With Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 having made it out yesterday, we couldn't resist but to run some new benchmarks of the Lucid Lynx after our original tests last month found Ubuntu 10.04 was off to a poor performance start. In some areas the performance of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Alpha 2 remains lower than in Ubuntu 9.10 -- largely due to performance regressions upstream in the Linux kernel -- but we have also included some very early performance numbers from Fedora 13.
While Ubuntu's Lucid Lynx has already had two development releases, Red Hat has not yet put out any development releases for Fedora 13. The first and only alpha release of Fedora 13 is planned for the middle of February while a beta release will come at the start of April and then the final release will enter the world towards the middle of May, assuming there are no delays. With that said, Fedora 13 is still heavily in development and will certainly change a lot between now and then (especially with how closely they follow some packages and their upstream involvement), but we have included benchmark numbers from the 2010-01-13 nightly compose desktop image of Fedora Rawhide. Beyond being an early snapshot of Fedora 13, Red Hat enables numerous debugging options within their Rawhide kernel and other packages that are then disabled prior to the official release. These debugging options can impair the system's performance, but as with all Fedora and Ubuntu releases, we will be back with many more benchmarks throughout the development cycle. These Fedora 13 numbers should just be looked at for reference purposes.
We used the 64-bit versions of Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 and Fedora 13 (2010-01-13), which were compared to the stable version of Ubuntu 9.10 (x86_64). Ubuntu 9.10 uses the Linux 2.6.31 kernel, GNOME 2.28.1, X Server 1.6.4, and GCC 4.4.1. Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2 ups the package versions to the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, GNOME 2.29.4, X Server 1.7.4 RC2, and GCC 4.4.3. Our January 13 Rawhide snapshot contained the Linux 2.6.32 kernel, GNOME 2.29.4, X Server 1.7.3, and GCC 4.4.2. Both Ubuntu and Fedora use the EXT4 file-system by default and all three distributions were tested with their default settings and options. The NVIDIA 190.53 display driver was installed on Ubuntu and Fedora to provide 3D acceleration support for the NVIDIA Quadro graphics hardware that was used during testing.
The hardware used for testing was a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 notebook with an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 processor, 4GB of system memory, a 100GB Hitachi HTS72201 hard drive, and a NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M 512MB graphics processor. The Phoronix Test Suite software was used for carrying out all of these tests autonomously and in a fully repeatable manner. The test profiles included Lightsmark, Nexuiz, World of Padman, 1080p H.264 video playback, Apache, PostgreSQL, C-Ray, 7-Zip, x264, IOzone, PostMark, Threaded I/O Tester, John The Ripper, Gcrypt, GnuPG, and our custom battery-power-usage test.
On the following pages are our benchmarks comparing Ubuntu 9.10, Ubuntu 10.04 Alpha 2, and the very early look at the Fedora 13 performance.