Tracker & Compiz-Fusion
Hmmm, so this was done with just a default installation of Gutsy, yes? By default, it has Tracker (which indexes your hard drive) and Compiz (pretty things) enabled by default, which no doubt have some sort of impact on the results. I'd be very interested in seeing the results with those features disabled, since those would be the first things I'd turn off after installing it on a laptop.
I have a hunch that the power usage would be a whole lot lower. I find it hard to believe that the tickless kernel really has such a small impact...
Great article. Though I'm not really surprised by the results. My nonscientific "experiment" of watching the same programs that ran fine Edgy run slowly on Fiesty led me to the conclusion that Ubuntu has become a BLOATED POWER-HOGGING monster.
The article would be greatly improved if you compared various distros (not just ubuntu) and even Windows... I'd really like to see how Vista compares to 'buntu and OpenSuse... I have a feeling that Ubuntu is not too far behind Vista...
We will be delivering these benchmarks shortly.
Originally Posted by ikaruga
Cool, thanks :)
Originally Posted by Michael
Can you try ubuntu with tracker and compiz turned off too if you have time while you're doing it?
and fedora. with their OLPC involvement I think they ought to be ahead on powersaving. i saw a redhat guy at lugradio who had some clever ideas, eg smart screen dimming; the dim timeout varies automatically, if the screen dims and you wiggle the mouse it increases the time out, if you keep leaving the screen dim for a fews mins, then it increases the time out.
Originally Posted by ikaruga
also could you check how gutsy with tracker and networkmanager disabled does. the current results might just show that you can run more background tasks without increasing power consumption.
Yes, as reported by powertop, while the system is idle trackerd is in the top 5 offenders, but just as HAL polling the DC/DVD drive to see if you have inserted a disk or like USB port.
I don't think that power consumption while idle is all that important. Probably like 5% of your battery is used by an idle system (excepting the battery used by the screen if it's on), while 95% is used when things are actually happening.
And yes, Tracker again uses quite some power. Not by waking up the kernel while idle, but while scanning the disk and updating the database.
I'd find interesting to measure the power used by applications. For example, it could be measured how much power it's used by 3 different bittorrent clients downloading the same file: Azureus (a full-featured Java based app), Ktorrent (a full featured QT/C++ based app) and Transmission (a simple and light GTK/C app). That would give an idea about the relationship between bloat/features and power consumption.
It's said that why care to optimize apps when more powerful hardware (more CPU, more RAM, etc...) is cheaply available each year. Well, power consumption could be a good reason for it.
Great article. A second one about Power consumption on desktop systems would be nice!