Power Use, RAM + Boot Times With Unity, Xfce, GNOME, LXDE, Budgie & KDE Plasma

Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 30 August 2017 at 04:59 PM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 137 Comments.

One of the first follow-on requests from this morning's Razer Blade Stealth Linux testing was for on top of all the other data-sets shared in that article to also look at the RAM usage, battery power draw, and boot times for the different desktop options on Ubuntu 17.04. As the request came in from a Phoronix Premium supporter, I jumped on that and here are some of those numbers.

From the Razer Blade Stealth laptop with Core i7 Kabylake CPU, I carried out a comparison of the different desktop environments as packaged on Ubuntu 17.04. Tests include Unity 7, Xfce 4.12, GNOME Shell 3.24, GNOME Shell 3.24 on Wayland rather than X.Org, LXDE 0.9.3, Openbox, Budgie, and KDE Plasma 5. Each session was tested separately and uninstalling the other desktops after their test.

Ubuntu 17.04 Desktops Systemd Boot Times

Looked at for this comparison was the system boot time as measured via systemd, the battery power use while each desktop was idling after freshly booted, and the reported RAM usage with each of the freshly booted systems.

Take the numbers as you wish considering it's for the Ubuntu packaging of each desktop and some will argue the packaging / patches / other changes for explaining their preferred desktop's results, etc. Also keep in mind tests were just done from this system today with it being the latest laptop I have available for testing. This is being put out as just some out-of-the-box, reference figures for you to consume as desired. All tests done via the Phoronix Test Suite.

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