Liquorix is the Linux kernel spin that's optimized for "desktop, multimedia, and gaming workloads." Liquorix isn't a fork of the Linux kernel but just a specialized configuration of the kernel and does include some out-of-tree patches. Among the changes for Liquorix right now are enabling Zen interactive tuning, hard kernel preemption, budget fair queue, AuFS support, and it's basically an anti-debugging kernel in order to ensure faster performance.
In many of our past Liquorix kernel benchmarks, the results themselves haven't indicated too many dramatic gains since the kernel's benefits are mostly about user responsiveness and other benefits that can't easily be measured in all of our benchmarks. However, as I haven't benchmarked the Liquorix 4.3 kernel yet and in satisfying premium member requests, here's some fresh numbers.
Tested for this article was:
4.3.3-dmz.5-liquorix: The Liquorix kernel build available for Debian/Ubuntu systems from Liquorix.net.
4.4.0-999-generic: The latest Linux 4.4 Git mainline kernel available from the Ubuntu PPA as of 5 January 2016.
4.3.0-040300-generic: The Linux 4.3.0 mainline kernel build from the Ubuntu PPA.
4.3.0-5-generic: The Linux 4.3-based kernel currently used by Ubuntu 16.04 LTS in the current Xenial Xerus development phase.
Tests were done from an Intel Xeon E5-2687W v3 system running a fresh Ubuntu 16.04 daily snapshot.
All benchmarks were conducted via the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.