Last week we released Phoronix Test Suite 1.0 and one of the article requests we received as a result was to do a side-by-side comparison between the popular desktop Linux distributions. Ask and you shall receive. Today we have up 28 test results from Ubuntu 8.04, Fedora 9, and Mandriva 2008.1.
The "modern day" hardware we had used during testing were dual AMD Opteron 2356 Quad-Core processors, an ATI FireGL V8600 1GB graphics card, Tyan Thunder n3600M motherboard, 4GB of DDR2 RAM, Western Digital 160GB SATA 2.0 hard drive, and a Cooler Master Real Power Pro 1000W power supply.
All the settings within each of the three Linux distributions were left at their defaults as well as using the stock package selections. Ubuntu 8.04 uses the Linux 2.6.24 kernel, X Server 188.8.131.52, and GCC 4.2.3. Mandriva 2008.1 is similar to Ubuntu 8.04 with its use of the Linux 2.6.24 kernel, X Server 184.108.40.206, and GCC 4.2.3. Fedora 9 is the most bleeding-edge of the three distributions and it ships with the Linux 2.6.25 kernel, X Server 220.127.116.111, and GCC 4.3.0.
Due to Fedora 9 not being compatible with the latest ATI fglrx driver for the FireGL V8600 graphics card, we were simply using the VESA driver on all three distributions as our tests were limited to command-line tests. These tests from the Phoronix Test Suite had included timed Gzip compression, PTS Grapher, RAMspeed, Tandem XML, Java SciMark, Sunflow Rendering System, LAME MP3 encoding, Ogg encoding, FLAC encoding, Monkey encoding, WavPack encoding, Mencoder AVI to LAVC, FFmpeg video encoding, timed Apache compilation, timed PHP compilation, timed ImageMagick compilation, timed Linux kernel compilation, 7-Zip compression, parallel BZIP2 compression, LZMA compression, GnuPG, OpenSSL, SQLite, and Bandwidth tests. However, due to a results merging bug with Mandriva, some tests are just a comparison of Ubuntu 8.04 and Fedora 9.
If you wish to benchmark your system using the same set of tests we had used in this article, run phoronix-test-suite benchmark michael-5257-14463-7069. It's as easy as that! On the following pages are the results.