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8 might have Metro running on top of it hiding a lot of it, but Windows 8.x carries just as much baggage, cruft, and outdated shit with it as previous versions of Windows have.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

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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 Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by anthonws
by anthonws on Mon 21st Oct 2013 19:04 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by anthonws
by acobar on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:05 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by anthonws
by bentoo on Mon 21st Oct 2013 19:17 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by anthonws
by acobar on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:30 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by anthonws
by lucas_maximus on Mon 21st Oct 2013 20:14 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 Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by anthonws
by acobar on Mon 21st Oct 2013 21:05 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 Parent Score: 2