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Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04?

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  • Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04?

    Phoronix: Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04?

    While Linux has long been talked about as being a faster operating system than Microsoft Windows, in 2010 is this still the case? It seems every time we deliver new benchmarks of the EXT4 file-system it's actually getting slower, recent Linux kernel releases have not been delivering any major performance enhancements for desktop users, the open-source Linux graphics drivers are still no match to the proprietary drivers, and "bloated and huge" is how Linus Torvalds described the Linux kernel last year. This is all while Windows 7 was released last year, which many view as Microsoft's best operating system release to date. Even after using it a fair amount the past few months in preparation for this about-to-be-shared work, it is actually not too bad and is a huge improvement over Windows Vista, but is it really faster than Ubuntu Linux? We have used six uniquely different systems and ran Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS x86_64 on each of them with a set of 55 tests (actually, more than 165 if considering that each test is usually run at least three times for accuracy) per installation.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14887

  • #2
    The article is only a Ubuntu vs Windows comparison, not Linux vs Windows. Ubuntu does not represent Linux. If you want to compare performance of Windows and Linux, you should choose Linux From Scratch (LFS) or Slackware.

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    • #3
      Well i would have use Kanotix instead of Ubuntu but the results are logical to some degree. However there was no killer app under the multiplattform ones to be only useable with Win (except games on i3). Usually Win drivers select a specific optimization for an app/game depending on the executeable name. I expected this at least for Unigine Heaven, but maybe only in the DX modes. ATI seems to be even too stupid to deliver good Win drivers as SpecViewPerf does not run correctly there.

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      • #4
        Despite Linux graphical drivers have improved a lot in last years, Windows graphical performance is still the stronget aspect of Windows platform. Maybe that's because this aspect has been worked for years in Windows and Linux graphical system and drivers have to walk this way as well. Hopefully in two years we can talk about the opposite result! :-)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by BhaKi View Post
          The article is only a Ubuntu vs Windows comparison, not Linux vs Windows. Ubuntu does not represent Linux. If you want to compare performance of Windows and Linux, you should choose Linux From Scratch (LFS) or Slackware.
          It would be pretty pointless to compare LFS to Windows 7 since it doesn't even have X, let alone a modern desktop environment. Slackware might work, but I don't see how it's any more representative of Linux (let alone desktop Linux) than Ubuntu is.

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          • #6
            thanks for your efforts with the benchmarks Michael !

            IMO it would however be even MORE interesting to see some productivity tests especially concerning latency ("lagging" of the mouse pointer) and possibility of using the GUI during heavy I/O

            in those cases the Linux-Kernel with >2.6.33 (2.6.34 in that regard is perfect) with CFQ and CFS (or BFS) schedulers are the only platform at which I can almost always work - even Windows 7 64bit Home Premium is unusable (Windows 2008 R2 Server should be somewhat better but I don't have time to test that)

            some work cases:

            - copying 700 GiBs of data from one partition to another (with both partitions encrypted)
            - indexing around 140,000 files (mostly PDF ebooks and universitary scripts) with an desktop search engine (e.g. recoll, beagle, tracker, pinot, etc.) which continually puts load on the CPU and harddrives - under windows an example would be copernic desktop search (the others I tried including docfetcher, puggle wouldn't index all files and only a pretty low folder hierarchy; google-desktop would pause during I/O)

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            • #7
              These benchmarks compared almost only the quality of the graphics drivers.
              How about actual OS/kernel benchmarks, like memory management and file-systems performance?

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              • #8
                Originally posted by cl333r View Post
                These benchmarks compared almost only the quality of the graphics drivers.
                How about actual OS/kernel benchmarks, like memory management and file-systems performance?
                Did you read the article or just look at the graphs?

                More of the Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 (and Mac OS X) tests will follow in the coming weeks for non-gaming areas. The Windows support upbringing will also allow us to closely compare and monitor the performance of Wine (the free software project that allows the running of many Windows binaries under Linux), which too will be coming soon and should be interesting.

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                • #9
                  Boot time

                  What I missed much here was the boot-time comparsion that was one of the biggest advantage of windows 7 and the new ubuntu version. (Or did I miss it only?)

