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Ubuntu 10.10 vs. Mac OS X 10.6.5: A Competitive Race

Michael Larabel

Published on 6 December 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 7 - 9 Comments

Back in May, we published benchmarks of Mac OS X 10.6.3 vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04, along with other times, looking at the performance of Apple's Mac OS X operating system relative to Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. In most of those articles though we used Mac Mini computers, but now with a new Mac Book Pro in our labs with the latest Apple/Intel hardware, along with the most recent versions of each operating system, we have carried out a new set of tests that is also more in-depth than our earlier published benchmarks.

We began our tests of this new Mac Book Pro last week by starting out with looking at the power consumption between Mac OS X and Linux where we found that Apple's operating system generally consumed less power on their own hardware than with Ubuntu 10.10 and the Linux 2.6.35 kernel, but that isn't to a huge surprise. With today's cross-platform tests, we are looking at the performance for OpenGL, OpenCL, CPU, and disk performance, among other areas.

The Apple Mac-F22586C8 being used boasts an Intel Core i5 520M processor clocked at 2.40GHz, 4GB of DDR3-1066MHz memory, a 320GB Hitachi HTS54503 SATA 5400RPM hard drive, and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M (GT216) 256MB graphics processor. The Mac OS X 10.6.5 release was used with its 10.5.0 kernel, X.Org Server 1.4.2-apple56, Apple's NVIDIA graphics driver, the Journaled HFS+ file-system, and Xcode 3.2.5 that provides GCC 4.2.1 and Clang. On the Linux side was Ubuntu 10.10 "Maverick Meerkat" with the Linux 2.6.35-22-generic kernel, X.Org Server 1.9.0, the NVIDIA 260.19.21 display driver providing OpenGL 3.3.0, GCC 4.4.5, GNOME 2.32.0 desktop, and an EXT4 file-system.

As the Phoronix Test Suite builds many of its tests from source, with this article we compared the results of both Mac OS X 10.6.5 and Ubuntu 10.10 when using their stock compilers (as found in the latest version of Xcode for Mac OS X and within the Maverick package repository for Ubuntu 10.10) as well as when building self-hosting versions of GCC 4.5.1 under each operating system. Aside from this, as usual, each operating system was tested in its stock configuration.

Using Phoronix Test Suite 3.0 "Iveland" we ran Nexuiz, Warsow, OpenArena, Urban Terror, JuliaGPU, SmallPT-GPU, MandelGPU, C-Ray, Himeno, John The Ripper, MAFFT, TSCP, FFmpeg, CLOMP, 7-Zip, GraphicsMagick, BYTE Unix Benchmark, Compile Bench, Unpack-Linux, PostMark, PostgreSQL, and Threaded I/O Tester.

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