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Six Linux Distributions Benchmarked On The Dell XPS 9380 Laptop
If looking at the geometric mean for all of the Linux benchmarks carried out in full that successfully ran on all six Linux distributions, Clear Linux was the fastest followed by Antergos 19.1. Ubuntu 18.04/18.10 and Fedora Workstation 29 offered similar performance while openSUSE Tumbleweed by far was the slowest.
When running the tests on battery power provided some insight why openSUSE Tumbleweed was so much slower than the rest, even when using the GNOME Shell desktop across these different distributions and running them with their stock configurations...
OpenSUSE Tumbleweed was consuming significantly less power than all of the other Linux distributions tested. That's even while all of the Linux distributions were using the P-State CPU frequency scaling driver with the powersave governor, aside from Clear Linux that defaults to P-State's performance governor. The power consumption of the other Linux distributions were fairly similar under load, except for openSUSE. Presumably whatever power profile it's using to limit the laptop power consumption is also being applied while on AC power by default, erroneously or accidentally, and what is likely what is leading to it perform so much worse than the other Linux distributions for raw performance.
In cases where the OpenSUSE power consumption was similar to the other Linux distributions, the performance was similar.
Apologies for no Dell Ubuntu 18.04 battery results due to accidentally not uploading that test data prior to wiping that installation, but more than likely would perform close to Ubuntu 18.10 and the other Linux distributions.
With the exception of openSUSE's arguably quirky default behavior (at least as far as it goes when running on AC power leading to much slower performance), the other Linux distributions didn't see too much difference. Under load they all had an average power consumption of 15~18 Watts, with Fedora Workstation 29 coming in the best aside from Tumbleweed. Clear Linux with its "performance" governor by default didn't lead to really different results and in fact its average battery power consumption was lower than Ubuntu 18.10. The Linux distributions aside from openSUSE all had a peak power consumption of 38~40 Watts for this Dell XPS 9380 with the Intel Core i7 8565U. In the moments of idling, all of the Linux distributions were reporting 2~4.8 Watts when the display was automatically dimmed.
More Linux benchmarks of the Dell XPS 13 9380 will be coming up on Phoronix soon as I wrap up our testing of this new developer edition laptop.
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