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

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8 might have Metro running on top of it hiding a lot of it, but Windows 8.x carries just as much baggage, cruft, and outdated shit with it as previous versions of Windows have.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.

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

My knowledge is outdated, but with Windows 7 and Ubuntu, Windows 7 had longer batter life on same laptop.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 Parent Score: 8

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

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

Reply Parent Score: 2

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

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 Parent Score: 3

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

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.

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 Parent Score: 2

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

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 Parent Score: 4

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

Why did I get modded down?

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

Reply Parent Score: 3

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

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 Parent Score: 3