Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 21st Oct 2013 14:01 UTC
Windows

Jeff Atwood:

I had a brief Twitter conversation with Anand Shimpi of Anandtech about this, and he was as perplexed as I was. Nobody could explain the technical basis for this vast difference in idle power management on the same hardware. None of the PC vendors he spoke to could justify it, or produce a Windows box that managed similar battery life to OS X. And that battery life gap is worse today - even when using Microsoft's own hardware, designed in Microsoft's labs, running Microsoft's latest operating system released this week. Microsoft can no longer hand wave this vast difference away based on vague references to "poorly optimized third party drivers".

The new Surface Pro 2 gets 6.6 hours of web browsing battery life. The MacBook Air 11", which has more or less the same hardware and battery, gets more than 11 hours.

I have a Surface RT - the first generation - and as such, I know why. Windows 8 might have Metro running on top of it hiding a lot of it, but Windows 8.x carries just as much baggage, cruft, and outdated shit with it as previous versions of Windows have. Windows 8/8.1 - and Metro in particular - simply suck. Slow, clunky, jarring, cumbersome, battery-sucking, restricted, and limited, with a crappy selection of rush-job, rarely updated applications. You know how resizing windows on Windows 7 or OS X is all nice and fluid? Why, then, is it a slow and jittery operation that brings Windows 8 Metro to its knees?

It's simple: just like battery life, it's a symptom of Microsoft's Windows team not having the balls to truly go for a clean break, as the Windows Phone team have done. And lo and behold, Windows Phone - even WP8, which runs on the same NT kernel - has none of the slowness and crappiness issues that continue to plague Windows 8 Metro (although WP has its own set of issues unrelated to these).

If you want a smooth, modern laptop today - get a MacBook. If you want a smooth and modern tablet, get the Nexus 7 or an iPad. Microsoft still has nothing to show for itself in these areas.

Order by: Score:
Reason on many levels
by satai on Mon 21st Oct 2013 14:24 UTC
satai
Member since:
2005-07-30

You are probably right about high-level reason. But I would be a bit interested in the mid-level reason, if there are some subsystems and features, that we could point fingers at.

BTW: are the any comparisons/benchmark for battery life of desktop Linux? (Preferably with up-to-date stack: systemd, wayland, latest kernels... you name the stuff)

Reply Score: 2

RE: Reason on many levels
by ddc_ on Mon 21st Oct 2013 14:45 UTC in reply to "Reason on many levels"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

BTW: are the any comparisons/benchmark for battery life of desktop Linux? (Preferably with up-to-date stack: systemd, wayland, latest kernels... you name the stuff)

There's no such thing as up-to-date Linux stack: Ubuntu and Fedora divert very much and every other GNU distro is catching up more or less. Furthermore, the level of support of powersaving hardware features is very different. Another factor worth mention is that you really can't compare Linux console to Windows 8 or OS X, and the GUI you'll have to add to the Linux stack you choose would also influence the outcome dramatically. In fact the comparison that would make sense is something like "Fedora+GNOME vs. Ubuntu+Unity vs. openSUSE+KDE vs. Mint+Cinnamon vs. Windows 8" (these are nearly random distro+DE combinations, more thought required), and it should be carried on a set of divert hardware setups to make at least some sense.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Reason on many levels
by phoenix on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:27 UTC in reply to "RE: Reason on many levels"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

Or, one could eliminate one variable, and just test:

Ubuntu+Unity, Ubuntu+GNOME3, Ubuntu+KDE4, Ubuntu+XFCE. Ubuntu+LXDE

And compare that to say Fedora running all the same WMs (with the exception of Unity, of course).

And, finally, compare that to OpenSuSE running the same WMs.

That way, one could compare how each WM/DE affects performance on the same distro, how the distro affects performance on the same WM/DE.

