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Running Ubuntu 9.10 With Older PC Hardware

Michael Larabel

Published on 28 October 2009
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 7 - 34 Comments

Last week we looked at the Ubuntu 9.10 netbook performance with two Atom-powered netbooks comparing the Karmic Koala numbers against that of Ubuntu 9.04. For the most part, Ubuntu 9.10 offered better performance over its predecessor, but there were a few performance drops in different areas. With our netbook results out of the way, next up we looked at how Ubuntu 9.10 is running with older PC hardware. For the testing in this article we pulled out an aging laptop and ran a set of tests across Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS, Ubuntu 8.10, Ubuntu 9.04, and the latest Ubuntu 9.10 snapshot.

The laptop we used for this old PC hardware testing was a Lenovo ThinkPad R52. The ThinkPad R52 had an Intel Pentium M 1.86GHz processor, Intel 915 + ICH6M Chipset, 2GB of system memory, an 80GB Hitachi HTS541080G9AT00 IDE HDD, and an ATI Mobility Radeon X300 graphics processor. This hardware is only a few years old, but is the oldest that we had around here and is very different from our usual Linux benchmarks of the latest and greatest computer components.

To recap a few key packages from the different Ubuntu releases, Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS shipped with the Linux 2.6.24 kernel, GNOME 2.22.3, X Server 1.4.0.90, xf86-video-radeon 4.3.0, Mesa 7.0.3-rc2, GCC 4.2.4, and an EXT3 file-system. Ubuntu 8.10 had the Linux 2.6.27 kernel, GNOME 2.24.1, X Server 1.5.2, xf86-video-radeon 6.9.0, Mesa 7.2, GCC 4.3.2, and EXT3. Ubuntu 9.04 is powered by the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, GNOME 2.26.1, X Server 1.6.0, xf86-video-radeon 6.12.1, Mesa 7.4, GCC 4.3.3, and EXT3. Lastly, the Linux 2.6.31 kernel, GNOME 2.28.0, X Server 1.6.4, xf86-video-radeon 6.12.99, Mesa 7.6, GCC 4.4.1, and the EXT4 file-system are powering Ubuntu 9.10. All four Ubuntu releases were left with their default settings and packages during our Linux benchmarking process.

The tests we ran across these four latest Ubuntu releases were Tremulous, MPlayer video playback, 7-Zip compression, IOzone, PostMark, AIO-Stress, Dbench, Apache, PostgreSQL, C-Ray, Tachyon, TSCP, FFmpeg, GraphicsMagick, and timed MAFFT alignment. All of these tests were carried out through our open-source benchmarking platform, the Phoronix Test Suite.

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