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Can Ubuntu Linux Consume Less Power Than Windows?

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the need-more-hamsters dept.

Power 225

An anonymous reader writes "Now that the big Linux kernel power regression has been solved it looks like Ubuntu 11.04 can compete with Microsoft Windows 7 in terms of overall power usage. New tests revealed by Phoronix show the power consumption of Ubuntu 11.04 vs. Windows 7 operating systems. On a range of different systems, the power consumption of the Linux OS was comparable to that of Windows except for a few select workloads and systems."

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Yes it can. (1)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612258)

Any more questions?

Re:Yes it can. (0)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612346)

My more-than-double battery life would suggest that you are correct.

Re:Yes it can. (2)

nemasu (1766860) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612398)

MacGyver??
Heck, even if your battery did by chance run out, you could probably just make one from some gum, a few lemons and a couple pieces of metal.

Re:Yes it can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612532)

You don't need the gum.

Re:Yes it can. (3, Funny)

carpenoctem63141 (2266368) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612624)

Yeah, but if you don't have it, your only other option is to kick ass.

Re:Yes it can. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612798)

If I want the lemon battery to stick to the laptop I do.

Re:Yes it can. (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612804)

What do you use to attach the wires to the electrodes?

Duct tape, obviously. (1)

CSMoran (1577071) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612994)

... it's so default, you don't have to list it.

Re:Yes it can. (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612862)

Why would you use meat in a battery?

Oops, misread metal... but a meat battery still sounds like something good for a zombie movie.

Re:Yes it can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613114)

You've never watched The Matrix then? That has something in it about meat batteries.

Re:Yes it can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612664)

I've never seen this happen, video demo??

Re:Yes it can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612424)

I think so. They should have done a test where they switched off Aero desktop and replaced Compiz with Metacity. The results for that would have been interesting too.

Re:Yes it can. (0)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612558)

No, it can't. It only can cause the computer to consume less power.
</pedantic>

SCNR

(Oh, and to enter extra pedantic mode: Of course, power cannot be consumed. :-))

Re:Yes it can. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612734)

(Oh, and to enter extra pedantic mode: Of course, power cannot be consumed. :-))

Yeah, but my power bill doesn't have a line item for "energy provided for conversion into another form".

So, for purposes of discussion, the heat, light and mechanical action it turns into is "consumption".

Re:Yes it can. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612868)

(Oh, and to enter extra pedantic mode: Of course, power cannot be consumed. :-))

Yeah, but my power bill doesn't have a line item for "energy provided for conversion into another form".

So, for purposes of discussion, the heat, light and mechanical action it turns into is "consumption".

However, I guess you are billed kWh (i.e. energy), not kW (i.e. power).

Re:Yes it can. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612942)

(Oh, and to enter extra pedantic mode: Of course, power cannot be consumed. :-))

Yeah, but my power bill doesn't have a line item for "energy provided for conversion into another form".

So, for purposes of discussion, the heat, light and mechanical action it turns into is "consumption".

Oh, and before I forget it. You don't pay them for consumption, you pay them for delivery. You still have to pay them immediately if you put the energy into a battery for later use.

Re:Yes it can. (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612812)

No, it can't.

I swallowed a battery earlier today, and I think that proves you wrong. Also, grrrkfa;dlsjdkafjsdiedjiruacvnc

Re:Yes it can. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612966)

No, it can't.

I swallowed a battery earlier today, and I think that proves you wrong. Also, grrrkfa;dlsjdkafjsdiedjiruacvnc

You are Ubuntu Linux?

Re:Yes it can. (1)

erinpolerimos (2213640) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613004)

I guess he is. :D

Re:Yes it can. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612710)

It can compete, but can it win
And does it blend?

So then, the answer... (1)

DBNickel (2036716) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612266)

is no?

"Can" is not "Does" (4, Insightful)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612304)

It is possible it could consume less power, but that doesn't necessarily mean it always does. Different hardware, specialty drivers, default settings vs tweaked settings - come on?

