The Most Popular Linux Hardware Reviews & Articles Over The Past 12 Years
Written by Michael Larabel in Phoronix on 6 June 2016 at 03:39 PM EDT. 1 Comment
PHORONIX --
This past weekend I offered a look at the most popular Linux news on Phoronix over the past twelve years, given Phoronix's birthday yesterday. Today is a look at the most popular featured articles / Linux hardware reviews on Phoronix during this time.

On Phoronix there have been over 18,480 original news articles on Phoronix while the featured article/review count is at more than 3,200. Those featured articles have been viewed more than 278,833,849 times over the past 12 years of running Phoronix.

Below is a look at the 20 most viewed featured articles/reviews, but before getting distracted by them, don't forget our significantly discounted premium special ends tonight if you wish to help support our work and see a strong year of content ahead!

Real World Benchmarks Of The EXT4 File-System
With the EXT4 file-system being marked as stable in the forthcoming Linux 2.6.28 kernel, and some Linux distributions potentially switching to it as an interim step until the btrfs file-system is ready, we decided it was time to benchmark this journaled file-system for ourselves. We ran a number of disk-centric Linux benchmarks along with several of our real-world tests from the Phoronix Test Suite to gauge how well the EXT4 file-system performance will be noticed by desktop users and computer gamers. We have compared these EXT4 results to the EXT3, XFS, and ReiserFS file-systems.

Mac OS X 10.5 vs. Ubuntu 8.10 Benchmarks
Last week we published Ubuntu 7.04 to 8.10 benchmarks from a Lenovo ThinkPad T60 and had found Ubuntu's performance degraded peculiarly over the past year and a half. We then published Fedora 7 to 10 benchmarks covering the same time-frame and from the same exact Intel notebook computer, but the newer releases of Fedora were only marginally slower in a few tests. In our performance exploration of Ubuntu we now have additional tests to publish this morning. This time around we're switching out the hardware we're testing on to Intel's newer Core 2 series and we're comparing the performance of the x86 and x86_64 editions of Ubuntu 8.10 against Apple's Mac OS X 10.5.5 operating system.

Intel GMA X4500HD
Earlier this month Intel had announced the GMA X4500 series, which is their latest and greatest when it comes to integrated graphics processors. These IGPs were greeted by same-day Linux support (it had actually arrived before the chipset was announced), but it's still next to impossible to find motherboards using the G43 and G45 Chipsets that bear this IGP. Fortunately, however, our friends at Super Micro have come through and we have managed to get our hands on the C2SEA. The Super Micro C2SEA is an ATX motherboard that uses the Intel G45 Chipset in conjunction with an ICH10 Southbridge. This motherboard provides Intel GMA X4500HD graphics with VGA and HDMI interfaces. In this article, we are looking at the performance of this new Intel graphics processor under Linux.

ASUS Motherboard Ships With Embedded Linux, Web Browser
The good folks over at ASUS have sent over the P5E3 Deluxe, which is based upon Intel's new X38 Chipset and continues in the usual ASUS fashion of pushing new (and often unexpected) innovations onto the motherboard. Without spoiling the review of this motherboard that will be published shortly, the ASUS P5E3 Deluxe is one of the most innovative motherboards we have seen to date and it packs one very exciting and unusual feature. Embedded onto the P5E3 Deluxe is a Linux environment that features a Firefox-rebranded web browser and the Skype VoIP client! Within five seconds of turning on this $360 USD gaming/enthusiast motherboard, you can be using Linux and surfing the Internet. On this motherboard the feature is known as ASUS Express Gate, which is powered by something called SplashTop. SplashTop is an instant-on Linux desktop being created by DeviceVM. SplashTop isn't even launching for a few more days (October 10), but in this article we have more details on this embedded Linux environment as well as screenshots and our thoughts with what will hopefully come next for this Linux environment.

NVIDIA GeForce 7050
The NVIDIA GeForce 6100 and 6150 integrated graphics processors have been relatively popular among Linux and Windows users. These IGPs have been common in HTPC setups with the NVIDIA driver working out well with MythTV. NVIDIA's GeForce 6100/6150 parts have also appeared in a number of desktop systems, and while these IGPs cannot really handle modern games, they have no troubles with Beryl or Compiz. However, it's now time that the GeForce 6 series moves on with NVIDIA having recently introduced the NVIDIA GeForce 7025 and 7050 with the nForce 630a as the replacement for the GeForce 6100 and 6150 with the nForce 410/430. We have decided to look at the NVIDIA GeForce 7050 today as we compare it to the GeForce 6150 and test it in a variety of Linux graphics benchmarks.

