Benchmarking Ubuntu Linux On The Google Nexus 7
Last month I delivered extensive benchmarks of Ubuntu Linux on the Google Nexus 10 using the recently released Ubuntu Touch Developer Preview. In that article were benchmarks from the Samsung Exynos 5 Dual (Cortex-A15) tablet against a range of ARM Cortex and Intel/AMD x86 systems. This article builds upon those earlier Ubuntu Linux x86/ARM results by now adding in the results from Ubuntu on the Google Nexus 7 plus more comparison processors have been tossed into the mix as well. This article offers Ubuntu Linux performance results for a dozen different Intel, AMD, and ARM systems. The ARM SoCs represented are from Texas Instruments OMAP, NVIDIA Tegra, and ARM Exynos families.
Be sure to read last month's thorough article for more details on the state of Ubuntu on the Google Nexus tablets, which Canonical's pushing at the moment as their reference platforms for developing Ubuntu "Phablet" -- phones and tablets. Benchmarking Ubuntu on the Google Nexus 7 was less stable than Ubuntu on the Nexus 10 with the high-end Samsung Exynos 5 Dual Cortex-A15 SoC, but still went well overall.
Aside from the Nexus 7, new this round are the Atom Z520 "Silverthorne" (bearing Poulsbo) SoC, an Intel Core Duo T2400 "Yonah" laptop, and an Intel Core 2 Duo T9300 "Penryn" laptop. The complete listing of systems being benchmarked from Ubuntu included:
OMAP4460 - PandaBoard ES: One of the common "PandaBoard ES" development boards that features a Texas Instruments OMAP4460 SoC, which bears a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 1.2GHz processor. There's 1GB of RAM and a 16GB SDHC Class 10 card for storage.
Tegra 3 - Cardhu: NVIDIA's reference Tegra 3 tablet that is similar in specifications to the Nexus 7. The Tegra 3 SoC bears an ARM Cortex-A9 quad-core 1.4GHz processor.
Tegra 3 - Nexus 7: This is the new Ubuntu on the Google Nexus 7 results.
Exynos 5 Dual - Chromebook: Results are available from the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook that normally runs Google's Chrome OS. Ubuntu can be easily loaded on this Chromebook and with its Exynos 5 Dual SoC the performance is very good. This Chromebook is very similar to the Nexus 10 components. The Exynos 5 Dual features a dual-core 1.7GHz ARM Cortex-A15.
Exynos 5 Dual - Nexus 10: The focus of today's testing, the A15-based Google Nexus 10 with Ubuntu! Similar to the Series 5 Chromebook, the Nexus 10 is backed by an Exynos 5 Dual 1.7GHz dual-core Cortex-A15, 16GB of flash-based storage, and 2GB of system memory.
Agena - Phenom 9500: Various x86 systems were also tossed into the mix while running Ubuntu Linux for reference... First up is an old AMD Phenom 9500 "Agena" Quad-Core. This was the first-generation AMD Phenom processor, comprised of four AMD K10 cores, and was released back in 2007. The AMD Phenom 9500 is a 2.2GHz quad-core 64-bit part with a 95 Watt TDP.
Diamondville - Atom 330: The Intel Atom 330 dual-core processor clocked at 1.60GHz with Hyper Threading. The Atom 330 was released in H2'2008 with an 8 Watt TDP, built on a 45nm process, and supports SSE3.
Silverthorne - Atom Z520: This is one of the original Intel Atom SoCs. The Z520 is clocked at 1.33GHz and is a single core processor with 512KB of L2 cache and 32-bit only support. The Atom Z520 lacks SSE4 but does have SSE3 and SSSE3. It's built on a 45nm process with a 2 Watt TDP.
Yonah - Core Duo T2400: The T2400 is a dual-core 32-bit processor with 2MB of L2 cache, 1.83GHz clock speed, and 31 Watt TDP.
Penryn - Core 2 Duo T9300: The T9300 Penryn is a dual-core 64-bit Intel mobile processor clocked at 2.5GHz with 6MB of L2 cache and runs with a 35 Watt TDP.
Arrandale - Core i3 330M: The Intel Core i3 330M from the Arrandale/Ironlake days was tested. The Core i3 330M from 2010 is a dual-core part plus Hyper Threading and is clocked at 2.13GHz while having a 35 Watt TDP.
Sandy Bridge - Core i5 2520M: For showing some more modern Intel x86 hardware, a Core i5 2520M "Sandy Bridge" mobile processor was tested into the testing mix as well. The i5-2520M is dual-core with Hyper Threading and has a base frequency of 2.5GHz with a maximum Turbo Frequency of 3.2GHz. Its TDP is also 35 Watts.
It's quite a diverse selection of hardware to be benchmarking with the latest Ubuntu Linux code. There are other hardware differences with some of the systems having non-swappable components, but the benchmarks in this article are primarily focused on just testing the CPU. There are software differences due to the ARM Linux kernel not yet being unified and then some of the Ubuntu ARM ISOs shipping with other changes, but in effect from the software side it's the latest available packages in an "out of the box" experience as of late February.
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