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Author Topic: Does windows really use more power than linux?  (Read 3989 times)
jjshabadoo
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March 01, 2012, 12:14:51 AM
 #1

I'm starting to wonder if this is a bit of a myth or over-statement. I have two rigs with the same exact hardware:

msi 890FXA-GD70
amd sempron 145
2gb ram
seasonic gold psus
2 x 5970's

one with windows 7 32 bit on an old hard drive
one with linuxcoin on 16gb flash drive

using cgminer on both at stock voltage 800/300

windows machine with kill-a-watt - fluctuates at 590-610
linux machine with kill-a-watt - fluctuates at 580-600

mind you, windows machine has 4 extra fans running because it is in a case.

linux machine is open air with two fans behind the cards blowing air through.

all things turned off in bios that i can, except sata stuff on windows machine.

So, where is the significant energy savings again?
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matthewh3
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March 01, 2012, 12:23:43 AM
 #2

When I first used Vista many moons ago with 4GB of RAM it would boot up and use nearly 2GB without using anything just after boot.  When I use Lubuntu it boots into less than 0.25GB of RAM  Huh

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March 01, 2012, 12:31:23 AM
 #3

When I first used Vista many moons ago with 4GB of RAM it would boot up and use nearly 2GB without using anything just after boot.  When I use Lubuntu it boots into less than 0.25GB of RAM  Huh


AFAIK that does not affect power usage at all.

Using 1 GB and 4 GB of RAM on a 4 GB stick = no difference in power at all because all of the RAM on the stick is powered on all the time anyway.

jjshabadoo
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March 01, 2012, 12:33:59 AM
 #4

okay, but once running is the power consumption i'm talking about, who cares what it uses for the first 60 seconds. Our dedicated rigs run 24/7 for weeks/months.

I just have felt there is this bias towards linux for power reasons which is unjustified from my own tests. I understand people want linux because it's free, but due to my business, I have plenty of windows licenses to use.

Also, i have found windows to be 10x easier to use and WAY more stable so far. Just the ability to swap out video cards without issue is huge. Every time I did that with linux the system crashed and required me to reload the USB stick.

Also as far as remote access, it is not hard in windows anymore than it is with linux. Gotomypc works fine. Or in my case I can have them all connected to my server at work and access them from anywhere in the world with a nice easy to use GUI.

considering SSD's at 30gb are going for under $50, this whole linux usb thing is not looking too good to me anymore personally.
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March 01, 2012, 12:37:42 AM
 #5

okay, but once running is the power consumption i'm talking about, who cares what it uses for the first 60 seconds. Our dedicated rigs run 24/7 for weeks/months.

I just have felt there is this bias towards linux for power reasons which is unjustified from my own tests. I understand people want linux because it's free, but due to my business, I have plenty of windows licenses to use.

Also, i have found windows to be 10x easier to use and WAY more stable so far. Just the ability to swap out video cards without issue is huge. Every time I did that with linux the system crashed and required me to reload the USB stick.

Also as far as remote access, it is not hard in windows anymore than it is with linux. Gotomypc works fine. Or in my case I can have them all connected to my server at work and access them from anywhere in the world with a nice easy to use GUI.

considering SSD's at 30gb are going for under $50, this whole linux usb thing is not looking too good to me anymore personally.

Can you even boot Windoze from USB? Anyway it's not safe for the average Bitcoin user due to all the malware and viruses.  Plus Linux has proved its stability while Windoze will restart nearly every 24Hrs if you have updates on?

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March 01, 2012, 12:41:28 AM
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okay, but once running is the power consumption i'm talking about, who cares what it uses for the first 60 seconds. Our dedicated rigs run 24/7 for weeks/months.

I just have felt there is this bias towards linux for power reasons which is unjustified from my own tests. I understand people want linux because it's free, but due to my business, I have plenty of windows licenses to use.

Also, i have found windows to be 10x easier to use and WAY more stable so far. Just the ability to swap out video cards without issue is huge. Every time I did that with linux the system crashed and required me to reload the USB stick.

