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Ubuntu 32-bit, 32-bit PAE, 64-bit Kernel Benchmarks

Michael Larabel

Published on 30 December 2009
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 5 of 5 - 41 Comments

No change in the OpenSSL performance between either the 32-bit kernels, but the 64-bit kernel on the Intel Core 2 Duo "Penryn" was approaching two and a half times the speed of the 32-bit kernel.

With video processing using x264, the PAE kernel performance just dropped ever so slightly while the 64-bit kernel was again the fastest option.

Only a very small drop in performance can be found with the PAE kernel in the PostMark disk test, but the 64-bit kernel was immensely faster.

In the fourteen tests for this article we did not find using Ubuntu's 32-bit PAE kernel to have a dramatic performance impact whether it be positive or negative. Granted, we were using just 4GB of system memory that is common to many desktops, but if using 8GB, 16GB, or even a greater memory capacity the performance penalties are perhaps higher. By far though exhibiting the best performance was the Ubuntu 64-bit kernel that often ended up being leaps and bounds better than the 32-bit kernel. Unless you have technical or business reasons for not migrating to 64-bit Linux with compatible hardware, there is no reason to stick around with a 32-bit kernel and worrying about physical address extension. If you want to run your own kernel benchmarks, give the Phoronix Test Suite a try that offers more than 120 test profiles and 60 test suites.

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 .
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