Re:"Can" is not "Does" (0)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612370)

That applies for all computers too, though. I can get a lot better power use out of even Windows with the right power settings and usage.

Given the same settings and usage pattern, I find that my linux computer uses about half the power (twice the battery life).

Re:"Can" is not "Does" (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612646)

Could you tell us what kind of hardware do you have and what software do you use?

I'm really interested, because my new HP ProBook can barely run 2 hours on battery on Linux with a light load, but the specs said 4-4.5 hours. Now I know they're lying and that I could stretch the life by totally dimming the screen, but I doubt they would claim twice the battery life. It was even worse before I installed the proprietary graphics driver by AMD, so I presume there are some bad drivers here. On the other hand, my girlfriends ThinkPad Edge with an AMD processor easily playes compressed video for about three hours. She's running Kubuntu while I have Arch, both with KDE desktop. Unfortunately, neither of us have Windows installed so I can't compare with that, and I don't feel like installing Windows just to test battery life.

Re:"Can" is not "Does" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613082)

arch doesn't have cpufreq set up by default, try setting the ondemand or conservative governor and you will get better battery life.

Re:"Can" is not "Does" (1, Funny)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612410)

Different hardware, specialty drivers, default settings vs tweaked settings...

Virus, worm, and trojan installs on the windows box ....

Re:"Can" is not "Does" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612462)

Mod parent down. You are in the wrong website. I think you are looking for UbuntuForums.org

Re:"Can" is not "Does" (1)

cpricejones (950353) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613026)

From personal experience (my Toshiba laptop), I noticed that Ubuntu consumed more power than windows Vista (based on how long the battery would last). I tried to tweak both of them to run on more optimal settings for battery life. I probably did a poorer job tweaking the Ubuntu settings though due to my own lack of experience with the OS. This was running the same basic programs in both OSes (office programs like powerpoint/word and the openoffice equivalents, mozilla/firefox with lots of tabs open)--not particularly taxing on the CPU IMO but a fair measure of what I actually use my laptop for. Important to say again that this was Vista, not 7. So, even my attempts to optimize did not succeed on the part of Ubuntu in what I consider to be a fair assessment from a beginner to moderately skilled user.

Re:"Can" is not "Does" (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613128)

the programs that run are which matter as long as there's not any crazy showstopper bugs that just don't let things sleep as well in either os. and the programs aren't that different, despite the old gentoo joke about some guy who was pimping on forums how he had built his firefox without ps/2 keyboard support.

Can it crash less often than Windows? (3, Interesting)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612344)

Ever since I upgraded my netbook to Ubuntu 11.04, it crashes randomly and often. I'm talking more that Windows 95 with no patches. Hell, more than Windows 3.0. While solving power management would be nice, it's a moot point if the computer is always off because I can never use it.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612378)

My netbook is running it right now, it has been up since the upgrade. Perhaps your hardware has a problem?

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612494)

I'm thinking this too. I've had my Ubuntu machine on at work for a month now. My windows machine (win7) won't last more than a few days before becoming prone to crashes.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612810)

I never have problems with either Windows 7 or Ubuntu crashing on my 4 year old thinkpad.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (4, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612730)

Since there's no telling if you have the same model or even brand of network, this conversation is a bit like "The fruit I ate had a hard shell, I almost cracked a tooth" "Mine didn't, perhaps your fruit was defective?" It's another easy way to blame something else, because how many have spare identical netbooks to rule that out? Sure it could happen, but it's far from the most likely explanation.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613268)

Alright.. It's an Asus EeePC 1001H with the dual SSDs (4GB fast SSD, 16GB slooooooow SSD). Worked great on 10.10. Now it hangs every 5 minutes, and drops connection to the wifi router every 5 seconds. Completely unusable. Now I have to go look for a new netbook distro, since they've turned Ubuntu into a steaming pile of shit.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (3, Informative)

ngileadi (966224) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612898)

Well, I don't know what problem spiffmastercow had, but this bug [launchpad.net] has been around since the launch of 11.04, and crashes my laptop on a regular basis.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (2, Interesting)

Pausanias (681077) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613116)

It may not be the hardware. Non-LTS Ubuntus are full of regressions. Affects some significant minority of users, but not enough to affect ship date.

