Well Known Linux Kernel Developer Recommends Against Buying Skylake Systems

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 13 April 2016 at 05:21 PM EDT. 69 Comments
Well known Linux kernel developer Matthew Garrett who has led the charge for a number of years about UEFI/SecureBoot issues, poorly secured devices, and more, has taken aim now at Intel's latest-generation "Skylake" systems.

In particular, he says that Skylake's power management is "dreadful" and "you shouldn't buy [a Skylake system] until it's fixed." He explains on his Skylake system he can't get beyond the PC3 power-saving state even though SKL hardware supports PC8. He estimates he's burning 40% more power than necessary but none of the kernel developers seem to have a fix for being able to further reduce Skylake power consumption.

Intel's own documentation suggests all low-power idle states be enabled for long-term reliability, yet Linux isn't doing so. So Matthew Garrett concluded in his latest blog post, "which is pretty concerning. Without support for states deeper than PC3, Linux is running in a configuration that Intel imply may trigger premature failure. That's obviously not good. Until this situation is improved, you probably shouldn't buy any Skylake systems if you're planning on running Linux."
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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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