In Q4'07 we had looked at Ubuntu's power consumption with all of their Linux releases going back to Ubuntu 5.04. While Linux has improved in recent years when it comes to power efficiency and optimizations, more processes running on the desktop had canceled out any real power improvements. Following that article was a look at power consumption between Windows and Linux. We had used an old desktop system in that comparison and Ubuntu 7.10 was consuming the most power while idling but Fedora 8 Test 3 had consumed the least amount of power and had beat out both Windows XP and Vista. While using the desktop, however, both versions of Windows had consumed less power than Fedora and Ubuntu. With Ubuntu 8.04 LTS now available, we have decided to run another simple power comparison. This time we are using a Lenovo ThinkPad notebook and an AMD server as we see whether Ubuntu Hardy Heron or Microsoft Windows Vista consumes less power.
In our Ubuntu power consumption article, we had used a Lenovo ThinkPad R52 notebook that was based around Intel Centrino Technology with a Pentium M processor. In the Linux versus Windows power comparison, we had used an older desktop system running an Intel Pentium 4 "Northwood" processor. With this article, we are using a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 as well as an AMD Opteron server. This notebook has an Intel Core Duo T2400 processor, 1GB of DDR2 memory, 80GB SATA HDD, 15.4" 1400 x 1050 LCD display, and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 128MB graphics processor. The AMD server was made up of dual AMD Opteron 2356 quad-core processors, 4GB of DDR2 memory, 160GB Western Digital SATA 2.0 hard drive, Tyan Thunder n3600M motherboard, and an ATI Radeon HD 3870 512MB graphics card. On the software side was Ubuntu 8.04 LTS "Hardy Heron" and Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate. Both operating systems were left in their absolute stock configuration with installing no third-party drivers or other software.
While it's difficult to accurately compare the power consumption between two operating systems, we had monitored the power consumption using a SeaSonic Power Angel with both systems and both operating systems as the system was idling on the desktop.
On the next page are the results.