With the rest of our tests in this article, we are looking at various system vitals as the Lenovo ThinkPad T61 notebook idled for two minutes, but during the second minute of idling the display was automatically signaled off via DPMS, followed by restoring the display afterwards and then playing back a sample video file using X-Video in MPlayer.
With this graph we are looking at the power consumption for the Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" notebook through the idle, idle with DPMS off, and then video playback process. On average, consuming the least amount of power was Fedora 12 followed by Ubuntu 9.10, OpenSolaris 2010.02, FreeBSD 8.0, and then FreeBSD 7.2 was consuming the most power. Interestingly, however, Ubuntu 9.10 peaked at 32 Watts for its power consumption, which was greater than any other operating system, but by a very small margin in comparison to FreeBSD 7.2 and FreeBSD 8.0. With all of the power metrics, FreeBSD 8.0 did better than FreeBSD 7.2. The ACPI power metrics for OpenSolaris 2010.02 though may be slightly under-recorded since regardless of how frequently they were polled by the Phoronix Test Suite sensor framework, the number had been updated via HAL not as frequently. In reality, OpenSolaris had about the same -- if not worse -- power performance than FreeBSD 8.0.
Another limitation of OpenSolaris 2010.02 came down to not being able to monitor the system or CPU temperatures under this operating system with the ThinkPad T61 notebook. However, to get an idea for where it was performing, we did monitor the GPU temperature since that was exposed via NVIDIA's NV-CONTROL extension regardless of platform. As is shown from the graph, the NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M graphics processor ran at about the same temperature through the idle, idle DPMS off, and then video playback states regardless of the operating system.
Between Fedora 12, FreeBSD 7.2, FreeBSD 8.0, and Ubuntu 9.10, the Canonical operating system ended up having the lowest temperatures for the Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 CPU, but the margins were quite close and to a user would be rather indifferent.