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Power & Memory Usage Of GNOME, KDE, LXDE & Xfce

Mar 09, 2010, 15:06 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Larabel)

"Xfce, LXDE, and other desktop environments are often referenced as being lighter-eight Linux desktop environments than KDE and GNOME, but what are the measurable performance differences between them? Curious how much of a quantitative impact the GNOME, KDE, Xfce, and LXDE desktops have on netbook systems, we carried out a small set of tests to look at the differences in memory usage, battery power consumption, and thermal performance.

"While the Phoronix Test Suite is most often used by us and others to carry out direct performance benchmarks or other tests using the different test suites and profiles, the open-source testing platform of ours also has an advanced sensor monitoring framework with logging capabilities. The Phoronix Test Suite through the underlying Phodevi (Phoronix Device Interface) library is able to monitor various system vitals ranging from hardware sensors like the CPU temperature, system temperature, and battery power consumption to software values like the CPU and GPU utilization, IOwait, disk read/write speeds, and memory usage. In fact, all of these metrics can be monitored while the Phoronix Test Suite is running any of the standard tests/suites. To monitor all of the hardware and software sensors while running say the Nexuiz game benchmark, simply run MONITOR=all phoronix-test-suite benchmark nexuiz and the system_monitor module that provides this functionality will be initialized through the MONITOR environmental variable. You can also get creative and use MONITOR=all phoronix-test-suite run idle or MONITOR=all phoronix-test-suite run battery-power-usage, as we did for the test results in this article."

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