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A Look At The Linux vs. Windows Power Use For A Ryzen 7 + Radeon RX Vega Desktop

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  • Holograph
    replied
    I've been saying for years that most Linux distros catering to old computers for no good reason is environmentally unfriendly. Code should run efficiently just like everything else should run efficiently. Old furnaces are replaced with more efficient ones. And you wouldn't run an air conditioner while your windows are open. New cars are generally more fuel efficient. etc. Linux is common enough that having more optimized software on more deployments of it would have a tangible benefit I think. Of course the software optimization crusade should apply to other operating systems as well, but Windows doesn't have multiple distros and thus by design must be somewhat more generic in hardware support.

    Too bad Gentoo isn't power efficient with each user compiling their own stuff (though at least there are reasons for it as USE flags would create way too many different combinations to distribute in binary form). Clear Linux is looking good. Not nearly as much in the repository but it seems to keep getting better.
    Last edited by Holograph; 03 August 2018, 11:14 AM.

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  • edwaleni
    replied
    Modern PC's when "off" but still draw power could be doing a range of functions.

    Some are providing power to the USB ports for charging devices.

    Some maintain power to the ME to be able to turn on the PC for a WOL event.

    HP started putting LED's on the outside of the consumer PC's because people were sticking their hands inside the PC to change RAM before the capacitors had finished discharging. It notified them that power was still present.

    Many workstations and servers, when plugged in will power cycle and have the ME do a low level diag on the system, then shut off. The device can't be turned on unless someone pushes a button after that.

    With Linux tending to extract more from hardware historically, I would expect it (in general) to pull more power when it works, and less power when it isn't. Because Windows is not as demanding, or doesn't push the hardware as hard when demand warrants, will use less peak, and is not as good as going into low power states (since it isn't good coming out of them periodically).

    So the tests I see here, are totally in line with that perception.

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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by AndyChow View Post
    This is a great example of why 450 watt power supplies are usually more than enough. Or 550 Watt, 650 watt. The 800-1000 watt power supplies are ridiculous with current tech.
    They were supposed to run SLI/Crossfire (multiple cards in the same system) setups, even older tech didn't usually require more than 600w for a CPU + GPU + a couple HDDs.

    Now they are mostly used in home servers with dozens of drives, as SLI/Crossfire basically imploded years ago.

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  • cynical
    replied
    Originally posted by phoronix View Post
    Most interesting from the Windows vs. Linux metrics was Windows 10 having a significantly lower peak power use at 198 Watts compared to 214~226 Watts on the four Linux distributions tested.
    While the idle stat looks promising, I'm not sure the peak stats say much on their own since we are not taking into account the amount of work done per energy spent. Is the peak power lower because Windows is more efficient, or does it maybe alter the cpu frequency in some way? It would be interesting to see some of your recent benchmarks (where you showed Linux was generally faster if I remember right) and compare the performance difference to the difference in power usage in relative terms.

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  • AndyChow
    replied
    This is a great example of why 450 watt power supplies are usually more than enough. Or 550 Watt, 650 watt. The 800-1000 watt power supplies are ridiculous with current tech.

    Leave a comment:


  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by tpruzina

    I never wrote that, quote starshipeleven, not me.
    I never said that either. I think he just failed to quote your post, and all the text in that post is his own.

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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by tpruzina
    I suppose so. It's few years old Seasonic S12II (unfortunately I don't see efficiency curve for <50W load).
    Neat, also johnnyguru testing in low load (50w) confirm that this thing manages to remain in the "80 plus" efficiency range so it's not bad at all. It would decrease, but it starts from nominal efficiency so it should not be the culprit here (assuming your PSU isn't massively degraded with age). http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php...tory2&reid=185

    This means your board is a pig and wastes power when "shutdown" or your meter is inaccurate. It's actually quite common for laptops, oddly. Most laptops I know must be kept attached to the power cord or they discharge the battery over time by like 5% per day (while the battery does not discharge over time if removed).

    Idle load is OK, considering that you have a dedicated GPU.
    Last edited by starshipeleven; 26 July 2018, 06:07 AM.

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  • GrayShade
    replied
    Originally posted by tpruzina
    I don't see efficiency curve for <50W load
    Because it's too poor and they don't want to show it.

    My NAS (Intel J1900, 2 HDD and change) idles at around 25 W, for what it's worth.
    Last edited by GrayShade; 26 July 2018, 09:30 AM.

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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by tpruzina

    Kabylake/Skylake CPU eats about 3W idling (C3 package, C7 cores), if you disable C-States then it eats ~10W doing halt states (noop). 18 core Xeon eats away ~15W with 0.01 load. Motherboard/GPU typically draws much more power (10-50W) when PC is idle.

    I tried to get my desktop power usage as low as possible when idle while back and absolute minimum that I managed was 35W (powertop)/55W (measured from power socket). Interestingly enough, even when suspended/"off" it drew 25/11W (you can't actually turn modern PC off unless you plug power cord).
    That's a tad high for "off". What PSU are you using? I've got better results with picoPSU + power bricks rated for 80-160 watts, if you use a 400w (or more) PSU it's efficiency in the low 50w range is going to suck. It's just physics.

    Apart from that yeah, most of the power comes from the mobo, and this means that you should disable in UEFI all the hardware you don't need/use (Sata ports you don't use for example), and hope that the chipset itself isn't a pig like most stuff paired with Atom boards. I mean seriously, I got like 25w at idle with an Atom on most industrial boards I tried. Whatafak.

    Decent mini-itx boards with such picoPSU setups can still idle as low as 10w https://mattgadient.com/2016/07/30/b...10-watts-idle/

    Here is the blog of a guy that did some research and hacking around to find and cut down power on a board https://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blo...-computer.html

    Years later he did some testing on boards without hacking (yes it's not in english but it's easy enough to read numbers and graphs) https://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blo...aart-2014.html and most of the tested boards with a PicoPSU were able to idle in the 5-10w range.

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  • starshipeleven
    replied
    Originally posted by GrayShade View Post
    PCs use power, not users.
    Users use chemical power, PCs use electrical power.

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