Recently we published benchmarks of Debian with the Etch, Lenny, and Squeeze releases. This is as far back as we could benchmark before hitting the 2.4 Linux kernel and running into hardware compatibility issues and other problems, considering Debian GNU/Linux doesn't seen an official release nearly as often as Ubuntu, Fedora, or most other distributions. We have now carried out a similar process, but on the Fedora side, and here we were able to go all the way back to the 2004 release of Fedora Core 3. Here are benchmarks of Fedora Core 3 with every release up through the recent release of Fedora 14.
With the Debian benchmarking, we tested the three releases under an x86_64 virtual machine and on an old ThinkPad notebook. With our Fedora benchmarking, we intended to do the same, but halfway through the benchmarking on the ThinkPad R52, the system failed. As a result, for now are the benchmarks from just the x86_64 virtualized benchmarking with KVM. This was the Intel Core i7 970 "Gulftown" system with its six physical cores and Intel Hyper Threading was running on a system with an OCZ Vertex 2 SSD, 3GB of system memory, an ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics card, and an ASRock X58 SuperComputer motherboard. The host operating system was a stock Ubuntu 10.10 installation. The Debian virtual machine was able to access all 12 processor threads and had allocated 2048MB of system memory.
Here is a run-down of some of the key components for each Fedora Core / Fedora release tested.
Fedora Core 3: Linux 2.6.9 / X.Org Server 6.8.1
/ GCC 3.4.2 / EXT3
Fedora Core 4: Linux 2.6.11 / X.Org Server 6.8.2 / GCC 4.0.0 / EXT3
Fedora Core 5: Linux 2.6.15 / X.Org Server 7.0.0 / GCC 4.1.0 / EXT3
Fedora Core 6: Linux 2.6.18 / X.Org Server 7.1.1 / GCC 4.1.1 / EXT3
Fedora 7: Linux 2.6.21 / X.Org Server 1.3.0 / GCC 4.1.2 / EXT3
Fedora 8: Linux 2.6.23 / X.Org Server 1.3.0 / GCC 4.1.2 / EXT3
Fedora 9: Linux 2.6.25 / X.Org Server 1.5.0 RC 1 / GCC 4.3.0 / EXT3
Fedora 10: Linux 2.6.27 / X.Org Server 1.5.3 / GCC 4.3.2 / EXT3
Fedora 11: Linux 2.6.29 / X.Org Server 1.6.2 RC1 / GCC 4.4.0 / EXT4
Fedora 12: Linux 2.6.31 / X.Org Server 1.7.1 / GCC 4.4.2 / EXT4
Fedora 13: Linux 2.6.33 / X.Org Server 1.8.0 / GCC 4.4.4 / EXT4
Fedora 14: Linux 2.6.35 / X.Org Server 1.9.0 / GCC 4.5.1 / EXT4
Benchmarks via the Phoronix Test Suite included Apache, PostMark, C-Ray, 7-Zip, PBZIP2, LAME MP3 encoding, GnuPG, John The Ripper, NAS Parallel Benchmarks, TTSIOD 3D Renderer, and Loopback TCP Network performance.