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  • Ubuntu's Power Consumption Tested

    Phoronix: Ubuntu's Power Consumption Tested

    For this article we've decided to not only deliver power benchmarks from Ubuntu 7.10 and Ubuntu 7.04 to compare the tickless kernel effect, but we have went back and retested all of the Ubuntu releases going back to Ubuntu 5.04, or also known as Hoary Hedgehog. With the past six Ubuntu releases we had tested the power consumption of a Lenovo laptop when running from its AC charger and off the battery, when the system was idling and then again under load. We had also monitored the temperature of the Intel Centrino mobile processor. You may be surprised by the results of Ubuntu's power usage.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=11239

  • #2
    thank you again for this really great article! it is exciting to read articles about this topic.
    well, it is very sadly that they are not able to reduce ubuntu's power consumption.
    perhaps they're going to get it with upstart. i recently read a great article about its future and it seems very exciting (http://liquidat.wordpress.com/2007/0...starts-future/)
    in short: less services/deamons -> less power consumption (why do you need a cupsd when you don't have a printer?)
    but i would like to see a test with the current fedora 8. they have optimised the whole system for less power consumption. i would say that it had less power consumption than ubuntu/other distris...
    Last edited by Regenwald; 10-14-2007, 09:58 AM.

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    • #3
      interesting.

      it would be good to see similar tests for a range of hardware. judging by intel's recent involvement with linux powersaving, i'd expect thier new chips to benifit most.

      does phoronix have a core 2 duo to test? (will old ubuntus boot on a modern chip?)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ssam View Post
        does phoronix have a core 2 duo to test? (will old ubuntus boot on a modern chip?)
        Of course We have tons of hardware at our disposal. Old Ubuntus should be able to boot to a Core 2 Duo, but motherboard compatibility is usually a different story.
        Michael Larabel
        http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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        • #5
          powertop is nice utility

          http://www.linuxpowertop.org/

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          • #6
            Great article!!

            I noticed you mentioned that you used PowerTOP to measure the power usage. PowerTOP can also display the processes with the most CPU wake-ups, which gives us a good idea which processes are consuming more power.

            Of course, this requires you to compile your own kernel.

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            • #7
              i'd be curious to see the power usage difference between a win OS (say, XP or Vista) vs Ubuntu- even if we could see just 1 or 2 benchmarks vs ubuntu, it'd show that open source actually does have better programmers than some of the big guys, like M$

              (please excuse the dreadfulness of this post, it's midnight and i'm tired)

              oh and welcome from Digg

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              • #8
                powertop results?

                I am curious about your powertop results. What processes are causing interrupts? On my laptop, the radeon driver is generating a 60Hz interrupt. There are also other problems, but the radeon driver is the worst offender.

                To me, the most interesting benchmark for a laptop is how long the battery lasts while playing a DVD.

                From what I understand, the bset thing to reduce power consumption is to get rid of all the periodic interrupts so that the processor can go to sleep when the machine is idle.

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                • #9
                  mintcoffee, I am running powertop on my laptop with a stock Fedora kernel, and I can see all that process interrupt stuff just fine.

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                  • #10
                    The firts thing i'd turn off is tracker as it keeps my hdd scanning all the time. If you ask me it should never have been included at this stage until it could be made less demanding.. Its very IO intensive and also eats the cpu a bit so i'd guess theres quite some power going there.. unfortunatly i don't have a meter to test for my self..

                    ps: Hi everyone

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                    • #11
                      Tracker & Compiz-Fusion

                      Hmmm, so this was done with just a default installation of Gutsy, yes? By default, it has Tracker (which indexes your hard drive) and Compiz (pretty things) enabled by default, which no doubt have some sort of impact on the results. I'd be very interested in seeing the results with those features disabled, since those would be the first things I'd turn off after installing it on a laptop.

                      I have a hunch that the power usage would be a whole lot lower. I find it hard to believe that the tickless kernel really has such a small impact...
                      Last edited by Ryzzen; 10-15-2007, 01:02 PM. Reason: Typo-correction

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                      • #12
                        Not surprised

                        Great article. Though I'm not really surprised by the results. My nonscientific "experiment" of watching the same programs that ran fine Edgy run slowly on Fiesty led me to the conclusion that Ubuntu has become a BLOATED POWER-HOGGING monster.

                        The article would be greatly improved if you compared various distros (not just ubuntu) and even Windows... I'd really like to see how Vista compares to 'buntu and OpenSuse... I have a feeling that Ubuntu is not too far behind Vista...

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by ikaruga View Post
                          The article would be greatly improved if you compared various distros (not just ubuntu) and even Windows... I'd really like to see how Vista compares to 'buntu and OpenSuse... I have a feeling that Ubuntu is not too far behind Vista...
                          We will be delivering these benchmarks shortly.
                          Michael Larabel
                          http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael View Post
                            We will be delivering these benchmarks shortly.
                            Cool, thanks
                            Can you try ubuntu with tracker and compiz turned off too if you have time while you're doing it?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ikaruga View Post
                              The article would be greatly improved if you compared various distros (not just ubuntu) and even Windows... I'd really like to see how Vista compares to 'buntu and OpenSuse... I have a feeling that Ubuntu is not too far behind Vista...
                              and fedora. with their OLPC involvement I think they ought to be ahead on powersaving. i saw a redhat guy at lugradio who had some clever ideas, eg smart screen dimming; the dim timeout varies automatically, if the screen dims and you wiggle the mouse it increases the time out, if you keep leaving the screen dim for a fews mins, then it increases the time out.

                              also could you check how gutsy with tracker and networkmanager disabled does. the current results might just show that you can run more background tasks without increasing power consumption.

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