Squeezing More Performance Out Of An Intel Celeron "Alder Lake" CPU With A Faster Linux OS
Recently I tested the Intel Celeron G6900 Alder Lake processor as a $40~60 CPU and the lowest-end SKU as part of the latest-generation Intel desktop CPU line-up. Those tests were carried out on Ubuntu Linux (as usual) for that dual-core processor and was an interesting little processor for the price and for the lack of any AMD Zen 3 competition currently at that low price point. If needing to make daily use of such an Intel Celeron system, switching out your Linux distribution can help. In this article are benchmarks of the Celeron G6900 across Arch-based Manjaro, Intel's Clear Linux, Fedora Workstation 35, Ubuntu 22.04 daily, and openSUSE Tumbleweed.
Curiosity got the best of me for seeing how much of a performance difference the various Linux distributions -- like Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux -- would make on such a low-end Celeron dual-core/dual-thread processor. Intel's Clear Linux has performed splendid on big Xeon Scalable servers and desktop class hardware, but I never tried running it on something as scrappy as a $60 or less CPU.
The Alder Lake Celeron test system had the G6900 at stock speeds, an ASRock B660M-HDV motherboard, 16GB (2 x 8GB DDR4-3600) memory, 512GB Sabrent PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, and the integrated UHD Graphics 710 found with the Celeron processor.
Clean installs of Clear Linux 35750, Fedora Workstation 35, Manjaro 21.2.2, and Ubuntu 22.04 daily were carried out for seeing what a difference the Linux distribution choice had on such a low-end box. Common workloads for a low-end box like some light gaming and web browser use were benchmarked as well as some more demanding workloads not likely to be used on a Celeron box unless being very budget constrained or challenged by the supply chain parts shortage.