Overall, Ubuntu 11.04 has better disk performance than Fedora 15, but Fedora 15 has better graphics driver support and performance. With the computational tests that were carried out, the performance was largely indifferent between these two new Linux distributions with there not being any dramatic changes due to GCC 4.5.2 vs. GCC 4.6.0 defaults. Next is a look at the battery performance.
When looking at the power consumption for each notebook and Linux distribution when running the battery-power-usage test, the power consumption between Fedora 15 and Ubuntu 11.04 was basically the same. With this test, the system is idling at the desktop followed by idling after the display has been turned off via DPMS, then re-enabled and a brief 1080p video clip is run via MPlayer.
Fedora 15 is advertised as having various power management optimizations, but it does not appear to have any definitive advantage over Ubuntu 11.04 in this area at least for the three Intel notebooks that were tested. Our initial tests have also shown that Fedora 15 is affected by the notorious Linux kernel power regressions that are still living upstream.
When looking at the battery power consumption when both distributions were under high CPU load due to the 7-Zip compression test, the power consumption for the three notebooks had each went through a similar amount of power in looking at Ubuntu 11.04 vs. Fedora 15.
For those wishing to run their own comparisons of distributions, these results are also available via OpenBenchmarking.org.