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A Look At The Windows 10 vs. Linux Power Consumption On A Dell XPS 13 Laptop

Filed under
GNU
Graphics/Benchmarks
Linux
Microsoft

With the current-generation Dell XPS 13 XPS9370-7002SLV currently being tested at Phoronix, one of the areas I was most anxious to benchmark was the power consumption... For years it has been a problem of Linux on laptops generally leading to less battery life than on Windows, but in the past ~2+ years there has been some nice improvements within the Linux kernel and a renewed effort by developers at Red Hat and elsewhere on improving the Linux laptop battery life. Here are some initial power consumption numbers for this Dell XPS 13 under Windows 10 and then various Linux distributions.

The Dell XPS 13.3-inch laptop for testing features the Intel Core i7 8550U (quad-core + HT) CPU with UHD Graphics 620, 2 x 4GB RAM, 256GB PM961 NVMe Samsung SSD, and its panel is a 1920 x 1080 resolution. For some initial basic tests I ran Windows 10 out-of-the-box and compared that to fresh installs of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, Fedora Workstation 28, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Clear Linux.

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More in Tux Machines

Security: Updates, US Demand for Back Doors, and Microsoft's Collusion with the NSA Keeps Serving Crackers

  • Security updates for Wednesday
  • State Department Still Sucks At Basic Cybersecurity And Senators Want To Know Why
    The senators are hoping the State Department will have answers to a handful of cybersecurity-related questions by October 12th, but given the agency's progress to compliance with a law that's been on the book for two years at this point, I wouldn't expect responses to be delivered in a timelier fashion. The agency's track record on security isn't great and these recent developments only further cement its reputation as a government ripe for exploitation. The agency's asset-tracking program only tracks Windows devices, its employees are routinely careless with their handling of classified info, and, lest we forget, its former boss ran her own email server, rather than use the agency's. Of course, given this long list of security failures, there's a good possibility an off-site server had more baked-in security than the agency's homebrew.
  • EternalBlue Vulnerability Puts Pirated Windows Systems at Malware Risk [Ed: Microsoft's collusion with the NSA (for US-controlled back doors) continues to cost billions... paid by people who foolishly chose or accepted PCs with Windows.]
    A particular vulnerability that has been codenamed EternalBlue is to be blamed for this misfortune. The malware risk especially affects computers which use pirated Windows versions. This gap in security has its traces back in the legacies of US secret service NSA. Even after several years, many systems continue to be vulnerable. For more than three years, US intelligence was using it for performing hidden attacks on all kinds of targets. The agency finally had to leak the vulnerability to Microsoft due to the danger of hacking by a famous hacker group, Shadow Brokers. Microsoft then consequently had to abandon a patch day for the very first time in the company’s history for filling in the gap as quickly as possible.

today's howtos

Moving Compiler Dependency Checks to Kconfig

One reason became clear recently when Linus Torvalds asked developers to add an entirely new system of dependency checks to the Kconfig language, specifically testing the capabilities of the GCC compiler. It's actually an important issue. The Linux kernel wants to support as many versions of GCC as possible—so long as doing so would not require too much insanity in the kernel code itself—but different versions of GCC support different features. The GCC developers always are tweaking and adjusting, and GCC releases also sometimes have bugs that need to be worked around. Some Linux kernel features can only be built using one version of the compiler or another. And, some features build better or faster if they can take advantage of various GCC features that exist only in certain versions. Up until this year, the kernel build system has had to check all those compiler features by hand, using many hacky methods. The art of probing a tool to find out if it supports a given feature dates back decades and is filled with insanity. Imagine giving a command that you know will fail, but giving it anyway because the specific manner of failure will tell you what you need to know for a future command to work. Now imagine hundreds of hacks like that in the Linux kernel build system. Read more

Fedora be pretty - The ultimate customization guide

I am quite pleased with the final result of this transformation. But it also requires a lot of non-standard changes, which is a shame, because none of what I did, subjective taste elements aside, is super complicated. Imagine a Fedora, or for that any which distro, that has everything really nicely tailored for max. efficiency, ergonomics, productivity, and fun. My journey encompasses the use of third-party repos, extra software, Gnome Tweak Tool, about a dozen extensions, new themes, icons, and fonts, the use of a dock, plus some extra visual polish. In the end, though, Fedora 28 looks and behaves the part. This is something I could happily show to other people, and I am convinced they would be inclined to try it. Well, there you go. The guide. Hopefully, you'll find it useful, and perhaps it may even hype up your enthusiasm for Linux. In these dreary times, an injection of fanboyese is quite needed. Take care. Read more