Chromium OS, Moblin, Ubuntu Netbook Remix Benchmarks
Well, these results were certainly interesting to say the least and surprised us in some areas. When it came to our netbook performance tests from the desktop, there were not too many dissenting test results between the gaming, video playback, encoding, and disk test profiles. However, for those tests that did differ, Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 usually came out in front as being the best performer. The use of the EXT3 file-system by default in Intel's Moblin and Google's Chromium OS caused them to suffer in some of the tests compared to the others running with EXT4. That is about all there is to say from those initial system benchmarks of Chromium OS as well as Moblin 2.1, Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10, Fedora 12, and openSUSE 11.2 looked at all together.
When it came to looking at the battery power consumption rate for the five Linux distributions running on the Atom netbook with solid-state storage, Chromium OS consumed the most power without a doubt. However, as we showed in one of the graphs, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology does not appear to be functioning appropriately with this Google netbook operating system, which at least partially explains why Chromium OS is going through much more power. During the test looking at the power consumption when idling, then signaling off the display, and then playing back a video file, Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 consumed the least amount of power overall. When monitoring the power consumption during idling, compress-7zip, ffmpeg, and then the OpenArena test profile, openSUSE 11.2 by far did the best with conserving the battery.
Another system sensor that was tracked by the Phoronix Test Suite was the CPU usage percent, which showed openSUSE 11.2 to have the highest CPU usage overall while Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 had the lowest. We also looked at the system temperature during testing and overall openSUSE 11.2 ran the coolest while Moblin 2.1 ran the warmest. Lastly, our memory usage results show Ubuntu Netbook Remix doing the best while openSUSE did the worst. There appears to be a very significant spike in memory usage under openSUSE 11.2 when running the OpenGL test.
It is far too early to say how Google's Chromium OS will perform in the end considering that it is roughly a year out from shipping with any netbooks or other devices. Our first benchmarks of Chromium OS show that its system performance is nothing too spectacular at this time, but we will certainly be looking at its performance again as this Google distribution matures. From all of the tests carried out in this article, overall Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10 did the best, but openSUSE 11.2 had many strong areas too, especially for being a desktop distribution that was just loaded onto the Samsung netbook. It was rather surprising though to see Moblin 2.1 fall behind in many of the tests, considering all of the work that Intel has invested into Moblin and optimizing it to run on their hardware. Moblin 2.1 may sport a beautiful interface (that is now available in Ubuntu, Fedora, and other distribution repositories), but it looks like they could do with some more performance optimization work.
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