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Surprising Power Consumption Of Ubuntu 11.04 vs. Windows 7

Michael Larabel

Published on 29 June 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 9 of 9 - 22 Comments

Windows 7 was burning through more power than Ubuntu 11.04 when it came to running the Nexuiz game.

The Catalyst driver under each platform had produced a similar frame-rate while Windows 7 was burning through noticeably more power.

There you have it as the initial results from our four-way Linux vs. Windows power comparison. Ubuntu 11.04 actually performed much better than anticipated. Prior to the tests commencing, the expectation was that Ubuntu 11.04 would lose handedly across all systems to Microsoft Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1. That was far from the case.

With similar workloads, for the most part the power consumption is comparable between Ubuntu 11.04 and Windows 7 Pro SP1. The only major differences came during Flash-based HD video playback being more efficient under Windows, power consumption while OpenGL gaming, and in select other areas. Ubuntu / Linux actually has the potential to become more power efficient than Microsoft Windows 7 based upon the close findings from today. Once Active-State Power Management (ASPM) is properly fixed up for Linux, there is still a Linux 2.6.35 kernel power regression, a scheduler power regression, and more. Just yesterday on my Twitter feed, the Phoronix Test Suite and I made a discovery of a possible 8% power savings from an entirely different vector. More to come.

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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 .
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