Linux desktop battery life

Hi All,

Just want to share my experience using linux on a dell xps 15 7590 laptop, I have tried several desktop variants, compared the power consumption of each and found that gnome wayland variant has the lowest power consumption, around/below 10 W (with an oled panel), even XFCE consumes around 15 W, KDE similar using the intel graphic card only with nvidia driver. Browser video acceleration hardly works, currently only under X11 only with chromium, with firefox I was never able to get it work (measuring it with intel_gpu_top even if webrender is enabled under wayland (it doesn’t work under X either). Since kernel 5.12 oled backlight can be dimmed with the hardware keys, so only the fingerprint reader doesn’t work (it won’t have any driver ever).
What is your experience with linux on laptops, what is the power consumption, video acceleration, what desktop are you using?

Hi @frankie ,
I searched in the forum and there are some useful post about this.
For example,
Terrible Battery Life, PowerTop says Network Interface is consuming 12+ W - #2 by megavolt

In order to look more information you can also try searching: “battery life dell”
You can also install a better battery power consumption utility like this one.
GitHub - AdnanHodzic/auto-cpufreq: Automatic CPU speed & power optimizer for Linux

The utility is in the repositories and you could also see a video on YT in order to install and run the program.

Hope this help, regards

Thank you, I have already using powertop, tlp, auto-cpufreq, I just wondering why Xorg desktops consume more power than wayland on an optimus laptop, is your experience the same or different?

Hi @Frankie,
I wonder whether you could see the YT video in order to have a professional experience, the video only one program is recommended. I am not skilled enough as the author of the video.
Did you read the tutorials?
'[How To] Enhance laptop Battery life using the KDE GUI (Graphical user interface)


Read carefully

…works fine together with auto-cpufreq

X consumes more energy because it is more complex and handles all the messages between the applications you run and the compositor rendering the outuput. Wayland was built from scratch to overcome X’s unnecessary complexity and security issues. It’s simpler in design, but it also less flexible.

Here is a brief explanation. There are better, deeper ones, if you look for them.

Anyway, you can setup your laptop to save more energy. I personally use TLP and a few more settings to limit a lot of functions, such as screen brightness, maximum CPU and GPU frequency, among other stuff. I can post it later, if you want. The settings I refered are the ones with more impact.

Thank you, what I have done is:

  • enabled powertop with autotune
  • enabled tlp, limited the intel gpu perfomance to minimum, enabled all the powersavings for wifi, cpu, etc.
  • disabled the nvidia gpu with nvidia_smi (this is the only thing that is done recently, every other was done since the installation)
  • enabled auto-cpufreq
    I don’t think I can improve the battery life significantly any more for this laptop, but with oled screen and i9 cpu I don’t have high expectations for battery life.
    I’d like to test desktops though, that’s why I have compared the xorg vs wayland battery life. (there is no working browser video acceleration at the moment under wayland for me)

I never used powertop or auto-cpufreq. I don’t think it is a good idea to have different power management tools working at the same time.

Ok, so I checked out my config and, at the moment, I have all my udev rules disabled because tlp covers them all. I’m solely using tlp at the moment.