1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Ubuntu 10.04 Is More Power Hungry Than Windows 7

Michael Larabel

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

To start with are the Windows and Ubuntu Linux power results from the ASUS Eee PC 1201N netbook.

Going into this power consumption testing we figured Microsoft Windows 7 would likely be more power efficient than Ubuntu Linux due to Windows having better ACPI support and more hardware vendors catering to Windows, but we did not expect to see such a wide difference with the ASUS Eee PC. With the "out of the box" experience for each operating system, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS was consuming 56% more power than Windows 7 Professional!

When both operating systems had NVIDIA's proprietary driver installed for better GPU power management of the NVIDIA ION chipset, Ubuntu "Lucid Lynx" went through less power, but Windows still did better and it turned into a 65% difference. Ubuntu 10.04 LTS is using the Nouveau KMS driver by default for the open-source NVIDIA driver, which currently does not implement any power management support. See our recent articles entitled The Real Need For Nouveau Power Management and Nouveau Is Power Hungry On Desktops Too. However, even when using NVIDIA's binary driver, Windows 7 still had the definitive advantage for this ultra-portable PC.

Fortunately, with the Lenovo ThinkPad T61 the power consumption between Windows and Ubuntu Linux were not nearly as large as the Atom 330 + ION-based netbook. The ThinkPad T61 with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS was consuming 14% more power than Windows 7, but when both were loaded with NVIDIA's binary driver that leverages PowerMizer and other power-savings techniques, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS averaged to consume just 4% more power.

It is unfortunate to see Ubuntu 10.04 LTS going through much more power than Microsoft Windows 7 on these mobile devices, particularly with the modern ION netbook and to still some extent the more mature Intel Penryn notebook with the NVIDIA Quadro graphics. These differences will lead to Windows users noticing a dramatically shorter battery life for those switching to Ubuntu 10.04, which is especially a problem in the netbook era. These were the only 64-bit notebooks we had at the time of testing, so unfortunately we do not know how the ATI or Intel notebook power consumption differs at this point. Fortunately, improving power management has been of interest to more open-source developers in recent times, so hopefully by Ubuntu 10.10 or Ubuntu 11.04 there will be more pleasing news to report to Linux users.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Scythe Mugen MAX
  2. Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E On Linux
  3. Intel 80GB 530 Series M.2 SSD On Linux
  4. With A New Motherboard, The Core i7 5960X Haswell-E Lights Up
Latest Linux Articles
  1. 7-Way Linux Desktop Gaming Comparison On Ubuntu 14.10
  2. Intel P-State vs. CPUFreq Benchmarks On The i7-5960X
  3. RadeonSI GLAMOR Benchmarks With X.Org Server 1.16
  4. RadeonSI Gallium3D vs. Catalyst At 4K UHD On Linux
Latest Linux News
  1. Mesa Gets Closer To Having OpenGL 4.0 Tessellation Support
  2. Uselessd: A Stripped Down Version Of Systemd
  3. F2FS Tools Gain FSCK Support
  4. FreeBSD 10.1 Has The New VT Driver, Hardware Improvements
  5. AntiMicro 2.6 Yields Greater Compatibility For Gamepads On Linux
  6. OpenGL 3.3 / GLSL 3.30 Lands For Intel Sandy Bridge On Mesa
  7. AMD's RadeonSI Gallium3D Driver Sees Some Improvements
  8. Mesa 10.3 Released With The Latest Open-Source GPU Driver Improvements
  9. GNOME 3.13.92 Officially Released
  10. Wine 1.7.27 Is Still Working Towards Direct2D Support
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. New stress testing utility for GPU's
  2. Stop grabbing my keyboard :(
  3. New Group Calls For Boycotting Systemd
  4. X.Org Women Outreach Program Only Turns Up Two Applicants So Far
  5. SSD seems slow
  6. R. Tyler restarts work on FreeBSD launchd port, openlaunchd
  7. Can Linux kill a motherboard?
  8. Glamor now enabled in Debian radeonsi