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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 5 of 7 - 19 Comments

Next up is the Lenovo ThinkPad T61 notebook. This is with the 64-bit Ubuntu Linux releases since the Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 "Penryn" supports x86_64. It is also when using the NVIDIA Quadro graphics adapter with the stock open-source driver, which means xf86-video-nv in the oldest releases and Nouveau KMS in Ubuntu 10.04 and newer. Due to the much newer hardware, results here only go back to Ubuntu 9.10 for a clean "out of the box" experience with all hardware, including the WiFi adapter, being fully supported.

Scheiße! A third Intel notebook where the battery power performance under Ubuntu 11.04 is simply awful and the worst of any release tested. Again, it is just not do to any backlight differences or other simple power management changes. It also shows that Ubuntu 11.04's increase in power consumption is not due to the Unity desktop. With Canonical not yet shipping the Nouveau Gallium3D driver by default, NVIDIA users "out of the box" are using the classic GNOME desktop due to the lack of an OpenGL driver. On average during the Firefox/Office/Nautilus/Idle test, the Ubuntu 11.04 LTS power consumption is up by 13% over Ubuntu 10.10 for this distinctly different hardware from the two previous ThinkPads.

Even when the Core 2 Duo is being hammered, the power consumption for Ubuntu 11.04 Beta 2 is up. The power consumption is up by 10% over Ubuntu 10.10. The worst performance though was Ubuntu 9.10.

There are not any significant differences in the OpenSSL performance.

When the disk is under load (there aren't any GPU-focused results in this article due to the current lack of an "out of the box" Mesa / Gallium3D driver for NVIDIA on Ubuntu at this point), the power consumption is also up with Natty.

The PostMark performance itself recedes a bit in Ubuntu 10.10 and 11.04 due to data integrity improvements in the EXT4 file-system that come at the cost of performance.

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