The worst regressions are always fixed in the next release. They are rarely backported to non-LTS, a strategy which is designed to keep you constantly upgrading. Except that once one regression is fixed, more creep up. If you're lucky, your won't be affected. But there are ALWAYS regressions.

I basically treat non-LTS Ubuntus as betas for the LTS. I don't expect them to work. I expect many things to be broken. Many of the regressions are insidious---you don't discover them until later in the game. And, dirty secret is that once LTS is long in the tooth, only security updates get backported to LTS. Got a non-functioning file open dialog? Too bad, not going to backport the fix to LTS, you can rot in hell or upgrade. [launchpad.net] (read the final few comments, where the dev tells me I need to upgrade from LTS to non-LTS to get back a functioning file open dialog box.)

Bitter much? Yes I am, for a fan that's been with them for 7 years now.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (1)

spiffmastercow (1001386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613298)

So my hardware magically broke at exactly the moment I upgraded to 11.04? Methinks not.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (1)

jgtg32a (1173373) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612594)

Define crash? Random apps crashing, the UI crashing, or a full blow reboot required (assuming the system isn't doing it on its own)

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612656)

On my system 11.04 randomly hangs the whole machine. Works like a charm, then suddenly nothing. Mouse pointer doesn't move, no reaction to keyboard. Have to hard reset the machine.

This same machine has never had so much as a hickup on 10.04.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612674)

But more often than a win 7 home system with auto-updates turned on?

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (2)

vbraga (228124) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612694)

I've had a few kernel panics (UI freezes and caps lock lights keeps blinking) since I upgraded to 11.04. It doesn't happens when I'm running Windows.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613234)

And while that shouldn't happen at all, at least with Ubuntu you can often recover from such a state by switching to a terminal and restarting Compiz and/or X. Not the case with Windows.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (1)

RedACE7500 (904963) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612700)

Try reinstalling Wind^H^H^H^HUbuntu.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612756)

I used to have frequent X server crashes, but then I discovered that the upgrade process forgot to upgrade the linux kernel package, so I was still running the old linux kernel. Installing the new kernel fixed the crashes.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (3, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612818)

11.04 seems to include a kernel with LOTS of regressions, or the Ubuntu maintainers added some to the kernel/modules packages.

For example, the wireless drivers for Ralink RT2860 chipsets were rock solid from 9.04 to 10.10, but were completely broken after an 11.04 update. Even after doing some module blacklist magic, the wireless drivers now perform horrifically and fail to connect very often.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612846)

You know seriously, I used to have crashing problems like pretty much everyone else but two things have changed:

1. My use of Windows is limited to "what I need." I don't install crap of any kind. If I don't use it, it doesn't get installed or will soon be removed if it was there.
2. Windows uptimes have increased for me over the years. Perhaps it's all the bug fixes and what have you, but whatever the case, I don't have as many problems. (Other users, however, still seem to have the same problems, so it's not all to Microsoft's credit.)

As far as Ubuntu on a netbook? Look to the quality of your hardware. I have run Ubuntu netbook edition without problems at all.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612998)

I have a 3 yr old Asus eeebook with a whopping 4 gb SSD. I have run Ubuntu Netbook remix, updating it yearly. In my memory, it has never crashed. Early on, there were power consumption issues but they disappeared with the first update. For the last few months I have been running regular Ubuntu (with the phase out of the netbook version) and had to delete some stuff to get free space on the SSD. With a nearly full hard drive, performance was very poor and eventually locked up the machine. Since my little deletion party, however, performance is again acceptable and there have been zero crashes.
If your machine is crashing "randomly and often" and it's not broken somehow, then it must have some strange unknown-to-Linux hardware. I'd bet you could get some help on the Ubuntu forums.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613060)

Would be interested to know how you did updates. I always had problems with insufficient space to install the updates and such. Is there a trick?

