Is Fedora Going Through More Or Less Power?
Written by Michael Larabel in Fedora on 27 June 2010 at 10:16 AM EDT. 2 Comments
Along the same theme of yesterday's article entitled Is PowerTop Still Useful For Extending Your Battery Life? today here are some results showing the power consumption of the past three Fedora releases (11, 12, and 13) from a notebook computer.

This is just a quick, weekend test and more power tests from Fedora and other Linux distributions will be published in the future. Clean installations of Fedora 11, Fedora 12, and Fedora 13 were carried out on a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 notebook with an Intel Core Duo T2400 (1.83GHz) processor, 1GB of system memory, an 80GB Hitachi HTS541080G9SA00 SATA HDD, and ATI Radeon Mobility X1400 graphics. Via the Phoronix Test Suite we monitored the notebook's power consumption when running off the six-cell battery under different workloads.

First off, here are the key package versions from the tested releases:

Fedora 11
OS: Fedora 11, Kernel: (i686), Desktop: GNOME 2.26.1, Display Server: X.Org Server (1.6.2 RC 1), Display Driver: radeon 6.12.2, OpenGL: 1.4 Mesa 7.5-devel, Compiler: GCC 4.4.0, File-System: ext4, Screen Resolution: 1400x1050

Fedora 12
OS: Fedora release 12 (Constantine), Kernel: (i686), Desktop: GNOME 2.28.1, Display Server: X.Org Server 1.7.1, Display Driver: radeon 6.12.99, OpenGL: 1.5 Mesa 7.7-devel, Compiler: GCC 4.4.2, File-System: ext4, Screen Resolution: 1400x1050

Fedora 13
OS: Fedora release 13 (Goddard), Kernel: (i686), Desktop: GNOME 2.30.0, Display Server: X.Org Server 1.8.0, Display Driver: radeon 6.13.0, OpenGL: 1.5 Mesa 7.8.1, Compiler: GCC 4.4.4, File-System: ext4, Screen Resolution: 1400x1050

To begin, below is a chart showing the ThinkPad's power consumption rate with Fedora 11/12/13 while the system was idling at the GNOME desktop for a period of five minutes.

Fedora 11 consumed an average rate of 16.9 Watts, Fedora 12 was going through 18.0 Watts, and this newest Fedora release was at a rate of 17.5 Watts. Fedora 13 consumed less power than its predecessor, but it still was going through more power than Fedora 11. Our more exhaustive power benchmarks will include results going back further than just Fedora 11.

This second chart shows the power performance when running OpenArena followed by running GraphicsMagick and then running the unpack-linux test profile. Fedora 11 on average was going through 32 Watts, Fedora 12 was at 29.3 Watts, and Fedora 13 ended out at 30.1 Watts. Fedora 11 was much less efficient than Fedora 12 and Fedora 13 with its power efficiency while the hardware was being strained with these open-source benchmarks, but Fedora 13 did slightly worse than Fedora 12.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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