Would take a long time, but would be the only way to really get a good picture of battery life on Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Reason on many levels
by ddc_ on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:55 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reason on many levels"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

Add here several different hardware setups (AMD, pure Intel, Intel+Nvidia in combination with different wireless cards) and your results are pretty extensive.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Reason on many levels
by chithanh on Mon 21st Oct 2013 14:52 UTC in reply to "Reason on many levels"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

I don't know anybody who uses Wayland in production systems yet, or any distribution which ships it enabled by default. So why should Wayland battery life matter to any tester?

The Acer C720 Chromebook running ChromeOS is rated at 8.5 hours of battery life, which has been confirmed to be accurate in early reviews (e.g. [1]). It uses a 45 Wh battery compared to the 38 Wh battery in the 11" MacBook Air.

[1] http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9243287/Acer_C720_Chromebook...

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Reason on many levels
by ddc_ on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Reason on many levels"
ddc_ Member since:
2006-12-05

GNOME Shell may act as Wayland compositor since 3.10, and they plan to have complete Wayland support by 3.12. Prooflink: https://wiki.gnome.org/ThreePointEleven/Features/WaylandSupport

Edited 2013-10-21 18:01 UTC

Reply Score: 0

RE: Reason on many levels
by gus3 on Mon 21st Oct 2013 15:37 UTC in reply to "Reason on many levels"
gus3 Member since:
2010-09-02

"Subsystems" indeed. Windows Vista brought that whole issue to the fore, with their mandatory DRM degrading (infecting?) the system's entire ability to perform. Those computations take power that could be better spent on other work.

And then there's the system call graph comparison from 2006: http://www.graphs.net/201304/server-wars-infographic-linux-or-windo... speaks volumes.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Reason on many levels
by Nelson on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Reason on many levels"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Wow, really, Vista DRM? I feel like I stepped in a time warp to 2007.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Reason on many levels
by gus3 on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:52 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reason on many levels"
gus3 Member since:
2010-09-02

I just used that as an example, because it was visible even to non-tech types who noticed Vista ran slower than XP, even though Vista was newer. The "subsystems" problem has been with Windows since Win98, if not longer.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Reason on many levels
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:25 UTC in reply to "Reason on many levels"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=apple_mac_power&...

Take it with a grain of salt, its a few years old now, and its phoronix. He tries hard, but bench-marking is very hard.

Of course, if you want to do your own research, the bench-marking software is freely available.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Reason on many levels
by Carewolf on Mon 21st Oct 2013 18:43 UTC in reply to "Reason on many levels"
Carewolf Member since:
2005-09-08

Linux is unfortunately much worse on battery life these days, though mostly because the power saving features of modern CPUs, chipsets and GPU are not supported. It seems to be something Intel and Nvidia prefers to make exclusively available to Apple and Microsoft.

Though once you get to the long tail, the issues are how vetted and good all the third party applications are. This is where Apple gets to beat MS though their operating system is technically worse.

Edited 2013-10-21 18:44 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Reason on many levels
by leech on Mon 21st Oct 2013 19:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Reason on many levels"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

I can tell you right now that not only does my Linux install (currently Debian Sid, but up until yesterday was Debian Wheezy) not constantly run the fan on it, but seems to run smoother overall (less disk accessing) than Windows 8 does.


This is on an HP Touchsmart tx1025

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Reason on many levels
by lucas_maximus on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Reason on many levels"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

Check out

http://jupiter.sourceforge.net/downloads.html

Fuduntu used to use it while the distro was still alive and the Battery life was better under linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Reason on many levels
by historyb on Mon 21st Oct 2013 21:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Reason on many levels"
historyb Member since:
2005-07-06

I use TLP on Elementary OS and get 4 hours out of my 6 cell battery

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Reason on many levels
by cfgr on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:59 UTC in reply to "RE: Reason on many levels"
cfgr Member since:
2009-07-18

Nonsense. On Ubuntu my laptop can run for about 8 hours on battery, and that includes playing games such as FTL and OpenTTD, or running a series of java programs (eclipse, gradle, tomcat...) Dualbooted to Windows, it gives me at most 2 hours while playing the same games. Linux shuts down all but one i7 core, Windows doesn't seem to do that.

