At the beginning of this month there was the release of DragonFlyBSD 3.2.1 that claimed a battle for speed against Linux with major improvements for the multi-threaded application performance against Linux. PostgreSQL was the only benchmark cited by the DragonFly camp with the new performance results, so a couple Phoronix tests were carried out.
Being interested in seeing what changes DragonFlyBSD 3.2.1 has for performance against the earlier DragonFlyBSD 3.0 release and Linux distributions, I ran a couple quick and informal benchmarks. For the available hardware, an Intel Core i7 3960X Extreme Edition CPU was used, which has six physical cores plus Hyper Threading. Intel HT plus the individual cores can be easily toggled from the BIOS of the motherboard.
For looking at the multi-core scaling performance, first up there were benchmarks done when the Core i7 3960X Intel CPU had 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12 threads exposed to each operating system. The tested operating systems from this same hardware were DragonFlyBSD 3.0.3, DragonFlyBSD 3.2.1, and Ubuntu 12.10 Linux. All operating systems were in their default settings/packages aside from switching Ubuntu 12.10 to the GCC 4.4.7 compiler to match that of the DragonFly operating systems. Using the Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software with OpenBenchmarking.org for result analytics, the results of the multi-core scaling / SMP tests were normalized against their single-core values to look purely at how well each OS is scaling with the same benchmark.
After running the multi-core scaling tests, each OS was benchmarked in its normal manner when the Core i7 3960X had all cores / HT exposed. These results are to just look at the raw performance of DragonFlyBSD 3.0.3, DragonFlyBSD 3.2.1, and Ubuntu 12.10. Additional benchmarks of other BSD operating systems and enterprise Linux distributions are forthcoming. OpenBSD 5.2 also has multi-threaded improvements.