Touring Chernobyl In 2010
I just returned to the United States after being in Ukraine the past five days over Easter weekend. The purpose of this trip was to explore the site of the Chernobyl nuclear accident and surrounding areas -- Kyiv, Pripyat, the Red Forest, etc. Contrary to some initial beliefs, it was not an April Fools' Joke. Due to the great interest in Chernobyl among those interested in science and technology whether it be due to the fascination with nuclear power or finding Chernobyl popularized by video games, documentaries, and the like, I have published my collection of these photographs of Chernobyl showing what the area looks like in 2010 -- just days prior to the 24th anniversary of this catastrophic disaster -- along with some of my thoughts and information collected from this journey.

NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT 256MB
The GeForce 8500GT is NVIDIA's value-priced contender in the GeForce 8 series. The 8500GT has a 450MHz core clock and 400MHz memory clock, but how is this $100 creation able to compete against other graphics cards from ATI and NVIDIA? We have our hands on the passively-cooled Gigabyte GeForce 8500GT 256MB graphics card and have run our usual Linux graphics tests along with some of our first overclocking attempts with this new solution. Without further ado, we present the world's first Linux benchmarks of the NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT.

Is Windows 7 Actually Faster Than Ubuntu 10.04?
While Linux has long been talked about as being a faster operating system than Microsoft Windows, in 2010 is this still the case? It seems every time we deliver new benchmarks of the EXT4 file-system it's actually getting slower, recent Linux kernel releases have not been delivering any major performance enhancements for desktop users, the open-source Linux graphics drivers are still no match to the proprietary drivers, and "bloated and huge" is how Linus Torvalds described the Linux kernel last year. This is all while Windows 7 was released last year, which many view as Microsoft's best operating system release to date. Even after using it a fair amount the past few months in preparation for this about-to-be-shared work, it is actually not too bad and is a huge improvement over Windows Vista, but is it really faster than Ubuntu Linux? We have used six uniquely different systems and ran Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64 and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS x86_64 on each of them with a set of 55 tests (actually, more than 165 if considering that each test is usually run at least three times for accuracy) per installation.

ATI Radeon HD 3650 512MB
Last week AMD introduced the ATI Radeon HD 3400 and 3600 series, which are the new low-end graphics processors compared to the Radeon HD 3800 series. These budget graphics cards are branded as the Radeon HD 3450, 3470, and 3650 and are all available for under $100 USD. While they may be cheap, they are the first graphics cards to introduce support for DisplayPort. DisplayPort is the newest digital display interface standard, backed by VESA, and is direct competition to HDMI. DisplayPort has yet to be fully supported by the available Linux display drivers, but the Catalyst Linux driver already supports these new ATI graphics cards and there will be open-source support through the RadeonHD driver in the coming days. At hand today we have the Sapphire Radeon HD 3650 512MB graphics card as we deliver the first Linux benchmarks for this RV635 GPU.

Ubuntu vs. OpenSolaris vs. FreeBSD Benchmarks
Over the past few weeks we have been providing several in-depth articles looking at the performance of Ubuntu Linux. We had begun by providing Ubuntu 7.04 to 8.10 benchmarks and had found the performance of this popular Linux distribution to become slower with time and that article was followed up with Mac OS X 10.5 vs. Ubuntu 8.10 benchmarks and other articles looking at the state of Ubuntu's performance. In this article, we are now comparing the 64-bit performance of Ubuntu 8.10 against the latest test releases of OpenSolaris 2008.11 and FreeBSD 7.1.

EXT4 File-System Tuning Benchmarks
Following last month's Btrfs file-system tuning benchmarks, in this article are a similar set of tests when stressing the EXT4 file-system with its various performance-related mount options. Here are a number of EXT4 benchmarks from Ubuntu 12.10 with different mount option configurations.

FreeBSD 8.0 vs. Ubuntu 9.10 Benchmarks
Canonical will be releasing Ubuntu 9.10 at the end of next month while the final release of FreeBSD 8.0 is also expected within the next few weeks. With these two popular free software operating systems both having major updates coming out at around the same time, we decided it warranted some early benchmarking as we see how the FreeBSD 8.0 and Ubuntu 9.10 performance compares. For looking more at the FreeBSD performance we also have included test results from FreeBSD 7.2, the current stable release. In this article are mostly the server and workstation oriented benchmarks with the testing being carried out on a dual AMD Opteron quad-core workstation.

