Last year we provided benchmarks looking at Ubuntu versus Mac OS X when it came to using the latest releases for both software platforms at the time. Both operating systems had performed competitively -- in some tests, the Apple OS wound up on top while in other areas Canonical had the advantage. Since that article back in November, Apple has released a minor update to Leopard (v10.5.6) and Canonical last month released Ubuntu 9.04. We have already looked at the performance of Ubuntu's Jaunty Jackalope, and even found it to perform with old hardware, but how does it now compete with Mac OS X? We have more benchmarks this morning to continue this performance investigation.
Like our earlier article when benchmarking Mac OS X, for this testing we used an Apple Mac Mini with an Intel Core 2 Duo T5600 clocked at 1.83GHz, an Intel 945 + ICH-7M motherboard with integrated graphics, 1GB of DDR2 memory, and an 80GB Hitachi HTS542580K9SA00 HDD. Ubuntu was running on this system via Apple's BootCamp. On the Apple side was Mac OS X 10.5.6 with all available updates and on the Ubuntu side was Ubuntu 9.04 32-bit. The kernel reported on OS X 10.5.6 is 9.6.0 i386, X Server 1.3.0-apple22, OpenGL 1.2 APPLE-1.5.36, GCC 4.2.1, and a Journaled HFS+ file-system was used. Ubuntu 9.04 uses the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, X Server 1.6.0, xf86-video-intel 2.6.3, OpenGL 1.4 Mesa 7.4, GCC 4.3.3, and an EXT3 file-system. When installing Apple's X Code it ships with both GCC 4.0 and GCC 4.2, but we had enabled the later version to be more comparable to the modern day GCC that the Linux distributions are generally using. Both operating systems were left running with their stock settings during the testing process.
To compare the Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux performance again we had used the Phoronix Test Suite. Particularly, we were using the latest Sandtorg code that will go on to be Phoronix Test Suite 2.0. With the Phoronix Test Suite continuing to receive new test profiles and other enhancements, this time around we had more tests to run than with our Mac OS X benchmarking from last year. The tests we used included Urban Terror, Java 2D Microbenchmark, LAME MP3 encoding, Ogg encoding, FFmpeg, timed PHP compilation, timed ImageMagick compilation, 7-Zip compression, Gzip compression, GnuPG, OpenSSL, BYTE Unix Benchmark, SciMark, SQLite, Crafty, Threaded I/O Tester, PostgreSQL pgbench, Sunflow Rendering System, Bork File Encrypter, and Java SciMark.
With all of that said, let's get on to the test results.