I regularly travel about 3-4 hours by train (with a few changes in between). Windows never survives the ride, Ubuntu usually does with 50-60% battery left.

I'm only using open source drivers by the way. I can imagine that those binary blobs play less nice.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Reason on many levels
by No it isnt on Tue 22nd Oct 2013 15:24 UTC in reply to "RE: Reason on many levels"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

"These days" was perhaps true in 2012, but things happen fast. The open source radeon drivers have decent power management now (Catalyst always had, but despite the excellent performance and feature set, Catalyst still sucks), Intel's is great. nvidia is probably fine as well, unless you use that fancy hybrid graphics mode to save power.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 21st Oct 2013 14:39 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

Pretty much spot on, its impressive the downsizing Windows has done -- but much more work needs to be done in order to squeeze out every last bit of juice.

Windows Phone also benefits from a single focus on a single chip manufacturer (Qualcomm). Surface 2 apparently is very capable from a perf POV due to Tegra 4 but I still wouldn't trust a Tegra at all.

One can only hope that now that the inmates no longer run the asylum (old WinDiv that dragged their feet on tablets for a decade) that things change for the better.

Reply Score: 2

You know what?
by twitterfire on Mon 21st Oct 2013 15:11 UTC
twitterfire
Member since:
2008-09-11

If you want a smooth, modern laptop today - get a MacBook. If you want a smooth and modern tablet, get the Nexus 7 or an iPad. Microsoft still has nothing to show for itself in these areas.

Some people might want a computer to run some software, you know, something other than webbrowser or Angry Birds. Some need 3D Max, some need VirtualDub, some need Pinnacle Studio, some need SONAR, some need Transcode, I need Unity 3D and Visual Studio, some people play games, etc.

There's no other platform having all sort of professional tools running on it. Even for gaming there are 100x or 1000x more games available on Windows than on Os X.

Sure, if you only use a webbrowser Os X is ok. But Linux might be even better in that regard.

Reply Score: 9

RE: You know what?
by Wafflez on Mon 21st Oct 2013 16:04 UTC in reply to "You know what?"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

Buy a MacBook, install Windows.

Atleast that's on my TO DO list just to confuse hipsters in coffee shops.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: You know what?
by ebasconp on Mon 21st Oct 2013 18:25 UTC in reply to "RE: You know what?"
ebasconp Member since:
2006-05-09

Better if you buy a MacBook, buy VMware Fusion or Parallels, and install Windows on it for your gaming stuff.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: You know what?
by moondevil on Mon 21st Oct 2013 19:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: You know what?"
moondevil Member since:
2005-07-08

I want Windows to talk directly to my graphics card.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: You know what?
by shotsman on Tue 22nd Oct 2013 07:11 UTC in reply to "RE: You know what?"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

Then skin windows so it looks like OSX to confuse the poor blighters even more.

Then sigh as their systems carry on working while yours dies as the battery runs out.

Winners and losers everywhere then?

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: You know what?
by ezraz on Wed 23rd Oct 2013 17:11 UTC in reply to "RE: You know what?"
ezraz Member since:
2012-06-20

this coffeeshop hipster fanboi has had windows on his mac for a long time. i develop cross-platform apps and have enjoyed living mac and firing up windows when needed for many many years.

running other OS's well has been an advantage of apple's hardware for some time.

btw - i look around the coffeeshop computer users, and my observation is that most are just facebooking and web surfing, regardless of platform. i've always felt like i was the minority actually setting up and developing when mobile.

