The latest performance benchmarks of Fedora 18 to share are of Fedora 17 vs. Fedora 18. Benchmarks were done from two separate systems with clean installs of the "Beefy Miracle" and "Spherical Cow" releases out of Red Hat.
This article precedes more thorough testing to come that compares Fedora 18 against the latest releases of Ubuntu and other Linux distributions, but the purpose of today's tests are just to see how the Fedora 18 performance looks relative to Fedora 17. As it concerns performance, Fedora 18 ships with the Linux 3.6 kernel (and has the Linux 3.7 kernel available as an update already) while Fedora 17 shipped with the Linux 3.3 kernel, which may yield performance changes for select hardware and some scenarios (e.g. file-system and DRM graphics driver performance).
As it concerns open-source graphics, Fedora 17 was introduced with Mesa 8.0.2 while Fedora 18 has Mesa 9.0.1. The X.Org/DDX drivers for all the popular graphics hardware have also been updated for Fedora 18. This article, however, isn't looking at the graphics performance in particular but that's covered in other articles. Some of these results have already been published in AMD R600 Gallium3D Is Mixed On Fedora 18 and Intel Graphics See Some Gains On Fedora 18.
Impacting the performance of many benchmarks and applications is the compiler. Both Fedora 17 and Fedora 18 are using GCC 4.7.2, which is the latest release of the Free Software Foundation's compiler. At least GCC 4.8 will be released in time for Fedora 19 to lead to more interesting performance changes.
The two systems used for this testing were built around an Intel Core i7 3960X "Sandy Bridge" Extreme Edition and Intel Core i7 3770K "Ivy Bridge" processors. Full system details are shown in the table above. Clean installs of Fedora 17 and 18 were done from each system.