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613258)

How did you manage to do that? Is it a hardware problem? I've been running Ubuntu 11.04 for several months (since the time it came out). Has never ever crashed. Not.once.ever. Does crashing mean 'I pulled the power plug and the batteries were out and all of a sudden it just crashed'? Your problems I fear are unique to you.

Re:Can it crash less often than Windows? (1)

mcelrath (8027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613328)

I've been having kernel panics regularly, I recently figured out that it's due to "hardware acceleration" in the binary flashplayer, coupled with the open source video drivers (ati, for me). Right click on a flash animation and turn off hardware acceleration. And/or un-install that steaming pile of dung. Still, it shouldn't be causing kernel panics. I think the open source/drm drivers need work.

Did they use the xfree ati / nv drivers or the ful (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612356)

Did they use the xfree ati / nv drivers or the full ones from ATI and NVIDIA?

Re:Did they use the xfree ati / nv drivers or the (1)

Aphonia (1315785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612430)

it says these are the blob ones and the opensource ones give higher power usage on the first page.

Re:Did they use the xfree ati / nv drivers or the (4, Informative)

ratboy666 (104074) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612442)

Please read the article:

"The respective proprietary graphics driver for each operating system was installed"

Re:Did they use the xfree ati / nv drivers or the (1)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612872)

Please read the article

That's a pretty serious request around this side of the Internet.

Re:Did they use the xfree ati / nv drivers or the (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612992)

The Internet has sides? I thought tubes only had one continuous side.

Re:Did they use the xfree ati / nv drivers or the (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613272)

No, that's a moebius strip. A tube has an inside and an outside.

Re:Did they use the xfree ati / nv drivers or the (1)

alanthenerd (639252) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613282)

You're getting confused by regular tubes. The Internet is made of special tubes that have an infinite number of sides. It's because there are so many sides it looks like it only has one side like regular tubes so it is an easy mistake to make.

It's all thanks to Unity ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612364)

Yes it can. Because as soon as the users see Unity they switch off their computer in disgust.

Re:It's all thanks to Unity ! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612428)

Considering they could just change the drop down to gnome or install lxde or xfce that seems a bit dramatic.

Heh (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612390)

Can Ubuntu Linux Consume Less Power Than Windows?

Shouldn't it already? It's not like anything in Linux is causing the 3d acceleration to kick in.

Re:Heh (1)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612460)

What about the compositing window managers (like Compiz)?

Re:Heh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612688)

What about the compositing window managers (like Compiz)?

Most Linux boxes don't have a monitor attached.

Re:Heh (1)

drzhivago (310144) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612772)

Most Linux boxes don't have a monitor attached.

Least of all the ones running Ubuntu.

Re:Heh (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612746)

Which will save power. The gfx card, as it happens, is rather good at doing window translation and compositing in hardware, seeing as that's what we use it for. A properly-designed gfx card (in a low-power state) and compositing WM should blow the pants off of a CPU solution. I don't know if this is the case (it depends on how far back an unloaded GFX card will throttle) but I wouldn't be super surprised

Who Cares? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612420)

I'm not going to choose a desktop OS based on which one gives me ten more minutes of uptime on a long flight, or saves me a KWh every month on the power bill. There are simply too many other deciding factors.

Re:Who Cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613130)

I haven't upgraded to Natty for the power issue reason.

Can?... Shouldn't it? (1)

sunfly (1248694) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612448)

It is a lighter weight OS, it should blow Windows doors off.

Noticed Ubuntu runs cooler... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612468)

I run Win 7 / Ubuntu 11.04 dual boot. I have found that my CPU (Phenom II X4 955) averages about 17-21 Celsius at low loads/idle in Ubuntu and about 30-35 in Win 7.

Re:Noticed Ubuntu runs cooler... (2)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612866)

I run Win 7 / Ubuntu 11.04 dual boot. I have found that my CPU (Phenom II X4 955) averages about 17-21 Celsius at low loads/idle in Ubuntu and about 30-35 in Win 7.

