1. Computers
  2. Display Drivers
  3. Graphics Cards
  4. Memory
  5. Motherboards
  6. Processors
  7. Software
  8. Storage
  9. Operating Systems


Facebook RSS Twitter Twitter Google Plus


Phoronix Test Suite

OpenBenchmarking.org

Ubuntu 12.04 KVM/Xen Virtualization: Intel vs. AMD

Michael Larabel

Published on 28 March 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 8 of 8 - 15 Comments

While there are many results to go through, a few items stuck out:

- VirtualBox 4.1 on Ubuntu 12.04 when running on the Intel Core i7 3960X "Sandy Bridge Extreme" performed very poorly. VirtualBox was most often running at a small fraction of the speed of the KVM and Xen virtualization methods for the i7-3960X. VirtualBox on the AMD FX-8150 performed much closer to where KVM was running, but still was noticeably behind the popular Kernel-based Virtual Machine. There is some major issue going on with the $1000 USD Intel processor and VirtualBox, possibly similar to the Xen performance issues encountered last year. VirtualBox seemed to do the worst on Intel with multi-threaded workloads.

- Xen 4.1 generally performed in line with KVM's performance on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS x86_64 with the Linux 3.2 kernel. This is at least for the Sandy-E system, but Xen issues with the ASUS motherboard prevented Bulldozer Xen results from making it out there.

- Between Intel's Sandy Bridge and AMD's Bulldozer for KVM virtualization, the relative performance was generally quite close between these competing latest-generation architectures. If looking at the harmonic mean of the over three dozen tests that were run, the Intel Core i7 3960X was running at 93% the speed of bare metal with KVM while the AMD FX-8150 came in at 90% the speed of the bare metal Bulldozer. Alternatively, with the geometric mean of all the results, the i7-3960X was at 85% the speed of bare metal while the AMD FX-8150 was at 88%. VirtualBox on the FX-8150 was at 85% while the problematic VirtualBox-on-Sandy-E was at 59%. Xen on Sandy-E came in at 94%.

As a bonus (and as I was running some extra tests for Canonical), here are some Clarkfield KVM/Xen/VirtualBox virtualization results from a very different system. VirtualBox on this older Intel Core i7 did have some troubling spots too, but overall was at least better than its performance on the i7-3960X Sandy Bridge Extreme.

8
Next Page >>
About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
Latest Linux Hardware Reviews
  1. Rosewill RS-MI-01: An Ultra Low-Cost Mini-ITX Chassis
  2. D-Link DCS-2330L HD Wireless Network Camera
  3. Gigabyte AM1M-S2H
  4. AMD's New Athlon/Semprons Give Old Phenom CPUs A Big Run For The Money
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Catalyst 14.4 On Linux With Radeon R3 APU Graphics
  2. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.0 RC Benchmarks
  3. AMD Catalyst 14.4 Brings Few Linux Performance Improvements
  4. The Performance Of Fedora 20 Updated
Latest Linux News
  1. Intel Developer Proposes A New Linux CPU Load Metric
  2. R600 Gallium3D Lands Many OpenGL Fixes
  3. LLVMpipe Gallium3D Now Exposes GLSL 3.30
  4. NGINX 1.6 Brings SPDY 3.1 & Other New Features
  5. Linux Foundation Announces A Core Infrastructure Initiative
  6. More Steam Linux Tests/Benchmarks Might Be Coming
  7. NVIDIA's Amazing Single-Board ARM Computer Might Be Delayed
  8. Fedora 21 To Get A Playground, New Features
  9. PC-BSD Is Developing Its Own Desktop Environment
  10. Valve Is Bringing VOGL To Windows & Working On Regression Tests
  11. Canonical Is Taking Over Linux 3.13 Kernel Maintenance
  12. Google Web Designer Is Now Natively Available On Linux
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Linux Kernel Developers Fed Up With Ridiculous Bugs In Systemd
  2. HTPC-upgrade advice: AMD Richland A8-7600 or Kaveri A10-6700T ???
  3. What Else Would You Like To See On Phoronix This Spring?
  4. The GNOME Foundation Is Running Short On Money
  5. The Most Amazing OpenGL Tech Demo In 64kb
  6. Announcing radeontop, a tool for viewing the GPU usage
  7. New card. Open source drivers only.
  8. Script for Fan Speed Control