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ASUS Eee PC 901 / Intel Atom: Linux Distribution Comparison

Michael Larabel

Published on 15 September 2008
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 6 - 21 Comments

Late last month we published our preview of the ASUS Eee PC 901 and we shared our plans for a number of benchmarks using this netbook with Intel's Atom processor. Following our Linux desktop encryption benchmarks of the ASUS Eee PC 901 and Intel Atom N270 CPU we have a performance comparison of Xandros, Fedora, Ubuntu, and Mandriva on this low-cost netbook PC.

The Linux distributions we used included the ASUS-optimized Xandros operating system that ships with the Eee PC 901, Fedora 10 Alpha, Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4 with daily updates as of August 26, and Mandriva 2009 Beta 2. The Xandros OS ships with the Linux 2.6.21 kernel, X Server 1.4.0.90, and uses GCC 4.1.2. Fedora 10 Alpha uses the Linux 2.6.27-rc0 kernel, X Server 1.4.99.905, and GCC 4.3.1. Ubuntu 8.10 Alpha 4 with the daily updates still uses the Linux 2.6.26 kernel, X Server 1.4.99.905, and GCC 4.3.1. Finally, Mandriva 2009 Beta 2 is using the Linux 2.6.26 kernel, X Server 1.4.2, and GCC 4.3.1.

Reiterating the Eee PC 901 hardware again is the Intel Atom N270 processor clocked at 1.60GHz, Intel Mobile 945GME Express Chipset, 1GB of DDR2 memory, 20GB worth of solid-state disk storage, Intel UMA graphics, and a 1024 x 600 display.

We had used Phoronix Test Suite 1.2.0 Beta 3 for testing with the netbook test suite. The tests included Mencoder encoding, ImageMagick compilation, timed Gzip compression, XML write performance, XML read performance, SQLite, GnuPG file encryption, RAMspeed, Sunflow Rendering System, Bonnie++, and IOzone. There aren't too many benchmarks focused on netbooks at this time, but these tests should roughly cover some of the tasks used on these type of low-power devices. More information on our open-source test software can be found at Phoronix-Test-Suite.com.

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