On Friday benchmarks were delivered of the Atom-based NVIDIA ION platform with the Nouveau driver against NVIDIA's binary blob. Those results were favorable towards the reverse-engineered, open-source NVIDIA driver. For finishing off the week are more benchmarks from this aging NVIDIA ION system but this time seeing how well the low-end 64-bit Ubuntu performance is when comparing the latest 13.04 development image to the 12.10 and 12.04.1 LTS releases.
In a stock environment with the standard packages and settings for each Ubuntu Linux release, 12.04.1 LTS, 12.10, and 13.04 2013-01-16 were compared on the ASRock ION330HT-BD, a NVIDIA ION NetTop. This nettop has an Intel Atom 330 CPU, 2GB of DRAM, 320GB Seagate SATA HDD, and NVIDIA GeForce 9400 graphics.
With the Ubuntu 13.04 daily build tested from mid-January, the Linux 3.8.0-0-generic kernel was in use with the Unity 6.6 desktop, Mesa 9.0.1, and the compiler was still based upon the GCC 4.7.2 release like in Ubuntu 12.10. Unfortunately with the Linux 3.8 kernel in Ubuntu 13.04 the Nouveau driver would cause a kernel panic upon initialization. Thus in order to run the Ubuntu desktop the Nouveau driver had to be bypassed by tossing "nomodeset" on the kernel command-line. Due to the 13.04 graphics issues, the results in this article are largely computational focused.