At Phoronix we have tested out Ubuntu 9.04 quite extensively with a variety of different hardware and have delivered numerous benchmarks, but we had not looked closely at running the Jaunty Jackalope with older hardware. In this article though we have done just that and carried out a number of Ubuntu 9.04 tests using an older VIA-based PC.
For testing we used a VIA Nehemiah processor clocked at 1GHz, a VIA VT8605-based motherboard, 512MB of system memory was installed, a 30GB FUJITSU MHT2030A IDE HDD was in use, and we were using integrated S3 86C380 [ProSavageDDR K4M266] graphics. This is certainly a far cry from a system with dual quad-core Opterons, an Intel Core i7, or other hardware that is normally common to the Phoronix testing labs. The goal of this testing is to see how Ubuntu 9.04 compares to Ubuntu 8.10 when using hardware that is several years old.
To recap some of the key packages, Ubuntu 8.10 used the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, GNOME 2.24.1, X Server 1.5.2, xf86-video-savage 2.2.1, Mesa 7.2, GCC 4.3.2, and an EXT3 file-system. Ubuntu 9.04 uses the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, GNOME 2.26.1, X Server 1.6.0, xf86-video-savage 2.2.1, Mesa 7.4, GCC 4.3.3, and an EXT3 file-system by default. For testing we had used the latest Phoronix Test Suite code for Sandtorg.
The tests we ran with the Phoronix Test Suite were LAME MP3 encoding, Ogg encoding, FFmpeg, timed ImageMagick compilation, 7-Zip compression, LZMA compression, IOzone, SQLite, OpenSSL, and GnuPG. Using Bootchart we also looked at the boot-time performance for both releases of Ubuntu.