CPUFreq Ondemand Could Be Faster, Use Less Power With Linux 3.17
Improvements to the CPUfreq ondemand governor could lead to faster performance in low to medium workloads with the Linux 3.17 kernel while also consuming less power overall.
Queued up today for merging into the Linux 3.17 kernel in a few weeks time are two patches that for the CPUfreq driver's ondemand governor will eliminate a "deadband effect" in low workloads. Stratos Karafotis -- the author of these patches -- explained, "This patchset changes slightly the calculation of target frequency to eliminate the deadband effect (explained in patch 2 changelog) that it seems to slow down the CPU in low and medium loads."
Tests were done by the developer of the patches and the benchmarks were carried out with the Phoronix Test Suite on an Intel Core i7 machine. With workloads ranging from the Linux kernel compilation to Apache to FFmpeg the energy savings were up to 4% while the performance was up to 6% faster with CPUfreq ondemand. Those details can be found in this mailing list post.
Rafael J. Wysocki, the Intel employee that serves as the ACPI/PM subsystem maintainer for the Linux kernel, queued the patches today for merging into Linux 3.17. Below is the patch message that describes this CPUfreq ondemand change for eliminating the deadband effect.
Currently, ondemand calculates the target frequency proportional to load using the formula:
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