The last test was running the OpenGL ioquake3-powered OpenArena game.
Due to the greater graphics demands, the GPU core frequency was at its maxed out state of 550MHz for the Quadro FX 880M GPU the entire time and for all drivers/settings.
Interestingly, the Nouveau driver consumed an average of 48 Watts while running OpenArena at 1600 x 900 from the Lenovo ThinkPad W510 notebook. This is ahead of the NVIDIA blob at 50 Watts on average. However, the NVIDIA driver was churning out an average of 205 frames per second during this time while the Nouveau driver was at just 105 frames per second.
The Nouveau driver also had a slightly lower GPU temperature.
These are just the results from one NVIDIA GPU using the two power modes of the NVIDIA binary driver and then the Nouveau DRM/KMS Linux driver in its default power mode. These results are also available on OpenBenchmarking.org where you too can conduct similar tests using the Phoronix Test Suite.
For more information about the state of Nouveau power management, see this Wiki page and/or stop by the Phoronix Forums for greater details. As a whole, this free software driver project still has a ways to go in supporting effective dynamic re-clocking / voltage adjustments / memory timing, especially for the newest generations of NVIDIA GPUs where lots of the power management details are still not known.
More Linux power consumption tests to come.
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