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Ubuntu 10.04 Is More Power Hungry Than Windows 7

Michael Larabel

Published on 4 May 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 2 - 85 Comments

Yesterday we published our first benchmarks of Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 that provided an initial look at the OpenGL graphics performance between these two operating systems on six different systems. Today we are continuing to compare the two operating systems as we look at the power consumption of Ubuntu and Windows on a netbook and notebook.

Today's testing is much simpler than yesterday's tests and benchmarking currently being carried out for future comparisons. We simply monitored the power consumption of a notebook and netbook when each operating system was idling at their respective desktops with all default settings and software left for each OS. For an accurate, multi-platform comparison, we monitored the AC power consumption of the netbook and notebook using a SeaSonic Power Meter. We not only looked at the pure "out of the box" experience for Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04, but also measured the numbers a second time once we installed the proprietary graphics driver on each operating system that offer better power management support under each platform.

The netbook used for testing was an ASUS Eee PC 1201N with an Atom 330 dual-core CPU, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M ION graphics, 2GB of RAM, a 12.1-inch WXGA display, and a 250GB 5400RPM SATA HDD. The notebook was a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300, a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M, 4GB of system memory, a 15.4-inch display, and a 100GB Hitachi 7200RPM SATA HDD. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS x86_64 and Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 were the two operating systems tested on the two mobile devices.

When installing the NVIDIA proprietary driver on Windows it was the 197.16 notebook driver and under Linux it was the NVIDIA 195.36.15 driver.

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