Reply Score: 1

RE: You know what?
by drcouzelis on Mon 21st Oct 2013 18:08 UTC in reply to "You know what?"
drcouzelis Member since:
2010-01-11

Some people might want a computer to run some software, you know, something other than webbrowser or Angry Birds. Some need 3D Max, some need VirtualDub, some need Pinnacle Studio, some need SONAR, some need Transcode, I need Unity 3D and Visual Studio, some people play games, etc. There's no other platform having all sort of professional tools running on it. Even for gaming there are 100x or 1000x more games available on Windows than on Os X. Sure, if you only use a webbrowser Os X is ok. But Linux might be even better in that regard.


You're right, people should use Windows if they want to run some software. For the past decade I've used nothing but Linux for work, hobbies, Masters degree work, and entertainment, but I don't do all those things by using software. Instead my computer runs on cookie dough.

I also use Linux professionaly every day at work, but since we need higher quality output our work computers run on unicorn poop. You know, for stability.

My mom, a much less technical user than me, asked me which computer she should buy. At first I was going to suggest a Macbook Air so that she'd be able to use it twice as long as a Windows laptop thanks to having twice as much battery life, but in the end I got her a Microsoft Surface Pro, because she might want to run Pinnacle Studio some day.

Reply Score: 6

RE: You know what?
by JAlexoid on Wed 23rd Oct 2013 18:14 UTC in reply to "You know what?"
JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

FYI: Unity 3D is written mostly using OSX and Unity Tech is 100% mac shop.

Reply Score: 2

Slow progress
by zdzichu on Mon 21st Oct 2013 15:18 UTC
zdzichu
Member since:
2006-11-07

Windows is quite behind when it comes to powersaving. The features landing now (like tickless kernel) were available in Linux years ago. Runtime power management (turning off devices not being used at the moment) is almost nonexistant in Windows. Additionally, Linux is in special position - the same Linux (or very similar - with android addons) is used on mobile devices and on laptops. Almost every optimizations mobile companies implement for cellphones also works on laptops, bringing power usage down.

More exotic OSes, like Darwin/Mac OS X, outpace Windows when it comes to integration with the hardware. For example Apple, controlling both hardware and software, was able to quickly introduce "half wake/half suspended" state - google for "darkwake".

Reply Score: 2

RE: Slow progress
by Wafflez on Mon 21st Oct 2013 16:07 UTC in reply to "Slow progress"
Wafflez Member since:
2011-06-26

My knowledge is outdated, but with Windows 7 and Ubuntu, Windows 7 had longer batter life on same laptop. Anecdotally, Ubuntu running as a guest on Windows host had more battery life than running Ubuntu on hardware.

So this comes a little shocking (that and how someone compared Surface and MacBook Air, back in my days battery tests wre done on same hardware.

Edited 2013-10-21 16:08 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Slow progress
by WereCatf on Mon 21st Oct 2013 16:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Slow progress"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

My knowledge is outdated, but with Windows 7 and Ubuntu, Windows 7 had longer batter life on same laptop.


One of the reasons for this could be the lack of power-management in GPU-drivers. You don't mention if you were testing with F/OSS-drivers or closed-source ones, or even what GPU you had, but AFAIK neither the F/OSS-drivers for NVIDIA-cards or for the AMD-cards properly support power-management.

Reply Score: 8

RE[3]: Slow progress
by WereCatf on Mon 21st Oct 2013 16:37 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Slow progress"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Uh, what? Why did I get modded down? I sometimes don't understand the zealots' logic, since e.g. http://nouveau.freedesktop.org/wiki/FeatureMatrix/ backs up what I said: not a single card has proper power-management.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Slow progress
by PhilPotter on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:13 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Slow progress"
PhilPotter Member since:
2011-06-10

I've modded you up as I agree with you that modding down based on your comment/opinion is wrong. However, I need to point out that (although it isn't fully mainstream in the various distros yet) the Linux kernel radeon module has had DPM for a fair few months now, and it works as well if not better than catalyst in terms of power savings.

