Back in September we looked at the Intel Atom performance on a few Linux distributions using the ASUS Eee PC 901, but now with new stable releases of some of the most popular distributions out in the wild, we've decided to re-conduct these tests. We are using a slightly different Atom-based system this time and we are comparing the performance on Ubuntu 8.10, Fedora 10, Mandriva 2008, and OpenSuSE 11.1.
For our testing this time around we used a Jetway NC92 IPC motherboard. This mini ITX motherboard uses the Intel 945GC Chipset with ICH7 Southbridge and it comes with an Atom 230 1.6GHz processor. This motherboard uses standard DDR2 and it offers a single PCI slot. In addition to that, we also used a 300GB Seagate ST3300622AS SATA HDD, 2GB of DDR2 memory, and the Intel 945 graphics were driving a 1680 x 1050 LCD display.
For those not familiar with the packages shipping with the different distributions, here is a run-down. Ubuntu 8.10 uses the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, GNOME 2.24.1, X Server 1.5.2, Mesa 7.2, xf86-video-intel 2.4.1 driver, and GCC 4.3.2. Fedora 10 also uses the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, GNOME 2.24.1, X Server 1.5.3, xf86-video-intel 2.5.0 driver, Mesa 7.3-devel, and GCC 4.3.2. Mandriva Linux 2009.0 provides the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, GNOME 2.24.0, X Server 1.4.2, xf86-video-intel 2.4.2, and GCC 4.3.2. Lastly, the release candidate for OpenSuSE 11.1 contains the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, GNOME 2.24.1, X Server 1.5.2, xf86-video-intel 2.5.0, Mesa 7.2, and GCC 4.3.
The Linux tests we ran on this mini Atom-powered desktop system were facilitated using the Phoronix Test Suite. The tests included LAME MP3 encoding, Ogg encoding, Gzip compression, IOzone, SQLite, OpenSSL, GnuPG, RAMspeed, Sunflow Rendering System, Java SciMark, QGears2, and GtkPerf.