After recently tracking down the major Linux kernel power regression that's present for a vast number of mobile users in Fedora 15, Ubuntu 11.04, and other recent Linux distributions shipping the 2.6.38+ kernel, the sights were turned to see how the power management of Ubuntu 11.04 compares to that of Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1. In this article are the power consumption results of Ubuntu 11.04 compared directly to Windows 7 Professional 1 on several different systems with distinct notebook and desktop / workstation configurations.
For all testing, the Watts Up Pro power meter was used with its USB interfacing to the Phoronix Test Suite software for automatic monitoring. This monitoring was done by an independent system the entire time to ensure that there weren't any Windows/Linux software monitoring differences as the power meter was attached to each system's power supply.
The systems that where we looked at the Ubuntu 11.04 x86_64 vs. Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1 x64 included:
* Lenovo ThinkPad T61: Intel Core 2 Duo T9300, Hitachi 100GB HTS72201 SATA HDD, Intel PM965 + ICH8M-E, 4GB DDR3, NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M 512MB.
* Gulftown: Intel Core i7 990X, ASRock X58 SuperComputer, 3GB DDR3, 320GB Seagate ST3320620AS SATA HDD, NVIDIA GeForce 9800GTX.
* Dual Opteron: 2 x AMD Opteron 2384 Quad-Core CPUs, Tyan S2932 motherboard, 160GB Western Digital WD1600YS-01S SATA HDD, 4GB ECC Registered DDR2, ATI FirePro V8700.
* Phenom II: AMD Phenom II X3 710, MSI 890GXM-G65, Seagate 250GB ST250310AS SATA HDD, 4GB DDR3, AMD Radeon HD 4650.
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