Testing The Intel "Workload Hints" Capability Of Linux 5.11

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 30 December 2020 at 12:30 PM EST.

First up were some web browser benchmarks. It quickly became apparent there wasn't much of a difference as far as enhancing the raw performance. But when passing the battery life and idle hints, the performance was indeed much lower.

Under the idle and battery life modes, the i7-1165G7 SoC was reporting via RAPL an average power consumption of around 8 Watts compared to the default (none) behavior and other hints leading to around a 13 Watt average. The peak power consumption was about halved with the idle/battery_life hints leading to a peak of 12 Watts compared to a reported 23~24 Watt peak in the other modes.

Obviously this also meant much lower CPU temperatures in the lower-power modes.

Given the compact form factor of the system, there was even a noticeable difference in the NVMe drive temperature.

In some of the tests changing off the default "none" to bursty or semi_active did yield some small boosts to the performance but overall was largely flat except for battery life and idle modes.

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