In recent weeks I have shown how Ubuntu 12.04 is ARM-ing up for better performance on the ARMv7 architecture by enabling hard-float builds and how the TI OMAP4 support has come together resulting in significant performance gains. Nevertheless, how is modern ARM hardware now comparing to the low-end Intel x86 competition? In this article are some results from Ubuntu 12.04 comparing the ARM performance to some Intel Core, Pentium, and Atom hardware.
Late last year I delivered the first ARM Cortex-A9 dual-core benchmarks of a PandaBoard ES with the Texas Instruments OMAP4460 SoC. Those initial results were okay in comparing to various low-end Intel CPUs, especially considering the lower power consumption of the ARM hardware. However, now the Ubuntu ARM performance is much faster thanks to hard-float and then for the OMAP4 series there is the proper cpufreq / power management support so the OMAP4460 can scale to its full dual-core 1.2GHz speeds. As a result, here's a fresh set of ARM and Intel benchmarks from an Ubuntu 12.04 development snapshot with the Linux 3.2 kernel.
The OMAP4460-based PandaBoard ES was compared to an Intel Atom N270, Intel Pentium M 750, and Intel Core Duo T2400. The Ubuntu 12.04 snapshot used was from late January.
The test process was similar to the earlier Ubuntu ARM articles and was fully automated by the Phoronix Test Suite, so let's jump straight to the results... You will really want to see them, especially from the C-Ray (a multi-threaded ray-tracing test favorite) preview shown above.