Initial Findings: MeeGo 1.1 Netbook vs. Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 5 November 2010. Page 1 of 2. 15 Comments

Intel and Nokia last week rolled out MeeGo 1.1, which is now officially available for Intel Atom netbooks, the N900 handset, and in-vehicle "infotainment" systems. The netbook spin of MeeGo 1.1 is out there to compete with the likes of Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook Edition, which was released just shy of a month ago. While nothing radically has changed with MeeGo 1.1 compared to the initial MeeGo 1.0 release from earlier this year, the software stack is updated so for the past few days we have begun conducting a performance comparison between MeeGo 1.1 and Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook. Here are some of our initial findings.

These initial tests are coming from a Samsung NC10 netbook with an Intel Atom N270 1.60GHz CPU with a 945GME + ICH7-M motherboard providing the Intel 945 integrated graphics. This Intel netbook had 2GB of system memory and a 32GB OCZ Core Solid-State Drive. For reference in this comparison, MeeGo 1.1 has the Linux 2.6.35-3-10.3-netbook i686 kernel, X.Org Server 1.9.0, xf86-video-intel 2.12.0, Mesa 7.9-devel, GCC 4.5.0, and uses a Btrfs file-system. Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook ships with the Linux 2.6.35-22-generic i686 kernel, X.Org Server 1.9.0, xf86-video-intel 2.12.0, Mesa 7.9.0, GCC 4.4.5, and an EXT4 file-system.

To begin with, Bootchart was used to compare the boot speeds of both Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook and MeeGo 1.1 Netbook. On the Samsung NC10, the reported boot time was 12.92 seconds under MeeGo 1.1 while with Ubuntu 10.10 the boot time came in at 17.52 seconds.

Not only was MeeGo 1.1 quicker at booting, but at least when it comes to idling at its default shell, it also consumed less power than Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook with the Samsung NC10. On this Atom netbook the MeeGo 1.1 average power consumption was 11.615 Watts while with Ubuntu 10.10 it was 12.745 Watts, which is nearly a 10% increase in power consumption over MeeGo when it comes to idling. We will also have more power consumption numbers under different usage scenarios when we do our full-length performance review of MeeGo 1.1, Ubuntu 10.10 Netbook, and earlier releases for both projects.

We also ran a few benchmarks from the Phoronix Test Suite to provide some quick performance figures. These netbook-focused tests included OpenArena, LAME MP3 encoding, PostMark, and unpacking the compressed Linux kernel source-code package.

MeeGo 1.1, which is using a development copy of the Mesa 7.9 release rather than the final 7.9.0 release, was not quite as fast as Ubuntu 10.10 when running the OpenArena game at the netbook's native panel resolution. The difference though was only by two frames per second and neither Linux distribution on this hardware is capable of running this ioquake3 game at a decent frame-rate with the current state of Intel's classic Mesa 3D driver.

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