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Is Linux Power Management Getting Better Or Worse?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by locovaca View Post
    Because this wasn't a test for Jupiter, it was a test for baseline Fedora.
    The baselines haven't really changed in the 14 years that I have used Linux, why would they magically change now?

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    • #17
      One thing that hesitates me a lot about linux is the cpu usage under minimal desktop work. Totally idle system consumes around 2% CPU on my ubuntu 64 witch is great!, although a minimal work like:

      - Switch desktop 10-20% cpu
      - Minimize/maximize window 10-20% cpu
      - Move window 10-20% cpu
      - Opening a system monitor cpu usage graph: redrawing the graph itselfrs consumes 5-10% cpu
      ...

      This doesn't seems much, but your cpu is switching from idle state to power on state under simple desktop operation, so power consuption / battery life degrades.

      I am trying with kde 4.5 - radeon OSS drivers with and without compositing, and under minimal / none desktop effects. I am not sure if this is kde, xorg or radeon drivers fault ? but on windows this simple operations consumes no cpu.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by Jimbo View Post
        One thing that hesitates me a lot about linux is the cpu usage under minimal desktop work. Totally idle system consumes around 2% CPU on my ubuntu 64 witch is great!, although a minimal work like:

        - Switch desktop 10-20% cpu
        - Minimize/maximize window 10-20% cpu
        - Move window 10-20% cpu
        - Opening a system monitor cpu usage graph: redrawing the graph itselfrs consumes 5-10% cpu
        ...

        This doesn't seems much, but your cpu is switching from idle state to power on state under simple desktop operation, so power consuption / battery life degrades.

        I am trying with kde 4.5 - radeon OSS drivers with and without compositing, and under minimal / none desktop effects. I am not sure if this is kde, xorg or radeon drivers fault ? but on windows this simple operations consumes no cpu.

        Although it's possible that there is a difference in the way Linux and Windows report CPU usage (system wide vs user space), you are right. I think it's a combination of the overall Xorg architecture (XRender etc) and drivers.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Chewi View Post
          intel_idle is chosen over acpi_idle if your CPU supports it. I gather the Atom does. /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpuidle/current_driver should report the name of the driver being used. I also use i7z to monitor its behaviour but I don't know whether this works on the Atom. Maybe give it a try.
          thanks for tip, it does use the intel_idle. And no, i7z does not work on the Atom. It's for Nehalem based architectures.

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          • #20
            By the way, has anyone tried MeeGo on a netbook?

            It uses kernel 2.6.33. I'm getting very few weakups per second (~35) and long periods in the lowest state (32ms!) with 99.5%. ACPI reports 8Watt and 7hours of battery life. The laptop runs cool. It doesn't even use intel_idle driver (?) Intel did a good job with their distro.

            Compare that to Ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition, with 10x more weakups per second and less than 2ms in the lowest state (and ~45%), ACPI reports 9.6W and 5.6hours after taking all suggestions from powertop (and powering down the webcam). Same brightness level.

            In comparison, Windows XP reports 6.5hours. MeeGo beats WinXP, as it should be. Those extra 1.6W Ubuntu takes are a shame!

            Phoronix, you can do something to raise awareness. Do a test of various netbook distros on power. When people see that there is a huge difference between distros (since I think it's not simply the kernel's fault) maybe 'some' will try to rectify the situation...

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            • #21
              Originally posted by ioannis View Post
              By the way, has anyone tried MeeGo on a netbook?
              Yes. Love it. Especially the really really really fast boot time.

              Originally posted by ioannis View Post
              Intel did a good job with their distro.
              Yes it did.

              Originally posted by ioannis View Post
              Compare that to Ubuntu 10.10 netbook edition
              It's what I have right now in my netbook, although I modded the crap out of it. In fact ubuntu-netbook isn't installed anymore. Too slow, and uses too much power as you said. I'm going to install meego next.

              Originally posted by ioannis View Post
              In comparison, Windows XP reports 6.5hours. MeeGo beats WinXP, as it should be.
              You are right. It's about time a linux distro takes the lead in the field of power consumption on netbooks. Windows XP really sucks for netbooks, but it is still waaaaaaay better than win7 starter.

              Originally posted by ioannis View Post
              Phoronix, you can do something to raise awareness. Do a test of various netbook distros on power.
              Already done that:
              http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag..._10_perf&num=1
              However, power consumption for meego was higher in that test for some reason. CPU performance was better than the rest though.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by devius View Post
                Yes. Love it. Especially the really really really fast boot time.
                Boot time is OK. Ubunutu is faster, but it doesn't really mater. I'd normally suspend. Conanical should start concentrating on something other than boot time...


                It's what I have right now in my netbook, although I modded the crap out of it. In fact ubuntu-netbook isn't installed anymore. Too slow, and uses too much power as you said. I'm going to install meego next.
                Indeed the Ubuntu NE UI feels much heavier than MeeGo's, even though both are muter based.



                You are right. It's about time a linux distro takes the lead in the field of power consumption on netbooks. Windows XP really sucks for netbooks, but it is still waaaaaaay better than win7 starter.
                It is a sad story. Can't stress enough how important this is. I think the Linux netbook didn't gain enough market share because of it (or at least partly because of it). If linux had a clear advantage in battery life, that would have been newsworthy all around the internet.

                Actually, I spoke to soon when comparing MeeGo to WinXP. After killing the various background processes running on the WinXP install (anti-viruses and whatnot), I got a 7:30h battery life report. The difference could be due to the way the two systems report/estimate their battery life though. I haven't done an actual test (leave them to 'dry out').


                Already done that:
                http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag..._10_perf&num=1
                However, power consumption for meego was higher in that test for some reason. CPU performance was better than the rest though.
                Very odd. Both of my Ubunut Maverick NE and MeeGo are fresh installs, with all updates applied. I'd be interested to know your results when you install MeeGo.

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