Reply Score: 3

RE[5]: Slow progress
by WereCatf on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:56 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Slow progress"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

However, I need to point out that (although it isn't fully mainstream in the various distros yet) the Linux kernel radeon module has had DPM for a fair few months now, and it works as well if not better than catalyst in terms of power savings.


Well, the person I replied to never mentioned how recently he tested this, nor did he mention his GPU. I don't know if he tested this before the Radeon - module got DPM implemented or if it wasn't a Radeon in the first place, I just offered something that could have explained the difference. At least it did make a big difference in the past.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Slow progress
by gan17 on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:20 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Slow progress"
gan17 Member since:
2008-06-03

I +1'ed you back up. Happy? =P

It's true in any case. The open source drivers for both nVidia and AMD/ATI are behind with regards to power and thermal management. All one has to do is visit the official forums of various distros for examples.

Linux battery life with the more recent Intel (Sandy/Ivy Bridge & Haswell) mobile chipsets is pretty similar to what you'd get on Windows, in my experience, though I'm not quite sure about feature parity.

Edit:
I have little experience with AMD, so the above commenter's statement about DPM might well be true.

Edited 2013-10-21 17:22 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Slow progress
by acobar on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:43 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Slow progress"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Forget about the moderation rating on OSNews, it is broken by design.

At least to the extent of my experience, your assertions seems true but I am not sure if it still applies. things change fast on linux.

Frankly, don't look for logic or, perhaps, reasonability from any zealots camps, their radicalism do not grant value for different opinions but only their own, it is a kind of deaf, blind, self-reinforcing, perpetual motion way of thinking full of idiosyncratic preposterous nonsense. ;-)

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: Slow progress
by Soulbender on Tue 22nd Oct 2013 06:28 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Slow progress"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Why did I get modded down?


Because people are morons and the OSNews moderation policies are braindead.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Slow progress
by phoenix on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:29 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Slow progress"
phoenix Member since:
2005-07-11

The latest Radeon drivers in Linux support KMS and power saving features. It was trumpeted as a huge accomplishment a couple months back. Many AMD-based laptop owners rejoiced!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Slow progress
by lucas_maximus on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:08 UTC in reply to "Slow progress"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

OS that the producer cares about providing customers with backwards compatibility is slower to adopt new features than other Operating systems where they don't guarantee any backward compatibility or even care about it.

What a surprise!

Usually Windows gets better battery life, Linux with Jupitur Applet or similar brought them more or less in line. I get about 4 hours on my very old laptop.

6.6 hours of battery life on a single charge and people are complaining? I am used to 4 hours if the screen is dark as f--k and I don't fire up VS.

Edited 2013-10-21 20:09 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Slow progress
by Soulbender on Tue 22nd Oct 2013 06:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Slow progress"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

I am used to 4 hours if the screen is dark as f--k and I don't fire up VS.


It's 2013, we should expect better across the board.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by olejon
by olejon on Mon 21st Oct 2013 15:55 UTC
olejon
Member since:
2012-08-12

I recently bought a 2013 MacBook Air for school and casual surfing, mainly due to its battery life. Also, as a developer it is great to have access to different platforms.

I really love the battery life, it has just become more important to me. I also love the fact that I can just put it to sleep (close the lid), and leave it for long periods of time without the battery level going down noteworthy. The same goes for my iPad, but it's mainly collecting dust after buying the MacBook Air. A truly mobile laptop with a powerful OS is just so much better than a restricted tablet.

My main laptop runs GNU/Linux. It has a terrible battery life (in Windows as well), but it's an 18 inch more or less always connected to a power supply. Being that big, it's more like a stationary computer with built-in UPS.

Linux has great power saving features, but there's too much not-optimized software in most distributions and carrier/OEM-bloated Android ROMs.

Apple is leading, with a big advantage of producing both the hardware and the software. The same could be said about the Surface, but Windows just carries too much stuff after tens of years supporting all the hardware in the world.

