Earlier this week we published benchmarks of all Ubuntu releases from 7.04 to the release candidate and had found the performance degraded with time, at least with the test system we used. As part of our testing to explore this issue, we had repeated many of the same tests on Fedora with all of their releases going back to Fedora 7. Has Fedora's desktop performance degraded too? Read the article to find out.
We had carried out the Fedora 32-bit SMP testing on the same notebook, a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 (2006 model, 2613-EJU), and used the same version of the Phoronix Test Suite (1.4.0 Beta 1). The ThinkPad T60 is comprised of an Intel Core Duo T2400 processor, Intel Mobile 945 + ICH7-M Chipset, 1GB of DDR2 memory, an 80GB HTS541080G9SA00 HDD, and an ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 128MB graphics processor. The same testing practices applied here too with disabling Compiz, Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology, etc. Security Enhanced Linux (SELinux) was also disabled throughout testing.
With Fedora 7, 8, 9, and 10 Snapshot 3 we had used the Fedora DVDs and for add-on package selection had just installed the "Software Development" group of RPMs. Fedora 7 was running the Linux 2.6.21 kernel, X Server 1.3.0, and GCC 4.1.2. Fedora 8 shipped with the Linux 2.6.23 kernel, X Server 1.3.0, and GCC 4.1.2. Sulphur, a.k.a. Fedora 9, was introduced with the Linux 2.6.25 kernel, X Server 1.5 pre-release, and GCC 4.3.0. Finally, Fedora 10 Snapshot 3 shipped with the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, X Server 1.5.2, and GCC 4.3.2. These package versions roughly correlate with the Ubuntu releases that occurred during the same periods, but there are a few differences.
This time around we didn't run any graphics tests and focused the testing upon the areas where there were notable differences between the Ubuntu releases. The Phoronix Test Suite tests included LAME MP3 encoding, Ogg encoding, FLAC encoding, WavPack encoding, FFmpeg, timed Apache compilation, timed PHP compilation, timed ImageMagick compilation, Bonnie++, Flexible IO Tester, GnuPG, OpenSSL, BYTE Unix Benchmark, SciMark 2, RAMspeed, Bandwidth, Tandem XML, and Java SciMark 2.