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Dell XPS 15 7590 OLED Power Consumption Measurements: White Can Be Almost Two Times More Demanding Than Other Colors

Dell XPS 15 7590 OLED Power Consumption Measurements: White Can Be Almost Two Times More Demanding Than Other Colors
Dell XPS 15 7590 OLED Power Consumption Measurements: White Can Be Almost Two Times More Demanding Than Other Colors
Because of the way OLED works, it may be worth changing white backgrounds to something darker especially if your commonly used applications or web pages are predominately white. At the most extreme, white at maximum brightness will consume almost 14 W more than if the screen were only black.

We recently checked out the Razer Blade 15 OLED and discovered some interesting finds in regards to power consumption when displaying different colors at different brightness levels. Now that the Dell XPS 15 7590 OLED is out in the wild with a similar Samsung OLED panel as found on the Razer, we decided to run some of the same power consumption measurements to see if there are any patterns worth exploring.

For this test, we wanted to find out how much power the XPS 15 7590 OLED would consume when displaying all black, white, green, blue, or red at the minimum and maximum brightness settings. The laptop would be set to 'Better Battery' mode with the wireless disabled in order to keep background activity in check. We would also record only the average power consumption over a 30 second period in order to obtain more accurate readings. Our final results are recorded in the table below.

Minimum Brightness Setting (W)Maximum Brightness Setting (W)Difference (W)
Displaying all Black5.505.47-0.03
Displaying all White5.5718.9713.4
Displaying all Green5.9110.004.09
Displaying all Blue6.2913.246.95
Displaying all Red6.0611.155.09
Displaying Notebookcheck Home Page (screenshot)6.1016.8110.71
Displaying Battle.net News Page (screenshot)5.978.462.49

Some notable observations about OLED can be made based on the data collected:

  • Black consumes the same amount of power no matter the brightness setting
  • There are almost no power consumption differences between colors when at the minimum brightness setting
  • White will consume much more power than green, blue, or red when at higher brightness settings by as much as 9 W
  • Web pages that are predominately dark show only small differences in power consumption between minimum and maximum brightness settings
  • Web pages that are predominately white can consume 2x more power than a page that is predominately dark when at the maximum brightness setting

The results are of interest because they differ considerably from a laptop with a typical IPS display. The power consumption difference of an IPS laptop at the minimum and maximum brightness settings tends to be just ~6 W or less regardless of color or onscreen content. If you want to extend the battery life of your OLED laptop, you'll have to consider not just the brightness setting but also the colors on display.

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Notebookcheck.net home page as our example of a predominately white web page
Notebookcheck.net home page as our example of a predominately white web page
Blizzard Battle.net news page as our example of a predominately dark web page
Blizzard Battle.net news page as our example of a predominately dark web page
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying all black at the minimum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying all black at the minimum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying all black at the maximum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying all black at the maximum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying all white at the minimum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying all white at the minimum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying all white at the maximum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying all white at the maximum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying Battle.net news page at the minimum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying Battle.net news page at the minimum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying Battle.net news page at the maximum brightness setting
Average consumption over 30 seconds when displaying Battle.net news page at the maximum brightness setting

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 08 > Dell XPS 15 7590 OLED Power Consumption Measurements: White Can Be Almost Two Times More Demanding Than Other Colors
Allen Ngo, 2019-08-17 (Update: 2019-08-17)
Allen Ngo
Allen Ngo - US Editor in Chief
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental hydrodynamics from the University of California, I studied reactor physics to become licensed by the U.S. NRC to operate nuclear reactors. There's a striking level of appreciation you gain for everyday consumer electronics after working with modern nuclear reactivity systems astonishingly powered by computers from the 80s. When I'm not managing day-to-day activities and US review articles on Notebookcheck, you can catch me following the eSports scene and the latest gaming news.