Edited 2013-10-21 15:55 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by olejon
by Lennie on Mon 21st Oct 2013 16:13 UTC in reply to "Comment by olejon"
Lennie Member since:
2007-09-22

Apple is leading, with a big advantage of producing both the hardware and the software.


That is exectly the reason I was going to post in the comments.

Apple also has a lot less hardware that it needs to support with their software.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Comment by olejon
by lucas_maximus on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:11 UTC in reply to "Comment by olejon"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

I will probably go MacBook Pro on the net laptop since the ultrabooks with a decent display are almost as much so I might as well get all the bling with it.

Reply Score: 2

No jitter on surface pro
by runjorel on Mon 21st Oct 2013 16:14 UTC
runjorel
Member since:
2009-02-09

I have absolutely no graphics issues on my Surface Pro on any app resizing. I would assume the poor graphics performance is due to the RT and its inadequacies. I have also never experienced any graphics issues on other laptops, BUT I have never tried Win 8 on a non x86 cpu so I am not sure if Thom was specifically speaking to RT and RT hardware.

Re: battery life, I still think it's tough to judge because it's not a 100% fair comparison because Windows has the whole touch screen and higher res display to deal with whereas Apple doesn't (comparing Surface Pro to MBA). Apple has also been making/controlling their own hardware a lot longer.

Despite all this, I still feel that if Apple did have a touch screen and higher res display, I wouldn't be surprised if they managed to have significantly better battery life than the competition.

Reply Score: 1

Wow
by bentoo on Mon 21st Oct 2013 16:40 UTC
bentoo
Member since:
2012-09-21

Wow, a 1.6 GHz processor (i5-4200U in Surface Pro 2) has worse battery life than a 1.3 GHz processor (i5-4250U in MBA)? Who would have thought?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wow
by WereCatf on Mon 21st Oct 2013 16:49 UTC in reply to "Wow"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

Wow, a 1.6 GHz processor (i5-4200U in Surface Pro 2) has worse battery life than a 1.3 GHz processor (i5-4250U in MBA)? Who would have thought?


So, you're squarely staring at the CPU-speed? If you'd dig deeper you'd notice that the 4200U sports an HD Graphics 4400 GPU whereas the 4250U sports an HD Graphics 5000 GPU, which according to benchmarks is a lot speedier than the aforementioned one. The speedier GPU is likely the bigger reason for the difference in battery-life than the difference of mere 300MHz, especially since both CPUs have equally-high turbo-clocked speed -- 2.6GHz.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wow
by Nelson on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:04 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Also to be noted and accounted for is the active digitizer and higher resolution on the Pro.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Wow
by bentoo on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

Also to be noted and accounted for is the active digitizer and higher resolution on the Pro.


And the TN in the MBA uses less power than the IPS (assumed) in Surface Pro 2. Too many differences to take this article seriously.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Wow
by Deviate_X on Mon 21st Oct 2013 19:29 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
Deviate_X Member since:
2005-07-11

Hummmm ... i thought Anand was better than this, comparing a low resolution mac air to a high resolution touch screen.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wow
by bentoo on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Wow"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

...has more or less the same hardware and battery


No I'm illustrating that the hardware is NOT the same and that such apples and oranges comparisons should not be used to push Thom's anti-MS agenda.

As for the CPU speed the the 20% higher minimum clock WILL result in more power consumption. (Even though the turbo frequency and TDP are the same...)

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Wow
by Thom_Holwerda on Mon 21st Oct 2013 17:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wow"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

to push Thom's anti-MS agenda.


To my recollection, I was supposed to be anti-Apple. Care to elaborate? You and several of the fervent Apple supporters here might have to have a talk.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Wow
by acobar on Mon 21st Oct 2013 18:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wow"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

And with this last imputation you are left with no system at all, as I think you said linux is not the best OS option to use as mainstream personal desktop because of its current DE options.

Poor guy, better fold and stop using any desktop system. ;-)

Really, it is kind of ridiculous when people point fingers at you when some of the criticism you bring are perfectly valid.