Install the AMD Cool n' Quiet (or whatever they call it now) "drivers".
Then, in Windows, set your power profile to "Minimal Power Management".
This lets the CPU underclock itself, turn idle cores off, etc.

Of course it "can" (1)

blai (1380673) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612492)

It just hardly ever "did", at least for me. For example, the Asus 1001p was advertised with an 11-hour battery because it shipped with Windows. If shipped with Ubuntu, it can only be advertised as having a 6-hour battery.

Re:Of course it "can" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612562)

RTFA. Power management in the Linux kernel has changed since you looked at that.

You learn something new every day (1)

farlukar (225243) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612506)

I thought that on ./ all that counted (except for laptops) was uptime, ie. not turning your machine off when you're not using it.

Re:You learn something new every day (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612616)

I thought that on ./ all that counted (except for laptops) was uptime

For one thing, laptops have become more popular and therefore more important. For another, better battery life means you're more likely to keep the laptop in suspend, which as far as I know preserves uptime, rather than shutdown.

Re:You learn something new every day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612678)

Having never suspended a linux system before - does this reset the uptime or does it just continue where it left off?

Re:You learn something new every day (1)

Noughmad (1044096) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612680)

Besides this post being about laptops, less power consumption means greater uptime when running on a battery.

dot slash? (1)

fluor2 (242824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612752)

dot slash? ;>
-this is what we care about! spelling slashdot is /.

Re:You learn something new every day (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613164)

What is this dot-slash you're talking about? Is it the opposite of /.?

Number of trials (1)

Aphonia (1315785) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612520)

There are an awful lot of sharp peaks in power consumption - I'd like to know how many runs they averaged their points over (i'm guessing it was all a single run, but i cant find the data on this test). Also, no specific hardware drivers other than the graphics driver were installed is a non-representative case on windows, where most manufacturers provide extra drivers and what not to give more features/ different power consumption. And finally, these are awfully high end machines - why not test something a normal person would have (i.e. a netbook, a 300 dollar laptop from [insert office store here], a 500 dollar desktop from [insert office store here], etc.?)

Re:Number of trials (1)

rbrausse (1319883) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612554)

the "study" design altogether ist great.

from TFA:

A distinct selection of systems was sought after and the number of systems was just limited to time available. As only having a 64-bit edition of Windows 7 Professional, the hardware was also limited to newer platforms and no vintage hardware.

I love the laconic honesty; something that seems to be missing in other comparisons/tests/studies

Re:Number of trials (2)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612954)

There are an awful lot of sharp peaks in power consumption - I'd like to know how many runs they averaged their points over (i'm guessing it was all a single run, but i cant find the data on this test). Also, no specific hardware drivers other than the graphics driver were installed is a non-representative case on windows, where most manufacturers provide extra drivers and what not to give more features/ different power consumption. And finally, these are awfully high end machines - why not test something a normal person would have (i.e. a netbook, a 300 dollar laptop from [insert office store here], a 500 dollar desktop from [insert office store here], etc.?)

There's the rub.
Without Intel or AMD's CPU "drivers", you won't be able to get the Cool n' Quiet / EIST / whatever shit that underclocks your CPU and disables idle cores.
Intel's drivers are built into every Windows version since XP SP2, but they won't be the latest version.
AMD's drivers aren't built in, that I know of (I don't have an AMD Windows 7 system to test with).

And then you have to set your power scheme to "Minimal Power Management" to enable that shit.

common development (1)

metalmaster (1005171) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612542)

Both operating systems are written in C, no? If thats the case, they should be able to compete. I would assume MS devs have an advantage though, because they can evaluate opensourced code to see where it's efficient. They wouldnt have to rip code, but it gives an idea of what can be done better

I'd also wager that efficiency isnt solely in the hands of the ms/nix devs. If someone writes a shitty firmware for a hdd or disc drive that doesnt take power consumption into account its hardly the OS dev's fault

Re:common development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36612802)

I would assume MS devs have an advantage though, because they can evaluate opensourced code to see where it's efficient. They wouldnt have to rip code, but it gives an idea of what can be done better

They can but they don't. For the most part, Microsoft doesn't touch open-source code with a 10-foot pole—they don't want to take the risk of someone accusing them of incorporating OSS code into their proprietary software (even if they don't actually do so), which would open up the possibility of a lawsuit/GPL violation/etc.

