My aging laptop gets about 1 hour battery life on Karmic with compiz running (GNOME). With KDE4 it gets 45min. using the most aggressive power save profile.
Anyway, KDE4 just uses more RAM. On my 32bit laptop GNOME idles around 200-600MB after prolonged usage, with KDE4 showing a bit higher numbers (200-800MB). On my 64bit desktop, KDE4 with plasmoids on the desktop and effects shows me 800MB-1.7GB after a few hours of up time, and GNOME with Compiz running 500MB-1.5GB.
The test is indeed flawed as far as Gnome vs KDE vs the world is concerned, however the results are consistent with what a typical *buntu user will get - which means they are useful.
As for vanilla Gnome memory usage, I get 90MB on Arch (gnome and gnome-extras installed). If I use a better theme (New Wave) and install a couple of useful applications (Mono, Gnome Do) I go up to 120MB. Add compiz and, wait for it, 151MB. I measure memory usage with System Monitor, which takes up about 4.6MB (included in the previous results).
Pretty good results, I think.
Results are as expected... And they don't mean anything.
So let's get practical and run a webbrowser on a netbook, puh-fscking-lease... Combine this with photomanagement and an audio library app, playing some music?
KDE4: more features, does more thus consumes more in idle state but is best performing under load
Xfce: Gnome on a diet
Gnome: does less in idle state thus consumes more and can't handle heavy load on low performing netbooks.
Lxde: speed in tiny codebase. Doesn't scale and doesn't consume. Doesnt waste nor saves battery. Focus on performance.
Compositing doesn't matter because Intel gpu's don't save a lot, if any, power in an idle state.
KDe devs care about memory. That is why they use KPARTS. Modules reused wherever possible. Unlike gnome which is a bunch of clobbered together 3rd party apps.
Originally Posted by monraaf
old, but he at least knew what he was doing.
I meant Gnome consumes less onstead of more in idle state... damn 1min time limit plus mobile phone with internet >.<
KDE 4 takes 190MB after start-up. Vanilla KDE, Gentoo.
Phoronix, please, for heaven's sake, labe yours tests correctly. This was an "Ubuntu memory and power usage," not "KDE, Gnome, LXDE & Xfce".
I understand the point behind "out of the box" experience but does it always have to be a *buntu box? It's well known that Kubuntu provides the worst KDE experience.
Why not use a distro that provides a reasonable representation of all desktop environments to be tested?
I'm sorry but anything from Kubuntu is not a fair test. KDE should do something about the brand damaging being done.
I'll probably get flamed away for this, but if GNOME (Ubuntu) would have had higher memory usage compared to KDE (Kubuntu), then most people would have come and said how this proves once again why GNOME fails for some many reasons. Now that KDE, which generally gets quite a bit of positive support in these forums, comes out as the "loser", it's all but but but and this is flawed.
Ok so KDE uses more memory. So? Doesn't make it a bad DE or GNOME the greatest DE ever. But instead it's "But on my special-uber-plasma-pwn machine KDE actually only uses -15 MB of RAMz. You fail!!!!11111"
First of: ppl. with arch/gentoo asking for vanilla tests please do it yourself and post here the results you get. I think this approach is better and doing so you will contribute more knowledge and help ppl. be more informed about this issue.
Second, I think that (at least for me) the results are as expected.
LXDE is the lightest DE because it offers the least amount of gfx candy and least amount of functionality. But guess what, for some ppl. this is exactly what they are looking for.
Then we have Gnome, which is between LXDE and KDE. It's a full DE, plenty of apps., some gfx candy (if you want more you get it with compiz) and middle resource usage. For some ppl. this middle ground is the sweet spot.
Then you get KDE: the full DE platform. You get lots of gfx candy, lots of apps/services/addons/widgets. Ppl. that like customization will feel @ home here.
So they all fill a "niche" and there is place for all of them.