When Apple released Mac OS X 10.7 Lion last week Wednesday, they not only put out their new operating system, but they also released new Mac Mini and MacBook Air hardware. The primary changes for both the Mac Mini and MacBook Air refresh is that both form factors are now shipping with Intel's latest "Sandy Bridge" processors, there is the new Thunderbolt I/O, and of course, they are shipping with Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. This hardware update led me to immediately order the new Mac Mini as the latest piece of Apple hardware at Phoronix. Not because Phoronix is part of the Apple cult (since, after all, Phoronix is the leading Linux hardware site), but an immense curiosity about the Intel Sandy Bridge Mac OS X graphics driver. In particular, to see how Apple's Sandy Bridge driver compares to the Linux and Windows driver. Well, that was the plan at least, prior to the untimely demise of the new Apple hardware.
25 July 2011 - 46 Comments
Last week there was a GNU Hurd status update, which generated a fair amount of attention as it stated there are plans for a Debian GNU/Hurd release in conjunction with Debian "Wheezy" when it's out in late 2012 or early 2013. After being in development for more than 20 years, the Hurd is finally taking some shape. The Debian GNU/Hurd installer for Wheezy is even now working, which I tried out and ended up porting the Phoronix Test Suite to GNU Hurd. In this article is a brief look at Debian GNU/Hurd along with the first-ever benchmarks of Debian GNU/Hurd against Debian GNU/Linux.
18 July 2011 - 17 Comments
Last week we delivered results looking at the power consumption of Ubuntu 11.04 versus Windows 7, which was interesting in its own right, but in this article is a brief look at where Apple's Mac OS X operating system fits in between the power consumption of Ubuntu Linux and Microsoft Windows.
4 July 2011 - 7 Comments
After recently tracking down the major Linux kernel power regression that's present for a vast number of mobile users in Fedora 15, Ubuntu 11.04, and other recent Linux distributions shipping the 2.6.38+ kernel, the sights were turned to see how the power management of Ubuntu 11.04 compares to that of Windows 7 Professional Service Pack 1. In this article are the power consumption results of Ubuntu 11.04 compared directly to Windows 7 Professional 1 on several different systems with distinct notebook and desktop / workstation configurations.
29 June 2011 - 22 Comments
With the extensive Linux power consumption tests that I've been carrying out to solve some nasty Linux kernel power regressions and find other areas for optimization, one of the requests that has come in frequently is to compare the power consumption of the KDE, GNOME, Unity, Xfce, and LXDE desktops. After the article earlier this week to look at how the desktop environments / compositing window managers affect OpenGL performance, I carried out a quick desktop power test. In this article are battery power consumption results for Ubuntu, Kubuntu, Xubuntu, and Lubuntu.
2 June 2011 - 28 Comments
Ending out May, we have an interesting set of tests comparing the performance of Fedora 15 and Ubuntu 11.04. This is looking at the "out of the box" performance of both operating systems on three different systems. Not only is the actual test result looked at, but we also compared the power consumption of the two operating systems.
31 May 2011 - 26 Comments
For those Intel "Sandy Bridge" hardware customers that may be trying out the recent release of Fedora 15, the experience is decent and is in much better shape than the troubling support in Ubuntu 11.04. It is not in tip-top shape as there are some recent optimizations in the Linux kernel and Mesa that haven't landed in Fedora 15 (at least not yet in the form of an update), but it's suitable overall.
28 May 2011 - 12 Comments
To be paired with the release of Phoronix Test Suite 3.2-Grimstad later in the quarter will be the release of OpenBenchmarking.org Live, which is a new incarnation of our PTS Desktop Live Linux distribution. For those not familiar with PTS Desktop Live, our Live DVD/USB Linux environment completely standardizes the software stack so that enthusiasts or organizations wishing to carry out benchmarks can do so to directly compare hardware differences by eliminating all Linux software differences. It is also one easy way to try out benchmarking under Linux since it is just a matter of booting the DVD/USB drive and the testing environment is pre-configured. With OpenBenchmarking.org Live, we are taking PTS Desktop Live one big step further.
13 May 2011 - 3 Comments
Now that we have looked at the Ubuntu power consumption going back as far as Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (and found serious power regressions), the next round of testing is providing the Bootchart results for five different systems also going back as far as Ubuntu 8.04 LTS.
27 April 2011 - 13 Comments
Since Friday there's been a number of Phoronix articles about a very bad power regression in the mainline Linux kernel, which is widespread, Ubuntu 11.04 is one of the affected distributions, and has been deemed a bug of high importance. This yet-to-be-resolved issue is affected Linux 2.6.38 and 2.6.39 kernels and for many desktop and notebook systems is causing a 10~30% increase in power consumption. Nevertheless, this is not the only major outstanding power regression in the mainline tree, there is another dramatic regression now spotted as well that is yet-to-be-fixed.
25 April 2011 - 38 Comments
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