximum CPU clock in windows

The OS takes all the RAM that needs and remember that free RAM is wasted resources (that doesen't mean that you should run with 99% RAM usage but you're getting too picky about it). 80°C at full load for isn't half bad for a notebook. If you want to limit the CPU you can try to go into the power management settings, go into the advanced and set the maximun clockspeed below 100% and see how it works. Esle if you're using Windows 10 and this method is not working put it into power saving mode (only available if battery is connected).

Yes this would be to maximize ram (only 1gb of ram)

The issue is , when the cpu is hot , the fan kicks in and is wasting the battery. The fan doesn't shut off till about 40c. So if I limit it's activity I can cool the cpu down at the expense of the machine taking a little longer to load things which I don't mind.

I've read some ssds will use less power over hdds , and that some use more.

While I don't have an ssd, could I use a pendrive and remove the hdd all together? The machine will boot to usb and I think a usb pen drive might use less power than a hdd.

It will be very slow I know , but will it use less juice?

Just get a 240gb SSD or something they're about $60, any SSD is going to use less power than a hard drive and be better in a portable device due to durability.

a Flash Drive only OS can work, but it would just be a pain to work with

This is a cheap junk netbook , I'm just trying to maximize battery when on my airplane trip watching movies. A 60$ ssd is worth about 59.99$ more than the netbook itself. lol

Usually a more aggresive CPU scaling is much more efficient that long sustained load at a lower clock speed. I've been testing it with Android phones and this approach has been working great. Also my laptop (specs in the profile) with a almost new battery (I keep it disconnected as much as I can) can pull off 5hrs on with 75% brightness and a W8.1 VM on it.

Ah well my netbooks battery is 7 years old. lol. the cost of the cheap replacement battery exceeded the cost I'm willing to blow on this old netbook.

Then go for USB I suppose, not sure on installing an OS to a thumbdrive, but you could keep like VLC downloaded and ready to install whenever you reinitialize the OS, if you use like an Ubuntu Live USB for simplicity

USB 2.0 for compatibility

64gb USB 2.0 drive is $13 here for a tiny one

If your notebook's battery is 7 years old I don't think you'll get that much far with any possible software trick.

Well I mean , a battery is a battery.

No matter how old it gets , the less load it has , the longer it'll last !

The battery can still HOLD it's charge. it doesn't loose any from just sitting , it just discharges faster because it's older. So anything I can do to make it discharge a little bit less with always help.

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Could just buy a new cheap netbook or something lol, or one of the various $100 windows tablets

well I leave tomorrow so I'm trying to make this work lol

That's a bit of last-minute planning indeed. Too late to look for a high-capacity aftermarket battery then. (which would have been my recommendation)

I think we've gotten as far as we can get. Reduce the CPU's maximum load in the power settings, keep the brightness as low as you can.

With regards to the HDD and USB drive, store the movies on the USB drive but keep the OS on the HDD and use the Power options to let it spin down ASAP. When it's not spinning, it's not using any power.

Boot it at the airport, put it in sleep and then keep it plugged in to the mains as long as you can.

Right now I'm trying to figure out how to copy the hdd to a usb drive. it apparently is very difficult to get windows onto a 32gb usb drive

I figure iof the hdd NEVER spins up it'll be much more power saved. But I'm not sure how much power a usb drive pulls vs a hdd

a usb drive will generally pull only about 400ma on average