No system is perfect and the flaws they carry do not promote them to the top "worst things ever" automatically. My main system is a linux distro (openSUSE), but I am fine with the state of Windows 7 and could use it as my main desktop, which I don't because of many, but manageable, details. Same can be said about Windows 8, even though I prefer the 7 iteration.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: Wow
by bentoo on Mon 21st Oct 2013 18:50 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wow"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

Really, it is kind of ridiculous when people point fingers at you when some of the criticism you bring are perfectly valid.


Perfectly valid? The comparison offered were two completely different systems which Thom labeled as "more or less the same hardware." If the comparison offered were valid then the criticism would be too.

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: Wow
by acobar on Mon 21st Oct 2013 18:54 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wow"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Please, read my next post http://www.osnews.com/permalink?575131.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wow
by umccullough on Mon 21st Oct 2013 21:25 UTC in reply to "Wow"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

Wow, a 1.6 GHz processor (i5-4200U in Surface Pro 2) has worse battery life than a 1.3 GHz processor (i5-4250U in MBA)? Who would have thought?


And I suppose if hardware specs were removed from the equation, i.e. running Windows on the MBA, you would use Microsoft's reasoning again: "crappy 3rd party drivers".

Face it, there's a major discrepancy that Microsoft refuses to address and/or explain here.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by anthonws
by anthonws on Mon 21st Oct 2013 18:21 UTC
anthonws
Member since:
2013-10-21

How can a different form factor, restricting battery size and capacity, be a good comparison?

Surface Pro 2: 7.4V, 4200 mAh
MBA: 7.6 V, 7150 mAh

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Thanks,
Anthonws.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by anthonws
by inside0ut on Mon 21st Oct 2013 18:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by anthonws"
inside0ut Member since:
2011-12-24

Those are the same numbers I looked up and found, so basically the Surface Pro 2 performs the same as the 2013 Air.
Not that anybody here probably cares

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by anthonws
by acobar on Mon 21st Oct 2013 18:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by anthonws"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Perhaps you did not bother to finish read the whole article but here we go:

Perhaps most damning of all, if you take the latest and greatest 13" MacBook Air, and install Windows 8 on it, guess what happens to battery life?

One of the best things about the standard 2013 MacBook Air 13" is that it has record-breaking battery life of 14 hrs 25 min (with the screen brightness at 100 cd/m², headphones plugged in and the Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and keyboard backlighting turned off). Under Windows 8 the results are more mixed [..] in the same conditions it lasts only 7 hrs 40 min. That's still very high—it's better than the Asus Zenbook Prime UX31A's 6 hours and the Samsung Series 7 Ultra's 5 hours—but it's only half the astronomical 14 hours + that the 13" MacBook Air is capable of.

Instead of the 26% less battery life in Windows that Anand measured in 2009, we're now seeing 50% less battery life. This is an enormous gap between Windows and OS X in what is arguably the most common form of computer usage today, basic WiFi web browsing. That's shameful. Embarrassing, even.


What do you think now? Perhaps, Windows do not explore some Apple's software/hardware features? That is kind of possible as the system is not really put on any "stress" condition and as so it is quite possible to save a watt here and there.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by anthonws
by anthonws on Mon 21st Oct 2013 19:04 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by anthonws"
anthonws Member since:
2013-10-21

My bad. I really have not read the entire article.

In that case, I would say the problem is going to be mainly drivers. If those drivers are not optimized, they won't be able to make use of the hardware features to save power.

I don't have a MB Air, but I would love to do a trace to find out the culprit of that power consumption.

----
Edit: Nevertheless, the Digitizer/Touchscreen do take a bit of power, right?

Edited 2013-10-21 19:12 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by anthonws
by acobar on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by anthonws"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

Edit: Nevertheless, the Digitizer/Touchscreen do take a bit of power, right?


