Razer Blade Stealth Laptop On Linux, Various Linux Laptop Performance Metrics

Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 30 August 2017 at 10:55 AM EDT. Page 4 of 9. 29 Comments.

Next up is a look at the Razer Stealth's power draw from battery while idling on the tested distributions. Each Linux distribution was cleanly loaded on this laptop including Ubuntu 17.04, Antergos 17.8, Fedora 26, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Clear Linux. Each OS was tested out-of-the-box as any new user would find it. The battery power usage as exposed via ACPI:


There are some slight fluctuations due to different distribution's time-to-dim on idling, etc, but we get a rough look at things. Clear Linux was going through the most power, which isn't that surprising considering it defaults to P-State's "performance" governor while the others use powersave by default; Clear Linux really isn't intended for laptop use-cases at this point.

Antergos 17.8 seemed to lead overall on having the lowest power use during the idling process of three minutes.

For additional reference about the battery on this laptop, Ubuntu 17.04 would report about an eight hour battery life, which is accurate when idling and light load. The Stealth's battery has a 54 kWh capacity.

And here is the battery power draw under different workloads including MP3 encoding, Darktable, GIMP, code compilation, OpenMP, and gaming:


This Kabylake laptop/ultrabook tended to have an average power draw of 20~22 Watts and a peak battery power draw under load of about 35~36 Watts on Ubuntu/Antergos/Fedora. Interestingly, Clear Linux's peak power use was lower at 32 Watts though with its performance governor had a higher minimum and average power draw.

The power numbers were done "out of the box" on each distribution as will likely be used by most Linux users out there. I did also record some measurements after using Intel's PowerTOP utility to set all of the "bad" power settings to "good" for the exposed tunables. I also did the same when moving from Ubuntu 17.04's Linux 4.10 kernel to Linux 4.13. Here are those idle results:


Using Linux 4.13 over Ubuntu 17.04's stock Linux 4.10 kernel did reduce the power usage a bit. However, still making a big impact was following PowerTOP's tunable recommendations for conserving power. Compared to a stock Ubuntu 17.04 installation, it was easy to drop the average power use from 8.7 Watts during idle to 5.9 Watts, with a similar impact on the minimum and maximum battery power use.

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