Arch Linux 2009.08 was released earlier this week with a new installer, more automatic configuration settings, many core package updates, and other changes to this growingly popular distribution. At the request of some readers, we have carried out some quick benchmarks to get a general understanding of where Arch Linux 2009.08 is performing in comparison to Ubuntu 9.04.
We were using Arch Linux 2009.08 (x86_64) with the Linux 2.6.30 kernel, GNOME 2.26, X Server 1.6.3, the NVIDIA 185.18.31 display driver, GCC 4.4.1, and an EXT4 file-system. In comparison, with our Ubuntu 9.04 (x86_64) tests were the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, GNOME 2.26.1, X Server 1.6.0, NVIDIA 185.18.31, GCC 4.3.3, and an EXT3 file-system. Our test system was an ASRock NetTop ION 330, which packs an Intel Atom 330 CPU, an ASRock AMCP7A-ION (NVIDIA MCP79) motherboard with GeForce 9400M graphics, and 2GB of DDR2 memory.
The benchmarks we ran for this quick comparison were World of Padman, Apache Benchmark, Ogg Encoding, timed HMMer Search, Threaded I/O Tester, PostMark, Dbench, GraphicsMagick, dcraw, and SQLite. With this testing we are just providing a quick overview of how -- in general -- Arch Linux compares to Ubuntu. If you would like to compare the performance of Arch Linux to other distributions or look at the performance in more detail, try out the Phoronix Test Suite.
Both Ubuntu 9.04 and Arch 2009.08 were using the same NVIDIA 185.18.31 driver, but Arch Linux managed to come out on top with the ioquake3-powered World of Padman. The NVIDIA GeForce 9400M ION is no powerful GPU, but under Arch Linux 2009.08 it had an average frame-rate of 54 FPS while under Ubuntu 9.04 it was at just below 50 FPS.
Arch Linux also came out on top with a slight lead when it came to benchmarking Apache. With this test profile, Arch 2009.08 was approximately 5% faster than Ubuntu.
With Ogg encoding, Arch Linux 2009.08 lost, but the difference was negligible at just 1%.