EXT4 File-System Looks To Do Well Against NTFS
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 6 May 2010 at 08:52 AM EDT. 35 Comments
We began this week by providing the first extensive Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks to see whether Microsoft's operating system is faster than the most popular Linux distribution. In that first article we began by providing the OpenGL graphics benchmarks and the numbers were certainly interesting. Subsequently we delivered power consumption tests between Ubuntu Linux and Microsoft Windows on a netbook and a notebook. Now we are still preparing for the next set of tests, but until then, here are two disk tests looking at the file-system performance on Windows 7 with NTFS versus Ubuntu 10.04 LTS with EXT4.

The test system consisted of the following hardware:

Processor: Intel Core i3 CPU 530 @ 3.32GHz (Total Cores: 4), Motherboard: ECS H55H-M v1.0, Chipset: Intel Core, Memory: 1808MB, Disk: 300GB Seagate ST3300622AS, Graphics: Intel Core IGP 256MB, Audio: VIA VT1708S, Monitor: DELL P2210H

For this brief disk testing we ran IOzone through the Phoronix Test Suite on clean installations of Ubuntu 10.04 LTS and Windows 7 Professional x64. The first test looks at the IOzone performance on a 4GB write with different record sizes.

On average, Ubuntu 10.04 atop the EXT4 file-system with the Linux 2.6.32 kernel was 26.5% faster than Windows 7 x64 with its NTFS file-system.

The read performance with IOzone on the two file-systems was very close.

While EXT4 has regressed a fair amount (as we have talked about in countless articles) since it was deemed stable in the mainline Linux kernel, it's looking like it's still able to hold its ground against Windows 7 and NTFS at least with this synthetic disk benchmark. It will be more interesting to see how Apache, SQLite, PostgreSQL, and other real-world applications perform between the two operating systems -- especially as that's where EXT4 has had a challenging experience with recent kernel releases that try to improve data safety at the cost of speed.

More tests are on the way.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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