In the road to the release of Ubuntu 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" later this month will be a number of articles benchmarking this major Linux distribution update against its friends and competitors. To complement the Ubuntu 13.04 benchmarks already delivered, including Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8 benchmarks, here are tests of Apple's OS X 10.8.3 operating system on a MacBook Pro compared to Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS, Ubuntu 12.10, and the latest Ubuntu 13.04 (post Beta 2) state. Ubuntu 13.04 is generally competitive with OS X 10.8 and in some new areas is now beating out Apple's operating system on their own hardware.
For today's testing, an Apple MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i5 520M CPU, 4GB of system memory, 120GB OCZ Agility 2 SSD, and Intel "Ironlake" IGP graphics were benchmarked under OS X 10.8.3, Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS + updates, Ubuntu 12.10, and Ubuntu 13.04. The same hardware was used throughout testing and all operating systems were tested in their stock configuration/settings from the same Apple MacBook Pro. While there's also NVIDIA graphics onboard this MacBook Pro, due to the rather non-pleasant state of switchable graphics on Linux, all OSes were limited to using the Intel integrated graphics.
The rundown of all the key software versions under each test condition:
Benchmarking on Apple OS X and Ubuntu Linux was handled from start to finish with the Phoronix Test Suite open-source benchmarking software. Results are made available in a collaborative manner on OpenBenchmarking.org.
For those interested in some past perspective on OS X vs. Linux performance, from last year there are these articles for reference: Intel OpenGL Performance: OS X vs. Windows vs. Linux and OS X 10.8 vs. Ubuntu Linux: A Battle With No Clear Winner.