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Difference Between ACPI and APM

Between ACPI vs APM

Advanced Power Management or APM is an old technology that aimed to provide power management capabilities to the computer and the user. Advanced Configuration and Power Interface or ACPI is a much newer technology that replaces APM among other things. For this reason ACPI is the preferred technology and APM is already considered as obsolete.

Even if APM is already obsolete, it still has its uses, especially in big companies where upgrades happen only after long periods. In these systems, legacy components are often the norm. For desktop users, where components are often up to date in order to provide excellent performance, APM has been forgotten in favor of ACPI. When it comes to software support, ACPI is supported in Windows 98 and higher while APM has been dropped in all operating systems since Vista.

ACPI is largely recognized as a replacement for APM replacing other functionalities that are far beyond the capabilities of APM. ACPI also encompasses the capabilities of MPS and the older Plug and Play features of the BIOS. Thus, ACPI is a more comprehensive solution to dealing with different hardware compared to the older APM.

A major design change between the two is in the manner they manage their jobs. APM is centered on the BIOS while ACPI is centered on the operating system. The design of ACPI gives more control to the operating system and provides better control of each component on the computer. It also allows for greater compatibility among the wide number of manufacturers, each with a huge number of products unlike APM where the implementation is largely different from one manufacturer to another..

Although ACPI has a wide array of advantages, certain issues can still arise on certain devices. When issues do arise, the quick and easy solution is to turn-off ACPI on your computer so that the device is allowed to function. The aggressive IRQ sharing of ACPI leads to fewer IRQ conflicts. But the same feature can also lead to performance degradation issues as well as unexpected computer behavior.


1.ACPI is the replacement technology to the old and obsolete APM.

2.ACPI is more compatible with newer hardware while APM is more compatible with legacy devices.

3.ACPI is more comprehensive compared to APM.

4.ACPI is centered on the operating system while APM is centered on the BIOS.

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