Color Me Skeptical (1)

Bacon Bits (926911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612618)

I've run Debian derivatives going back to '06 on my laptops -- an HP, a Dell, and a Samsung (this was the point at which I could install Linux and not have to spend the next several hours getting the network card and wireless card to work with my existing hardware). However, I found that Linux consistently cut my laptop power by about 20-30% over Windows XP. Vista was worse, of course, as that had serious power issues on laptops at first, but now Windows 7 performs as good as or better than XP, as near as I can figure. Still, I still find a consistently shorter battery life on Linux on my laptops.

This isn't data of course, and I'm sure others will have had the opposite experience, but it is my experience with my hardware. I never did try any of the kernels which had this power regression, however. I have been working on projects which require PowerShell and Office, so all my recent activity has been in Windows.

Re:Color Me Skeptical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613000)

Can I colour you annoying? Nonsensical expressions like that one fuel my e-rage.

Re:Color Me Skeptical (2)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613188)

I suspect this is because, as found by Phoronix, Linux is unable to turn hardware off when it is not in use. This thanks to buggy ACPI or similar that the OEMs work around in their own drivers for Windows, but that the Linux devs have to find out about the hard way. Hell, not too long ago there was a desktop motherboard that was unbootable if Linux was honest about itself. This thanks to a garbage ACPI entry for anything other then Windows.

No Aero? (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612650)

Is it just me or did they not include Aero for the assessment?

The video hardware is more efficient at rendering than the CPU, so this could skew the results quite a bit by potentially having Aero off.

Re:No Aero? (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612686)

This is likely even more of a concern on the combination GPU/CPU systems where Intel/AMD are banking on the fact that you'll be rendering entirely on the GPU.

That depends. (2)

degeneratemonkey (1405019) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612790)

In my experience, it depends on the hardware to some extent.

For example, consider that newer laptop GPU setups (using NVIDIA Optimus and whatever ATI calls their equivalent) use "switchable graphics." Essentially the output device is always a cheap integrated device, but when real GPU power is needed the OS will seamlessly switch over to a separate, bona fide GPU and have its framebuffers forwarded to the integrated chip.

This requires kernel-level support for the switchable graphics systems -- support that does not exist in the Linux kernel.

Because of this, the GPUs in these systems constantly operate at full power despite never actually producing rendered framebuffers. This eats laptop batteries alive.

Re:That depends. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613038)

Support does exist for AMD/ATI, at least in open source drivers, see http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature. No luck with Nvida (though with their history who would expect that).

With or without Anti-Virus? (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612910)

Just don't give me any "base system" crap, test it with a real system running real background tasks. A windows machine running anti-virus real time protection may add significantly in terms of power. Multiplied over an entire office, that could add up. But I dunno what they used, cause I think the Phoronix website needs a little more power to withstand /.

Re:With or without Anti-Virus? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613190)

well as long as you don't use a bloated solution it's all good, as long as you don't set it to do full scan 24/7. but seriously, ubuntu is no lightweight. they got too much people wanting to be able to say that they contributed... anyways, they're not the only one's who did the tests. if you're just writing an essay, the virus check doesn't do anything anyways. and the aero guy in another comment, did they include 3d gpu compositing on the linux? Fact is, ubunto 10.4 did worse than previous ubuntus.

Re:With or without Anti-Virus? (1)

magamiako1 (1026318) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613310)

gl4ss:

It's not a matter of whether or not they included 3D Compositing on Ubuntu. In Windows 7, Aero is the default view for Windows and should be treated as such. Almost no computer with Windows 7 doesn't include Aero.

Unfortunately the article is worded as if they simply used out of the box software. Windows 7, and Ubuntu. But the reailty is, out of the box, Windows 7 uses Aero. If they turned off Aero, that's not an out of the box test and it should be noted as such.