Ubuntu 7.10 + WINE vs. Windows XP
This week's release of Ubuntu 7.10 "Gutsy Gibbon" is a significant win for the free software community. Not only does this release incorporate an updated package set -- most notably with the Linux 2.6.22 kernel and GNOME 2.20, but it also delivers on new desktop innovations from BulletProofX and displayconfig-gtk to Compiz Fusion being enabled by default on supported systems. However, for those business professionals and gamers that remain dependent on some Windows-only binary applications, the WINE (WINE Is Not An Emulator) project has been making some excellent headway into supporting Windows applications on the Linux desktop. With Ubuntu 7.10 and WINE 0.9.46 in hand, we had set out to compare the performance between Windows XP and Gutsy Gibbon with WINE on two popular DirectX benchmarks.

NVIDIA GeForce GT 520
Up for review today is a low-end NVIDIA Fermi graphics card, the GeForce GT 520. The low-end graphics processor it uses, the GF119, was released back in April. The graphics card only has 48 Stream processors and uses DDR3 memory with a 64-bit bus, except the cost on this creation is just around $60 USD.

Can Ubuntu 9.10 Outperform Mac OS X 10.6?
Back on Friday we published Mac OS X 10.6 benchmarks and found it to offer some terrific performance improvements, but at the same time, there were a few notable regressions. Apple engineers have been working hard at pushing technologies like Grand Central Dispatch (GCD), OpenCL, full 64-bit support, and other changes to their OS X stack to bolster its performance capabilities and reduce the overall footprint. Now that we have tested Mac OS X 10.6, we are seeing how its performance compares to that of Ubuntu Linux. Ubuntu 9.10 "Karmic Koala" will be out in October and does have some performance improvements as our earlier tests have shown, but Canonical engineers have not been exclusively focusing on performance optimizations with this release. Can the Karmic Koala outperform Snow Leopard? Yes and no.

EXT4, Btrfs, NILFS2 Performance Benchmarks
The past few Linux kernel releases have brought a number of new file-systems to the Linux world, such as with EXT4 having been stabilized in the Linux 2.6.28 kernel, Btrfs being merged into Linux 2.6.29, and most recently the NILFS2 file-system premiering with the Linux 2.6.30 kernel. Other file-systems have been introduced too during the past few Linux kernel release cycles, but these three have been the most talked about and are often looked at as being the next-generation Linux file-systems. Being the benchmarking junkies that we are, we have set out to compare the file-system performance of EXT4, Btrfs, and NILFS2 under Ubuntu using the Linux 2.6.30 kernel. We also looked at how these file-systems compared to EXT3 and XFS.

The Truth About ATI/AMD & Linux
Last year when AMD announced their acquisition of ATI it led many to wonder how this would impact the quality of their Linux support and driver. Some had even speculated that AMD would be opening the code to at least a subset of their graphics drivers, and while this issue has come up again more recently, we will cover this particular topic in a different article. In this article we will be exposing what truly consists of the ATI/AMD driver development cycle and ultimately what they are really doing to improve their image in the Linux community. We have been granted unprecedented access to share with you their once unknown driver development model.

The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders
In recent weeks and months there has been quite a bit of work towards improving the responsiveness of the Linux desktop with some very significant milestones building up recently and new patches continuing to come. This work is greatly improving the experience of the Linux desktop when the computer is withstanding a great deal of CPU load and memory strain. Fortunately, the exciting improvements are far from over. There is a new patch that has not yet been merged but has undergone a few revisions over the past several weeks and it is quite small -- just over 200 lines of code -- but it does wonders for the Linux desktop.

Ubuntu: 32-bit v. 64-bit Performance
While 64-bit support is now considered common for both Intel and AMD processors, many Linux (as well as Windows) users are uncertain whether to use a 32-bit or 64-bit operating system with there being advantages for both paths. With this being the last Phoronix article for 2006, we decided to take this opportunity to look at the common question of whether to use 32-bit or 64-bit software. In this article, we will be comparing the i386 and x86_64 performance with Ubuntu 6.10 Edgy Eft and Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn Herd 1 to see how the numbers truly stack up.

Mac OS X 10.6.3 vs. Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 Benchmarks
Last week we delivered the first of our Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu 10.04 benchmarks to much anticipation, but now we have the results for Apple's Mac OS X 10.6.3 operating system to tack in too. In the first part of that Windows 7 vs. Ubuntu Linux performance examination, we looked closely at the OpenGL gaming performance across six different systems and a whole slew of tests. More articles are on the way looking at the performance and later in the week we already delivered some initial disk benchmarks. However, now it is time to see how Microsoft Windows 7 Professional x64, Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, and Apple Mac OS X 10.6.3 compete with one another.
About The Author
Author picture

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.

Related Phoronix News
Popular News