In celebration of Ubuntu 14.10's Utopic Unicorn release today, here's some fresh benchmarks of one of the most requested topics: 2D/3D benchmarks of different desktop environments. In this article is a look at six of the popular desktop offerings found in Ubuntu 14.10.
The desktops tested in their near-final state on Ubuntu 14.10 x86_64 included Unity 7.3.1, KDE 4.14.1, Xfce 4.10, LXDE 0.6.2, Openbox 3.5.2, and GNOME Shell 3.12.2. Tests are also being done of Kubuntu's PPA for Plasma 5 packages, but those results will be saved for its own article. Testing the MATE packages in Ubuntu 14.10 was also attempted but when logging into the MATE session it was endlessly spawning a bunch of new windows and just wasn't working right at least in the configuration attempted.
For these 2D benchmarks and OpenGL games/demo tests, Intel HD Graphics were used given the open-source Intel Linux driver is top-notch and likely the most common graphics adapter found on the Linux desktop. As with the Ubuntu 14.10 XMir benchmarks published this morning, the recently reviewed CompuLab Intense-PC2 was used for this benchmarking. The CompuLab IPC2 boasted a Core i7 4600U Haswell processor, 8GB of RAM, and 120GB Micron M500 SSD.
Ubuntu 14.10 was tested in its out-of-the-box state with the Linux 3.16 kernel, X.Org Server 1.16.0, xf86-video-intel 2.99.914, Mesa 10.3, and GCC 4.9.1. All desktops were tested with their default settings. The benchmarks were done by the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.