Also as far as remote access, it is not hard in windows anymore than it is with linux. Gotomypc works fine. Or in my case I can have them all connected to my server at work and access them from anywhere in the world with a nice easy to use GUI.

considering SSD's at 30gb are going for under $50, this whole linux usb thing is not looking too good to me anymore personally.

Can you even boot Windoze from USB? Anyway it's not safe for the average Bitcoin user due to all the malware and viruses.  Plus Linux has proved its stability while Windoze will restart nearly every 24Hrs if you have updates on?

I think Windows 7 can boot from USB.

Even though I am a Linux guy, I think W7 really is smooth from Microsoft and a viable contender to Linux.

Support ( first ever edition to do so ) for TRIM, GPT, UEFI, XP mode, fast, lean etc. much better than Vista and even XP but Linux still is better !
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March 01, 2012, 12:48:00 AM
 #7

Can you even boot Windoze from USB? Anyway it's not safe for the average Bitcoin user due to all the malware and viruses.  Plus Linux has proved its stability while Windoze will restart nearly every 24Hrs if you have updates on?
gotta love the FUD.

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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March 01, 2012, 12:50:36 AM
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i would assume this stems from the fact that genreally linux distros are leaner than a windows install and theoretically use less CPU power, maybe less disk access etc

i'm not sure if its true or not but thats my guess

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March 01, 2012, 01:37:38 AM
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Can you even boot Windoze from USB? Anyway it's not safe for the average Bitcoin user due to all the malware and viruses.  Plus Linux has proved its stability while Windoze will restart nearly every 24Hrs if you have updates on?
gotta love the FUD.

My WIN7 machine with 5x 5830's was up for 3 months before a power outage forced a reset.  Also, I have an expired trial version on there and it still works fine.
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March 01, 2012, 02:05:42 AM
 #10

My observations from power usage are similar. On the same rig, going between booting USB linux, or Booting w7 from a hard-drive, with BOTH connected simultaneously, yields an overall power advantage to linux of 3-8 watts at the wall.
Linux has been buggy and crashes often in my situation, where windows keeps on trucking along for months so far without issue...

My real power savings come from undervolting/underclocking, which is arbitrary to windows/linux usage...

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March 01, 2012, 02:22:03 AM
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Last time I checked, you can't install windows to a usb drive.
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March 01, 2012, 02:43:33 AM
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Last time I checked, you can't install windows to a usb drive.
You are right on that one... You can only install it from a usb drive, at least in my knowledge...

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March 01, 2012, 03:24:38 AM
 #13

Same specs your right there likely isn't any difference BUT if your smart they won't have the same specs.

I got a 4x5970 rig pushing 3.1GH/s @ 1120W.  You know what the host is?

Sempron Single core underclocked to 1.8Ghz and undervolted 15%.
1 stick of 2GB DDR3 (wattage is per stick loose memory timings and undervolted)
4GB USB drive
MSI 890FXA-GD70 w/ following bios modifications
* SATA Controller - disabled
* Onboard sound - disabled
* Secondary LAN - disabled
* USB 3 - disabled
* EIDE Controller - disabled
* Serial - disabled
* DDR3 - undervolted
* CPU - underclocked & undervolted

Could you install Windows on that rig?

Windows uses more power because you can't use the same rig.  Comparing the same rig is like putting a Hummer engine in a Toyota Prius and saying "see the Prius" doesn't get much better gas mileage.  It is a myth.  Smiley

Before anyone flames away I am a Microsoft SQL Server Architect.  Microsoft products bring home the bacon for me.  I love Windows7 and .... (shh don't tell the open source guys) .Net too (gasp) but for mining Windows is significantly inferior to a "lean and mean" distro.

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March 01, 2012, 03:38:13 AM
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Same specs your right there likely isn't any difference BUT if your smart they won't have the same specs.

I got a 4x5970 rig pushing 3.1GH/s @ 1120W.  You know what the host is?

