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Workstation Benchmarks: Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu Linux

Michael Larabel

Published on 3 August 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 4 of 4 - 52 Comments

With the first non-OpenGL benchmark in this article, we looked at the file-system performance using IOzone on Windows 7 and Ubuntu 10.04. With the 8GB write test using a 64Kb record size, Ubuntu 10.04 with its default EXT4 file-system was 65% faster with this sequential disk writing than Windows 7 Professional with NTFS.

The 8GB read performance was just over 30% faster on Ubuntu 10.04 with the EXT4 file-system when compared to Windows and its NTFS file-system.

Not only did Ubuntu 10.04 LTS do a great job over Microsoft Windows 7 with the disk tests, but also when looking at the raw CPU performance of the Intel Core i7 720QM using OpenSSL with RSA 4096-bit encryption the performance of Ubuntu Lucid was more than doubled when compared to Windows 7 Professional.

When it came to the workstation OpenGL test results, which were the prime interest of this article, the performance was not vastly different between Windows 7 Professional and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS. However, this isn't too surprising based upon earlier Windows vs. Linux test results at Phoronix and the fact that NVIDIA's proprietary graphics driver was used, which for the vast majority of its code-base is shared across all platforms and the only OS-specific bits are those required to hook it into the lower-layers of the operating system. AMD's proprietary ATI graphics driver is much the same way with lots of the same code being shared between their Windows and Linux drivers, but AMD does hook more into the conventional Linux graphics driver stack than NVIDIA -- though that has been changing somewhat with AMD devising their own 2D acceleration architecture, etc.

The only SPECViewPerf 10.0 benchmarks where there was a large performance difference between Windows 7 Professional and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS was with 3dsmax where Windows 7 had a 14% advantage, a small 5% lead for Ubuntu in Pro/Engineer, and then Ubuntu's whopping lead with SolidWorks. With the read/write disk tests, Ubuntu was the winner in both cases where the EXT4-using OS came out well ahead of Microsoft and its NTFS file-system. Lastly, with OpenSSL the lead was to be found with Ubuntu Linux. More Windows vs. Linux performance tests are coming soon so stay tuned.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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