As another disk test, the Java-powered Bork File Encrypter took roughly the same amount of time across the six tested kernels to encrypt the sample file.
In our final test we looked at the ray-tracing performance using the Sunflow Rendering System. The performance had fluctuated some, but there was nothing conclusive and statistically the results were very close.
Well, there you have it. Quite a few benchmarks of the past six Linux kernel releases. What's most interesting to note from these test results is the slowdown of 7-Zip compression using the Linux 2.6.29 kernel, the OpenSSL performance has improved significantly with the Linux 2.6.29 kernel, a serious performance regression that impacted SQLite (and affected three development cycles) is fixed in the 2.6.29 kernel, and the GraphicsMagick performance has improved substantially when using the Linux 2.6.29 kernel. The OpenMP-based GraphicsMagick performance improvements in particular were surprising but certainly welcome. Beyond these tests with noteworthy changes, on this Intel Core 2 Duo system the rest of the results were stable and showed no signs of major improvements or regressions.
For those not having used the Phoronix Test Suite, tests are generally run multiple times before the results are automatically averaged, but looking at the results from each test run, there were no results that fluctuated much between runs. With the testing have occurred multiple times on each kernel, these results have been validated. You can try out the Phoronix Test Suite for yourself on Linux, Mac OS X, OpenSolaris, or *BSD operating systems at Phoronix-Test-Suite.com.
We will be back soon with more Linux benchmarks. Besides a few performance changes, the Linux 2.6.29 kernel is worth checking out for Intel kernel mode-setting, the Btrfs file-system, new and updated drivers, and various other features. The Linux 2.6.29 kernel will be found in Fedora 11. Ubuntu users wanting to try out this latest kernel will need to use the mainline kernel PPA as the Ubuntu 9.04 release will be using the older 2.6.28 kernel.