The Power Consumption & Efficiency Of Open-Source Linux GPU Drivers

Written by Michael Larabel in Display Drivers on 26 July 2014 at 02:00 PM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 14 Comments.

Complementing yesterday's Radeon, Intel, and Nouveau benchmarks using the very latest open-source driver code, here's some power consumption, performance-per-Watt, and thermal numbers when using an assortment of graphics processors on the latest open-source drivers.

This article is part of a series of tests -- with now having published all of the raw OpenGL performance numbers for the open-source drivers on Linux 3.16 with Mesa 10.3-devel -- and will be continued next week by the matching proprietary AMD and NVIDIA driver tests. The numbers for sharing this weekend are just some power and thermal metrics for those curious, since it's been a number of weeks since last delivering such data from the latest kernel/Mesa snapshots at the time.

The graphics cards tested for this article were largely the same as Friday's OpenGL performance article and included the following cards on their latest Git drivers:

- Radeon HD 6770
- Radeon HD 6870
- Radeon HD 6950
- Radeon HD 7950
- Radeon R7 260X
- Radeon R9 270X
- GeForce 9800GT
- GeForce GTX 460
- GeForce GT 520
- GeForce GT 610
- GeForce GTX 650
- GeForce GTX 680
- GeForce GTX 760
- Intel HD Graphics 4600 (from the i7-4790K Devil's Canyon CPU used for all tests)

These benchmarks were carried out using the Phoronix Test Suite with its integrated support for power monitoring using a USB-based WattsUp power meter measuring the system's AC power draw and our open-source benchmarking software has detection for thermal sensors on the open/closed Intel/AMD/NVIDIA Linux drivers.

The polling is set using the MONITOR=sys.power,gpu.temp and PERFORMANCE_PER_WATT=1 environment variables. In this article is just the environmental data when running Warsow and Xonotic, but to see the OpenGL performance numbers for the other tests, see yesterday's article.

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