Sempron Single core underclocked to 1.8Ghz and undervolted 15%.
1 stick of 2GB DDR3 (wattage is per stick loose memory timings and undervolted)
4GB USB drive
MSI 890FXA-GD70 w/ following bios modifications
* SATA Controller - disabled
* Onboard sound - disabled
* Secondary LAN - disabled
* USB 3 - disabled

Could you install Windows on that rig?

Windows uses more power because you can't use the same rig.  Comparing the same rig is like putting a Hummer engine in a Toyota Prius and saying "see the Prius" doesn't get much better gas mileage.  It is a myth.  Smiley

Before anyone flames away I am a Microsoft SQL Server Architect.  Microsoft products bring home the bacon for me.  I love Windows7 and .... (shh don't tell the open source guys) .Net (gasp) but for mining Windows is significantly inferior to a "lean and mean" distro.


So, if I'm following this right, pushing your power consumption lower has more to do with disabling power-consuming features that windows NEEDS to operate (SATA, sound, so forth) and linux doesn't. Other power cuts are derived from undervolting/underclocking, which I could theoretically do with a windows based system too. Am I getting the picture?

This prius analogy reminds me of the double-rotary mod a fellow in my neighborhood did on his Mini-Cooper... You better believe that thing got horrible mileage!

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Gerald Davis


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March 01, 2012, 03:43:51 AM
 #15

So, if I'm following this right, pushing your power consumption lower has more to do with disabling power-consuming features that windows NEEDS to operate (SATA, sound, so forth) and linux doesn't. Other power cuts are derived from undervolting/underclocking, which I could theoretically do with a windows based system too. Am I getting the picture?

Yeah although I don't think windows 7 will be very responsive with a underclocked/volted single core CPU and 2GB of RAM but who knows.  Maybe if you disable enough eye candy and options services and stuff.

I knows Windows 7 is rock solid with an I-7, 8GB of RAM, and SSD boot drive but I don't use it for mining. Smiley

Honestly I hate Linux.  I hate just about everything about it.  I hate the esoteric commands.  I hate he weird gotchas.  I hate the package dependencies and the WTF? errors.  Still it mines rock solid and that is what brings in the coins (SSH, screen, wget, and scripting aint too bad either).
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March 01, 2012, 03:52:16 AM
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I have to attest that my w7 rig IS underclocked, and is slow to respond when trying to use windows, but it refuses to crash and that's what matters to me. Either it's my idiocy, or some hardware baloney, but my rig doesn't like to cooperate much with linux...

And therefore, I hate trying to use it.  Tongue

So until I start to reach my power limitations on this circuit, I'm good with the trusty old Hummer.

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jjshabadoo
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March 01, 2012, 06:49:34 AM
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I know you're a windows expert D&T, but without the underclocking of the cpu, my answer is yes, windows 7 would do just fine. I'll be proving it soon.

I'm using old ide drives and they are doing great and they are FREE because people give them to me.

So I can still turn off just as many mobo features on my MSI 890FXA.

F*ck linux unless all you do is IT for a living, it's unstable and sucks. My new windows machines have not stopped running yet.

I just want rigs that never stop running. I can make a shitload more at my real job than I can screwing around with linux distros. I can afford the extra 10 watts if it keeps me away from these machines for a month.

This was a hobby turned nightmare by linux.

My only goal in getting into this was to support a currency outside of the global banking thieves and to have some fun with hardware. software SUCKS...lol
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March 01, 2012, 09:29:00 AM
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Seriously?

It is really strange to hear you say Linux is not stable. lol

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March 01, 2012, 09:34:00 AM
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Seriously?

It is really strange to hear you say Linux is not stable. lol



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March 01, 2012, 11:10:10 AM
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Last time I checked, you can't install windows to a usb drive.
Wrong.
 http://ftanada.wordpress.com/2009/02/15/install-windows-7-on-a-usb-stickflash-drive/
 Same with XP.
 And btw XP use less power than Linux or W7. However I have problems with 6870 OpenCL, it doesn't work under XP. And problems with onboard gpu performance in games, all this is working with W7 without troubles, however I'll probably use Linux for my next rig, if its possible there to underclock/undervolt 6 series radeons without problems and if Phoenix support it.

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