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. A Walkthrough Of The New 32 System Open-Source Linux Benchmarking Test Farm
  2. Habey MITX-6771: Mini-ITX Board With Quad-Core J1900 Bay Trail
  3. OCZ Vector 150 SSD On Linux
  4. Noctua i4 CPU Cooler: Great For Cooling High-End LGA-2011v3 CPUs
Latest Linux Articles
  1. AMD Kaveri: Open-Source Radeon Gallium3D vs. Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver
  2. 12-Way AMD Catalyst 14.12 vs. NVIDIA 346 Series Linux GPU Comparison
  3. AMD Catalyst 14.12 Omega Driver Brings Mixed Results For Linux Users
  4. 6-Way Winter 2014 Linux Distribution Comparison
Latest Linux News
  1. Civilization: Beyond Earth Linux GPU/Driver Benchmarks
  2. X.Org Server 1.16.3 Released To Fix Security Issues
  3. Linux 3.19 Merge Window Closes Ahead Of Schedule
  4. MIPS R6 Architecture Now Supported By GCC
  5. LowRISC To Feature Tagged Memory & Minion Cores
  6. Intel Skylake Audio Support For Linux 3.19
  7. After 10+ Years, NetworkManager Reaches v1.0
  8. VDPAU Updated To v0.9
  9. An Open Hardware Random Number Generator Proposed
  10. LLVM 3.6 Will Be Branched Next Month
Latest Forum Discussions
  1. Need some hand holding with upgrading xserver
  2. The New SuperTuxKart Looks Better, But Can Cause GPU/Driver Problems
  3. XLennart: A Game For Systemd Haters With Nothing Better To Do
  4. Updated and Optimized Ubuntu Free Graphics Drivers
  5. Debian init discussion in Phoenix Wright format
  6. FPS capped on Linux (AMD fglrx drivers)
  7. Are there an app using HSA ?
  8. Bench specific mount point