Power Consumed is the Least of my Ubuntu Worries (4, Informative)

gamrillen (1972402) | more than 3 years ago | (#36612976)

Whenever Canonical releases a new version of Ubuntu, I'm always game to take it for a test drive. I use an EeePC 1005HA netbook and a VirtualBox VM (Windows 7 x64 host) to do my testing. For the last three versions (10.10, 11.04, and 11.10) I've had issues with the netbook overheating and shutting down the hardware. Additionally, the sleep/hibernation functionality never seems to work just right. Sometimes, when I close the netbook, it won't go to sleep at all and the LCD screen will stay turned on. Other times, the netbook will sleep peacefully, but won't boot back up when I open the lid (as set in my preferences) or hit the power button. I have to remove the battery and do a hard boot. As for the VM, Ubuntu runs incredibly slow even with the guest additions installed. I have to sometimes triple click on single click buttons to select something, and Gnome likes to generate random error messages. On the flip side, I can run Windows 7 x32, Windows 7 x64, and even Windows XP x32 on the netbook, and won't have any of the issues I see with Ubuntu. The same goes for using the three Windows variants mentioned above in the VM. Yes, less power consumption is a great thing, and yes it's awesome that interface tweaks are happening to make it prettier, but until stability issues with fairly common chip-sets are resolved, I won't be using Ubuntu on a daily basis. However, Linux Mint, which is based on the most current stable release of Ubuntu seems to take all of Ubuntu's shortcomings and clean them up. Mint just seems... tighter. Everything flows better, and I don't see the glitches that I normally see in Ubuntu.

Re:Power Consumed is the Least of my Ubuntu Worrie (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613022)

Weird. I have a 1005HAB running 10.10 and it's fine other than Unity randomly crashing when closing a Firefox window (which doesn't surprise me given all the other Unity bugs).

Re:Power Consumed is the Least of my Ubuntu Worrie (1)

Abreu (173023) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613168)

I have no problems with Ubuntu 11.04 suspend or hibernate on my Acer Aspire One (similar specs to an EeePC)

Repeat after me, Ubuntu is not Linux ok (4, Funny)

RotateLeftByte (797477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36613172)

There are far more usable and frankly higher quality distros than anything that comes from Canonical.

I'll probably be shot down in flames but as a long term linux supporter (since slackware 1.1 on Floppies) I've seen it evolve beyond all recognition.
At first Ubuntu was a breath of freah air. It took the debian dinosaur and shook it alive. Now, they are changing things and IMHO not taking the user base with them. I know of at least 10 former Ubuntu fans who have jumped ship since 10.10 came out. The quality is just not there any more. Far too much is crammed into each release with little thought for fixing the bugs.
Non of their stuff seems complete. Or in agile dev speak, 'It is not done.'
This is totally wrong and is only storing up a vast reservior of technial debt for the future.

Let the flaming begin.
Anon coz I have to work closely with Canonical in my day job.
 

Re:Repeat after me, Ubuntu is not Linux ok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613292)

I hope being anonymous wasn't that important to you...

Anyway, I'm getting tired of seeing people imply that Ubuntu==Linux too.

I didn't start using Slackware until version 9.1, but it seems like it's the distro that's least likely to have evolved beyond all recognition, sort of going by the philosophy that "the old ways are still the best."

Re:Repeat after me, Ubuntu is not Linux ok (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613330)

Well which do you prefer? I used to use Ubuntu, but like you said, I got away from it because the quality and stability of each release seemed to go down.

total fscking shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36613186)

Ubuntu keeps adding bells and whistles for the unwashed masses. Pretty soon we will need a supercomputer just to run a word processor. What shit.

People, innovation has ended in PC's. It's like going from the model T Ford where you could buy a model T in any color as long as it was black. Ford provided a car that did the job and was reliable. We then got cars with dayglo colors and virgin pink. That's progress !!!!

Look at PCs shit on top of shit. NO real innovation just EYE candy. We are turning into a nation of IDIOTS.

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