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MacBook Pro - Ubuntu Linux: 21 Watts, OS X: 9 Watts

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  • #11
    Not surprised. Apple can optimize thier software for their tightly controlled hardware. You can actually optimize Ubuntu for a decent gain in efficiency. With a basic script, I can get my ProBook down to 10W or so at idle, with 4-5 hours of battery. Interestingly, I can also get OSX on it, and it can only do 3 hours. Apple just doesn't have to optimize OSX for random hardware like Windows and Linux do.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by MonkeyPaw View Post
      Not surprised. Apple can optimize thier software for their tightly controlled hardware. You can actually optimize Ubuntu for a decent gain in efficiency. With a basic script, I can get my ProBook down to 10W or so at idle, with 4-5 hours of battery. Interestingly, I can also get OSX on it, and it can only do 3 hours. Apple just doesn't have to optimize OSX for random hardware like Windows and Linux do.
      It's a very good point. So long as there isn't a hardware issue, a reasonably knowledgeable user can optimize their Linux machine enough to get good savings.

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      • #13
        It'd be nice to see F17's results in the same laptop.

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        • #14
          Didn't OS X 10.8 have some kind of power regression? Or was that just a battery charging / discharging problem?

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          • #15
            Originally posted by ElderSnake View Post
            It's a very good point. So long as there isn't a hardware issue, a reasonably knowledgeable user can optimize their Linux machine enough to get good savings.
            And people wonder why Linux isn't popular on any desktop not owned or supported by an uber-nerd.

            Windows can also get good power efficiency. While Windows 7 gets less battery life than OSX on a 2010 MBP, it does much better than Fedora 17 (OSX gets 7 vs Win7 getting 5 vs Fedora getting 3.5 -- and note that Win7 does not get Optimus on that setting due to the Apple-imposed Bootcamp restrictions, hence why Windows can get 7 hours on equivalent non-MBP hardware while Linux still gets ~3.5). So much for the "Apple can specialize" theory. Linux just sucks at power management, apparently. :/

            Hopefully someone in kernel-land is listening and will eventually fix things up. At least getting dma-buf/prime support fully landed should help a good deal for dual-GPU laptops.

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            • #16
              EFI or BIOS?

              Michael,
              Did you boot Linux in EFI mode or in BIOS compatibility mode? I find this makes a pretty big difference on my MBP.

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              • #17
                Originally posted by MonkeyPaw View Post
                Apple just doesn't have to optimize OSX for random hardware like Windows and Linux do.
                what does this mean technically? what hardware info would linux need access to, and what specific part of linux would need to be optimized like OSX is?

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                • #18
                  come on

                  Since the author pretty well knows that hybrid gfx sucks on linux, he should've pointed out that the difference is due to the nouveau kernel module being loaded and burning 10+ watts of power. Same thing with Lenovo T420s, OOTB it consumes roughly 20W, and after disabling optimus from the bios it's something between 6,5-9W depending on other factors. Probably can't do the same on MBP, but blacklisting the kernel module should allow the same.

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                  • #19
                    I think the author should've at least installed a proprietary NVIDIA driver beforce testing.

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                    • #20
                      My experience is quite different than most that have posted.

                      I'm on my third laptop in a row that I can get the same or better power consumption than Windows 7. Granted this is not true out of the box but after a few tweaks the power consumption is fine. I usually disable the discreet GPU via vgaswitcheroo or bumble-bee, use laptop mode tools because i'm too lazy to manage these power saving settings myself, and enable max power savings on the i915 driver via the kernel command line. I don't use any of the lightweight window managers or desktop environments because, at least for me, they make zero difference.

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