With 2010 now coming to an end, what were the most popular Phoronix stories this year? For those curious about the most viewed articles and news posts on Phoronix in 2010, here's a list. Exclusive information on Valve's forthcoming Linux Steam client, photographs from my adventure to the Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster Site, and multi-OS benchmarks had dominated 2010.
While Linux has long been talked about as being a faster operating system than Microsoft Windows, in 2010 is this still the case? It seems every time we deliver new benchmarks of the EXT4 file-system it's actually getting slower, recent Linux kernel releases have not been delivering any major performance enhancements for desktop users, the open-source Linux graphics drivers are still no match to the proprietary drivers, and "bloated and huge" is how Linus Torvalds described the Linux kernel last year. This is all while Windows 7 was released last year, which many view as Microsoft's best operating system release to date. Even after using it a fair amount the past few months in preparation for this about-to-be-shared work, it is actually not too bad and is a huge improvement over Windows Vista, but is it really faster than Ubuntu Linux? We have used six uniquely different systems and ran Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS x86_64 on each of them with a set of 55 tests (actually, more than 165 if considering that each test is usually run at least three times for accuracy) per installation.
In recent weeks and months there has been quite a bit of work towards improving the responsiveness of the Linux desktop with some very significant milestones building up recently and new patches continuing to come. This work is greatly improving the experience of the Linux desktop when the computer is withstanding a great deal of CPU load and memory strain. Fortunately, the exciting improvements are far from over. There is a new patch that has not yet been merged but has undergone a few revisions over the past several weeks and it is quite small -- just over 200 lines of code -- but it does wonders for the Linux desktop.
It's amazing when you compare this:
To the experience after this small patch was applied:
Last week we delivered the first of our Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks to much anticipation, but now we have the results for Apple's Mac OS X 10.6.3 operating system to tack in too. In the first part of that Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu Linux performance examination, we looked closely at the OpenGL gaming performance across six different systems and a whole slew of tests. More articles are on the way looking at the performance and later in the week we already delivered some initial disk benchmarks. However, now it is time to see how Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, and Apple Mac OS X 10.6.3 compete with one another.