As the latest tests of Fedora 17 vs. Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, here are benchmarks comparing the performance of an Intel Core i7 "Ivy Bridge" system on the two distributions named Beefy Miracle and Precise Pangolin, respectively.
The test system for comparing Fedora 17 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS in this latest round of Phoronix benchmarking is the Intel Core i7 3770K with HD 4000 graphics.
Besides testing just Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and Fedora 17, a development snapshot of Ubuntu 12.10 was also tested to look at the direction of Ubuntu Linux moving forward. On the Fedora side, the latest Fedora 17 updates were also tested due to Fedora's liberal update policy of allowing new kernel releases, etc. Fedora Rawhide (what will eventually be Fedora 18) was not tested though due to the debug builds used within Rawhide that adversely affects the system's performance during the pre-release stage.
Ubuntu 12.04 ships the Linux 3.2 kernel, Unity 5.10, Mesa 8.0.2, and GCC 4.6 as the key components. The Ubuntu 12.10 development snapshot as of 22 June was the Linux 3.5 kernel, Unity 4.12, Mesa 8.0.3 (Ubuntu Quantal hasn't yet moved to Mesa 8.1), and GCC 4.7.
Fedora 17 "Beefy Miracle" shipped with the Linux 3.3 kernel, GNOME Shell 3.4.1, Mesa 8.0.2, and GCC 4.7. The Fedora 17 updates as of 23 June had the Linux 3.4 kernel, but that was the only key software component change.