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A Look At The Windows 10 vs. Linux Power Consumption On A Dell XPS 13 Laptop

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  • #31
    Originally posted by Hi-Angel View Post
    Why? Linux kernel gets contributions from a lot more companies than Windows. Then, Linux GPU drivers are very good too. Now, if you remember that a lot of stuff in Windows is using .net, whilst in GNU/Linux usually C/C++ — it's rational to assume that Windows should perform worse.
    Especially with laptops, vendors bend over backwards to ensure maximum battery life, and they all test with windows only. Also given the far superior battery endurance of windows in the past, I'm pleasantly suprised by how well the linux distros compare to windows here.
    But this was just an idle test, no work being performed, so your point about interpreted code does not apply here.


    • #32
      Video playback and encoding (like Skype or Hangouts) is often a problem in Linux. A test while playing Youtube videos and a test while doing a video chat would be interesting.

      I've noticed that on Windows Firefox and Edge play video differently too. Edge seems to use less power. It's my guess that it examines the GPU hardware and only requests video types it knows are accelerated while Firefox is happy to ask for high resolution VP9 or whatever. I think Edge may go for lower resolutions while on battery power too.

      On Linux I've often seen Firefox using 50% of all four cores to decode 4K youtube video while Chrome must use the Intel GPU because it's much less. I have not done any serious tests or anything though.


      • #33
        Originally posted by grigi View Post
        Ok, so I read up on it a bit. turns out i915.enable_rc6=1 is not needed since 4.16, and for GuC/HuC you need to instead specify i915.enable_guc=-1
        Also fastboot is the default since 4.4 so also not needed.
        Thanks for the GuC tip. Fastboot on Debian's 4.16 is not enabled by default and I can see a difference when booting with it enabled explicitly:

        # uname -a
        Linux 4.16.0-2-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 4.16.16-2 (2018-06-22) x86_64 GNU/Linux
        # modinfo i915 | grep fastboot
        parm:           fastboot:Try to skip unnecessary mode sets at boot time (default: false) (bool)


        • #34
          Idle power comparisons are quite difficult, as you have to ensure that the environemnt is identical.
          Meaning, calibrated monitor brightness, ensuring wifi is in the same state, etc...
          giving the OS time to relax for a few minutes, then measure for a few minutes, and take the mean as the value.

          Also 1.1W seem suspiciously low. If the XPS really could do that, it would boast a 50-hour screen-on idle, whereas it only boasts 20-hours for that in reality.

          I'm getting ~3.7W on my skylake notebook (14" FHD, i5-6300U, 12GB RAM, 500GB 860 EVO) with the monitor at ~80nits (about 30% brightness for this model) with Wifi on and connected, and running apps such as Skype/Slack, PyCharm, KDE, Firefox.
          Then again my CPU apparently never goes over PC2 state according to PowerTop, even though it advertises up to PC10. This may be a bug in reporting, I have never seen it do better on this hardware.


          • #35
            Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
            Why not a MacBook? macOS is extremely good at power consumption.
            More like extremely good at not spinning fans at all and keeping component temps on idle at like 70 degrees.


            • #36
              Originally posted by tildearrow View Post
              Why not a MacBook? macOS is extremely good at power consumption.
              Because Apple? No thanks.


              • #37
                Rejoice, fans of Linux. This OS will work on Dell laptops with chips from Intel Kaby Lake. Three new models XPS 13 Developer Edition from the manufacturer will be available with Ubuntu and processors of the 7th generation, starting from October 10.

                The prices for XPS 13 DE will start from $ 949. Dell also announced the XPS 13 with Kaby Like and Windows 10, which will be available from October 4 with a price tag starting at $ 799.

                Dell does not share details about which version of Ubuntu will be pre-loaded. Officially supported by Ubuntu 14.04 in existing laptops, but you can also expect version 16.04 on the new XPS 13 DE.

                XPS 13 DE is perhaps the sexiest and thinnest laptop with Linux, which is now available on the market. With a screen from edge to edge, almost without edging. Dell offers laptops with Linux OS as an alternative to Windows 10 or Mac for computer enthusiasts.

                Dell XPS 13 with a Corei5 chip will have a Full HD screen, 8 GB of RAM and a 128 GB solid state drive. Another configuration will have a screen with a resolution of 3200 × 1800 pixels, a Core i5 processor and a 256 GB disk. The fully loaded model will have a Corei7 chip, a 512-inch drive, 16 GB of RAM and a 3200 × 1800-pixel screen.

                Full specifications will be published closer to the date of shipment. XPS 13 weighs up to 1.3 kg. Weight is indicated with a touch screen.


                • #38