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I'm a linux noobie, I've recently installed Ubuntu 12.04 on my notebook but I'm not happy with the CPU usage. When I'm doin nothing CPU is always not below 7%, when I launch a program or open the home folder the CPU usage spikes to 100%. This is draining my battery faster.
When I'm on Windows 8 CPU is 0 to 1% when I'm using Metrotexual (a text editor with syntax highlight).
On Windows 7, CPU usage is more like that of Windows 8. I thought Windows 7 was bad....

I triple boot Ubuntu 12.04 with Windows 8 and Windows 7.

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It might be normal.

There are a several of possible issues:
  o the default "unity" desktop environment can be "demanding"
  o your laptop hardware may not correctly report some power management options
  o the kernel may not correctly recognise your laptop hardware power management options

The kernel support for different hardware has been improving over time so a newer OS version might help. It might also be possible to manually configure your system to reduce problems.

You could ask on the ubuntu forums (with details of the notebook you're using).
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