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Intel Atom On Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuSE, Mandriva

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  • Intel Atom On Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuSE, Mandriva

    Phoronix: Intel Atom On Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSuSE, Mandriva

    Back in September we looked at the Intel Atom performance on a few Linux distributions using the ASUS Eee PC 901, but now with new stable releases of some of the most popular distributions out in the wild, we've decided to re-conduct these tests. We are using a slightly different Atom-based system this time and we are comparing the performance on Ubuntu 8.10, Fedora 10, Mandriva 2008, and OpenSuSE 11.1.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13259

  • #2
    hi,

    I am very interested in your benchmarks, but I wanted to know if there is any reason not to display a standard deviation in those graphics. (Maybe to know also how many times you have performed the measures would be interesting too).

    I mean, to say:
    ubuntu: 40.5
    fedora: 35.5

    is quite different than:
    ubuntu: 40.5 +/- 20
    fedora: 35.5 +/- 20

    Thanks a lot for your work.
    Bye
    Luca

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    • #3
      phoronix test suite results shows the deviation

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      • #4
        Ehm... where? In the graphics in the article?
        thanks

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        • #5
          As far as I know, only OpenSUSE turns barriers on by default (using ext3). That would explain why it's so much slower in some tests (like the SQLite test), but strangely it makes no difference in IOzone. I guess this could be more a proof of IOzone being a bad benchmark than anything else, since in real world tests barriers do make a big difference when it comes to IO intensive tasks.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Luis View Post
            As far as I know, only OpenSUSE turns barriers on by default (using ext3). That would explain why it's so much slower in some tests (like the SQLite test), but strangely it makes no difference in IOzone. I guess this could be more a proof of IOzone being a bad benchmark than anything else, since in real world tests barriers do make a big difference when it comes to IO intensive tasks.
            More then likely beagle (the indexing service) which is enabled by default is the culprit.

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            • #7
              i have a mainboard with atom 330 (same as atom 230, only dual-core).

              i found fedora to be a bit sluggish (didn't test much). gentoo seems unfeasible at that hardware ;-). archlinux works like a charm.

              aside from that the desktop experience is quite acceptable. but don't hope for playing any recent 3d-intensive games at good framerate.

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              • #8
                You give the impression that you're a tad biased against Mandriva, by using the 2008 version while 2009 is out :/ And I didn't see Mandriva in the GTKPerf tests, and there wasn't even a mention for it in the final page :/

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                • #9
                  Architecture?

                  I don't know if other distributions do that too, but Ubuntu has a special architecture named "lpia" with all the packages rebuilt to take advantages of Atom features. So, did you use Ubuntu lpia or Ubuntu x86 for your tests?

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                  • #10
                    I have a Lenovo S10e netbook with a non-standard resolution of 1024x576, and i would be very interested to see how completely opensuse 11.1 will install on a netbook.

                    1. does the wireless get configured properly
                    2. does the webcam get configured properly
                    3. is the native resolution easily selectable
                    4. how well does the power management work

                    regards

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                    • #11
                      Not that I think it would make a world of difference, but why couldn't you guys wait three days until openSUSE 11.1 goes final?

                      Also, even though I get the impression you guys are all about Gnome, how about some benchmarks on KDE? I ran normal ubuntu on my Aspire, and it ran fairly well. Mandriva 2k9 ran quite well. Kubuntu is very, VERY sluggish. Of course, it's not just KDE - it starts slower than normal ubuntu did (don't know why).

                      Actually, how about that, too - start-up time benchmarks.

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                      • #12
                        Not only from being a Fedora user, but I have indeed noticed that for some reason (maybe downstream compatibility?) Fedora kernels tend to do fairly bad on HDD IO tests (be it IOZone or good-ol' hdparm) with some ICH controllers. From the benchmarks, though, it would seem other distros either do not apply some patches that hinder these chipset's performance, or Fedora does not apply those other distros seem to apply. Wonder what would the perf be with a vanilla kernel?...


                        I say this simply because on my hardware I do get pretty decent HDD throughput with ext3 on Fedora (then again, I'm using x86_64, and an nForce chipset), however, it would seem as if Fedora's packages are quite well optimized for the Atom (I wonder how would it perform on a similar CPU [Pentium M, maybe?] with the i686 version)

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                        • #13
                          I would also like to see some more info in ALL THE phoronix benchmark articles:

                          - Test Methodology, e.g.: Are the tests performed multiple times? If not, the results are nearly worthless.
                          - Standard deviation of multiple runs of the same benchmark.
                          - System Load: Every result should be accompanied by the (average/max) system load experienced during the benchmark. This would allow a clue on whether there are background tasks (e.g. beagle) running that affect the result.
                          - ...

                          So maybe the phoronix team can include these metrics in future runs.

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                          • #14
                            Yeah, system load! Good call!

                            I don't know if they managed to get it sorted out with 11.1, but with 11.0, openSUSE could have a bit of an issue with background services. Let's say you started with KDE3.5.9 on your system, and then you decide you want some fancy new 4.1 from the Build Service. Well, you can do that just fine, except then you'll have beagle AND nepomuk in the background - two services doing essentially the same thing. Things like that can definitely make a difference if left unchecked.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Smarter View Post
                              I don't know if other distributions do that too, but Ubuntu has a special architecture named "lpia" with all the packages rebuilt to take advantages of Atom features. So, did you use Ubuntu lpia or Ubuntu x86 for your tests?
                              From my understanding lpia not only uses different compiler optimizaitons but also some of the software itself is compiled with different options/dependencies.

                              It would be interesting to see an i386 ubuntu vs lpia ubuntu comparison -- I might just do this on my aspire one if I get a chance this week.

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