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The Tests Showing Ubuntu 11.04 On A Power Consumption Binge

Michael Larabel

Published on 23 April 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 3 of 7 - 19 Comments

Now it is onto the results for the ThinkPad T60 with the Intel Core Duo processor and discrete ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 (R500 generation) graphics. Again, first are the results from lightly using the desktop and then idling.

Like the ThinkPad R52 results, the T60 with its completely different Intel mobile processor, was much more power hungry in Ubuntu 11.04. The average, peak, and low power consumption points were all at a bad spot for Ubuntu Natty. Just how bad? Under this load, the T60 power consumption is up by 27% between Ubuntu 10.10 and Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2! That is going to lead to a significantly shorter battery life. In addition, for those that may be wondering, there were not any differences in backlight settings, dimming when idling, or other power management differences in these latest Ubuntu releases. There is though the Unity desktop, but there are results later in this article where classic GNOME is still used on Ubuntu 11.04.

When the Core Duo T2400 CPU was being fully stressed by the OpenSSL benchmark, the power consumption regression in Ubuntu 11.04 remains very much appalling. In fact, it is very scary. The power consumption with Ubuntu 11.04 on this Lenovo notebook is up by 19%. Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS had the best power consumption, but at the same time, its OpenSSL performance was the worst (see below). The average for Ubuntu 11.04 was 30.6 Watts under OpenSSL load while with Ubuntu 10.10 it was at just 25.8 Watts. The worst Ubuntu Linux release though in this case was Ubuntu 9.10 where it was at an average of 31.1 Watts, but Ubuntu 11.04 "won" for having the highest peak.

As can be seen from the OpenSSL results, Ubuntu 8.04.4 LTS was slower than the rest of the pact, but for the rest of the releases the performance was all right in line with one another, so it's not that in some Ubuntu releases the Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST) is slowing down the system and keeping the CPU at a lower power state to save on power or anything along those lines.

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