                  Besides that, I learned that the Intel Linux driver isnīt that good how I thought (speed), I thought it would be the best Linux driver + additional open source, but I now think itīs only the best Driver from the open ones

                  here would be a comparsion of the nouvou, radeon and intel driver be interesting (at least for me). I know its not fair because Intel gpu-hardware sucks (in speed terms) but maybe the 2 other free drivers are so bad that Intel wins because of the better driver? (All 3 should be tested on latest/best igp-solutions).

                  But for free software guys (instead of open source folks) or paranoid guys, this 3d benches are not so importend because I would not install such a binary driver, and even more not propreitary games which no one can look into the source, if there are some adware in it or not.

                  So because virtualisation-solutions doesnt work very good for games (good 3d speed), I must have a dualboot solution (or a pc only for gaming) anyway the only point would be to have a special gaming-linux instead of the gaming-windows. But the propreitary Ati-linux drivers are such unstable I would not go for a gaming Linux.

                  But I know most people arenīt paranoid, and trust companys, and they use Linux only because they think that in some importent aspects they like it more than Windows. (Better developer plattform, better desktop...) So itīs good to make such tests.

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                  • #10
                    Great article!

                    Plp, please don't get too much into ubuntu vs. the rest. I believe that the great conclusion to draw from this article is that linux distros like ubuntu ARE on par with the expected performance for gaming.

                    Remember that anything beyond 60fps (the max. a common lcd will display) is perfectly fluid.

                    The message to all is: when buying or building a new gaming rig, those $dollars$ to Microsoft Windows that WERE considered essential are no more than optional. Windows price is, at the best, 15% of the total cost of the system - for example, a nice upgrade to the video card should be better that wasting with windows.

                    Windows performance/dollar is a measurable number. Linux is INFINITY.

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                    • #11
                      Usually installing a virus scanner affects boot time extremely - not that much the startup time of a game, but a bit of course too. Slow systems, especially with 1 core only and not that much ram run really much slower than when using Linux. Also lots of autostarted apps will slow down the system even more - think of the indexing for office apps... Extra system services slow down Linux boot time of course too but not that much - using desktop search engine is definitely not makeing a system faster. Those effects are not benchmarked, but you "feel" the difference. It usually does not matter if a game runs a few fps faster or not, when then it would be only interesting below 60 fps (more extreme when low fps drop below 24), but most games run much faster already with a good gpu - at least multiplattform ones.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by BhaKi View Post
                        The article is only a Ubuntu vs Windows comparison, not Linux vs Windows. Ubuntu does not represent Linux. If you want to compare performance of Windows and Linux, you should choose Linux From Scratch (LFS) or Slackware.
                        Gentoo would be a better choice, although I think that for a proper comparison, all that would be necessary is a custom kernel. All of the tests done are graphical tests, which the default Ubuntu kernel is horribly unoptimized to do. The default Ubuntu kernel is compiled for servers. It needs to be recompiled with 1000Hz, Dynamic Ticks, Kernel Preemption and RCU Preemption to be properly optimized for a desktop environment.

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                        • #13
                          While Linux has long been talked about as being a faster operating system than Microsoft Windows, in 2010 is this still the case? It seems every time we deliver new benchmarks of the EXT4 file-system it's actually getting slower, recent Linux kernel releases have not been delivering any major performance enhancements for desktop users, the open-source Linux graphics drivers are still no match to the proprietary drivers, and "bloated and huge" is how Linus Torvalds described the Linux kernel last year. This is all while Windows 7 was released last year, which many view as Microsoft's best operating system release to date.
                          While the newest Linux kernel is much smaller then even old XP kernel it's really huge and bloated. While people say Linux is faster how often they mean graphic drivers? I bet very rarely or never. Sadly, you didn't explain why Ext 4 became "slower", you didn't say Ubuntu has debugging enabled (however, it probably won't affect games performance). Many also view Windows 7 as slow mess. Maybe some more interesting benchmarks like threading performance?

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                          • #14
                            Oh, it's sad there are no OS X graphic benchmarks too.

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                            • #15
                              When you come to benchmark Wine, remember to run it with WINEDEBUG=-all otherwise the debugging messages will seriously hamper performance.

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