Looking At The Power Use From Linux 4.6 To Linux 4.15

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 22 November 2017 at 12:09 AM EST. 5 Comments
In addition to looking at system boot times from Linux 4.6 to Linux 4.15, while doing this kernel testing session on the Lenovo ThinkPad I also took some battery power consumption measurements.

Using the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon with Core i7 (Broadwell) processor, I also compared the battery power consumption on these tested mainline Linux kernels from 4.6 to 4.15.
Linux Kernel Power

The Phoronix Test Suite was automatically polling the battery power consumption while the Ubuntu 17.10 laptop each time was idling at the GNOME Shell (Wayland) desktop.
Linux Kernel Power

The average power consumption of this Broadwell laptop basically was the same from Linux 4.6 through 4.15. Unfortunately I wasn't able to go back further as 4.5 and earlier weren't booting with the 17.10 user-space.

So no real surprises from these numbers, but the kernel's impact on power use is highly dependent upon the particular hardware at play. As such, I'll be doing similar tests on a more diverse range of hardware in the near future. Benefiting some laptop users with Linux 4.15 will be this SATA link power management improvement, among other improvements now being tackled by Red Hat.
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About The Author
Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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