Phoronix: Will Nouveau Driver Impact Ubuntu 12.04's Battery?
Ubuntu 12.04 LTS is shipping with the Nouveau driver by default as the open-source (reverse-engineered) NVIDIA graphics driver support, just as they have done in previous releases, but will this cause your mobile device to go through increased power use?..
Finally Michael has proven that nouveau is slower than the binary driver because it runs the GPU at the lowest possible speed.
Michael could add Nouveau powersave(level 0) and Nouveau performance(level 3) to his graphs to make this more interesting.
On the other hand I wonder why the blob could not reach the lowest state in the idle test (I assume it didn't as the power consumption would be lower IMO), could it be Unity keeping the card busy?
Well, I'm very happy for the results of nouveau, it's great to see I might be able to use my card without consuming much more power than if I use nVidia + Bumblebee. I'd also like to see some tests comparing FOSS ATI vs fglrx. I bet the results here are (unfortunately) very different...
I'd like to give it a try, but nouveau still completely fails on my GPU (Geforce GT240 DDR5). Black screen and crash. Nouveau developers weren't able to help beyond saying "it should work". Sigh.
This is a known issue, and has been known for a year or so.