I guess so, but I was a bit more busy looking at Windows on MB Air. It is from there that I "got to the conclusion" that MS needs to do something to improve the battery life. Anyway, it is not "completely fair" matching as Apple tunes specially its software to run on its hardware. The other way around would not be fair too, running on a Hackintosh, for the same reasons. Would be an interesting reading, though.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by anthonws
by bentoo on Mon 21st Oct 2013 19:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by anthonws"
bentoo Member since:
2012-09-21

50%? Nope.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/7417/sony-vaio-pro-13-exceptionally-p...

Note: the Normalized to Battery Size tests are interesting showing OS X with a slight edge but never anything near 50%.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by anthonws
by acobar on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:30 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by anthonws"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

50%? Nope.

By Anandtech numbers, you are right. Anyway, the difference on "minimum" and medium mode is still between 20 to 30 percent, what is not something to disregard.

As I said, fine tunning is probably the reason for the difference as it is way easier to do that when you have a leeway on front of you. Use it in too light conditions and the screen will be main drain, too heavy and it will be the processor.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by anthonws
by lucas_maximus on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:14 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by anthonws"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

OS that is only supposed to work on that hardware works much more efficiently than OS that is supposed to work well enough with most computers sold in the last 10 years ...

While Thom and others are right ... it maybe inefficient, but where are you that you can't find a power outlet in 7 hours?

I will leave this here:

http://www.hanselman.com/blog/AMonthWithAnIntelHaswellPrototype.asp...

Edited 2013-10-21 20:20 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by anthonws
by acobar on Mon 21st Oct 2013 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by anthonws"
acobar Member since:
2005-11-15

OS that is only supposed to work on that hardware works much more efficiently than OS that is supposed to work well enough with most computers sold in the last 10 years ...


True, but the trouble for MS to sell the Surface Pro 2 is that it will be competing with either MB Air or the new iPad to be released soon. The first has a way better battery life and a very nice keyboard, the latter is way cheaper (or will be, probably) and lighter. Really not an easy feat. On my case, I would probably pick the MB Air (actually I would pick something else, but that is another story).

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by anthonws
by Radio on Mon 21st Oct 2013 18:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by anthonws"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

?
Read the link, read Anandtech, the Surface Pro 2 has a 72 Whr battery and the MBA 11inches has a 38 Whr.

Also, installing Wondows on a MBA should give you a fair comparison (hint: it's not pretty).

Edited 2013-10-21 18:57 UTC

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Comment by anthonws
by anthonws on Mon 21st Oct 2013 19:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by anthonws"
anthonws Member since:
2013-10-21

I've read the review from AnandTech and the battery is 42Wh, not 72...

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by anthonws
by Radio on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by anthonws"
Radio Member since:
2009-06-20

Damn, I mixed up.

Reply Score: 2

Background Processes
by Luke McCarthy on Tue 22nd Oct 2013 10:01 UTC
Luke McCarthy
Member since:
2005-07-06

Probably because Windows constantly has background processes, reading and writing the disk doing who knows what all the time.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Background Processes
by lucas_maximus on Tue 22nd Oct 2013 17:15 UTC in reply to "Background Processes"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

So does every other OS.

Reply Score: 2

See Siracusa's review
by ezraz on Wed 23rd Oct 2013 17:16 UTC
ezraz
Member since:
2012-06-20

He devoted several pages to the power handling systems built into OSX over the years. The new one Mavericks has all sorts of advancement here.

Apple doesn't invent anything? They just invent ways to solve everything important. And they work for many years and revisions to solve the problem, unlike MS and most other sw companies.

I'm about to 1-click install a new OS onto my nearly perfectly-running macbook w/minimal interruption to my system. i'm even mid-development cycle but they are stable enough these days to run the upgrade anyway.

this new OS will actually give my 3.5 year old laptop another hour of battery life.

That's invention, that's innovation, that's the kind of things that make people love and defend Apple.

Reply Score: 0