A few days back I carried out a Linux kernel performance comparison from an ASUS Ultrabook with Intel Core i3 3217U "Ivy Bridge" processor with 4GB of RAM, 500GB Hitachi HDD, and 24GB SanDisk SSD. Ubuntu 13.04 x86_64 was in use while the Linux 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, and 3.9 (Git) mainline/vanilla kernels were tested.
After the Ivy Bridge launch last year, we saw kernel updates bring performance improvements to the open-source graphics driver as well as the CPU performance and power consumption. This latest testing was driven by curiosity to see if there are any new improvements or regressions with the brand new 3.8 kernel and the forthcoming Linux 3.9. Benchmarks were conducted via the Phoronix Test Suite and the results in full along with other system details can be found on OpenBenchmarking.org. All of the data is publicly available within 1303261-FO-LINUXKERN65.
There doesn't appear to be anything exciting for the Ivy Bridge HD 4000 graphics on the newer Linux kernels.
Most Intel Linux developers are now focusing upon bringing up Haswell support and performance optimizations for these upcoming processors with more powerful graphics.
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