While the Linux 3.7-rc1 kernel has not even been released yet, most of the feature pulls have now made their way into the mainline Linux kernel tree. Here are some of the first benchmarks of the Linux 3.7 kernel to see if anything has changed for the Intel x86_64 Linux performance with this very exciting kernel.
From an Intel Core i7 3960X Sandy Bridge Extreme Edition system, benchmarks of the Linux 3.7 Git code going back to the Linux 3.2 kernel were tested from an Ubuntu 12.10 installation. The mainline Linux kernel x86_64 releases of Linux 3.2, 3.3, 3.5, and 3.6 kernels were tested; the only kernel being left out was Linux 3.4 since the release had issues from this i7-3960X EE setup. With the Intel Core i7 3960X was an Intel DX79SI motherboard, a 64GB OCZ Vertex SSD, and an AMD Radeon HD 4650 graphics card. Aside from swapping out the kernel, all other system software and hardware components remained the same throughout the entire testing process.
Additional benchmarks of the Linux 3.7 kernel from other hardware configurations will come as it moves past its merge window and begins maturing for release by year's end.
First up for the kernel tests are seeing how the Radeon DRM graphics driver performance has changed between Linux 3.2 and Linux 3.7 for the R700 class graphics processors.