Power consumption - same hardware, Windows is lower



  • Hi all - This is confounding me.

    I'm doing a new build of pfsense with an ivy Bridge board (Q77 chipset) and an i3 3220. The system is pretty bare, with, just the motherboard, cpu, two sticks of RAM, an SSD, a dual port 82575Eb card (Supermicro AOC-SG-I2), and just a CPU fan.

    With the exact same hardware, but Windows installed (and all relevant drivers loaded), it idles ~16w.
    With pfSense it idles ~27w.

    Enabling PowerD has no effect, setting hw.acpi.cpu.cx_lowest = C3 drops the idle to ~23-24w.

    Is there something I'm not doing correct? Any other settings I need to apply?



  • Hi Kapone.

    With Windows, it may utilise the Hardware Differently, such as Memory Caching, Process Management, Services.

    So you could take some strain of the CPU in regards to Caching, but creating a RAMDisk. This may help. ive had to do it on mine so my CPU Usage lowers a little, which is has.

    Some here may disagree with that, but thats fair enough.

    Also, it also varies on what each machine is doing, if Idle truly or not.

    Hope this helps.



  • I'd imagine Windows is a lot more "chatty" than pfSense… If there's no WAN or LAN connected to the box, it's really not doing ANYTHING, yet, it consumes more power.

    I think the graphics are downclocking, where as in Windows, they do.

    Any way to tell pfSense to downclock graphics?



  • @kapone:

    I think the graphics are downclocking, where as in Windows, they do.

    Any way to tell pfSense to downclock graphics?

    The only way that i know, is if you use a motherboard with shared memory for the onboard Graphic card,
    is to set the amount of RAM at the lowest in the BIOS.
    But this i3 3220 cpu has a embedded Graphic card, maybe by using the serial console version of pfSense
    instead of the VGA version, this may lower the powerconsumption.

    Grtz
    DeLorean


  • Banned

    Isn't it pretty standard for mainstream windows / mac OS to be more power efficient than *nix?

    From what I understand they just dump a lot more money into optimizing than *nix does.



  • I guess, no more optimizations?