FreeBSD 13 BETA Benchmarks - Performance Is Much Better

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 10 February 2021. Page 1 of 6. 32 Comments

The official release of FreeBSD 13.0 is coming up in March, while already from our preliminary tests of the newly minted FreeBSD 13.0 BETA1, the benchmark results are extremely tantalizing compared to FreeBSD 12.2... Ultimately the performance should be much more competitive now compared to Linux (at least on Intel x86_64) and other operating systems with the big FreeBSD 13 release.

Besides an upgraded compiler toolchain (LLVM 10 to LLVM 11) and other general updates, FreeBSD 13 on the performance front has updated to OpenZFS 2.0, Intel hardware P-States (HWP) work, NUMA optimizations, network improvements, and more. The comprehensive FreeBSD 13.0 release notes have yet to be published.

But long story short for the end result, when trying out FreeBSD 13 on a Xeon system this past weekend, the FreeBSD 13.0 BETA1 performance was looking much better compared to FreeBSD 12.2 installed on the same system... Much better! Trying on a separate Core i7 system, indeed the FreeBSD 13 performance relative to the current FreeBSD 12.2 stable is showing a dramatic improvement for many workloads.

For this testing the benchmarks were carried out on an OnLogic Karbon 700 and OnLogic Helix 500 (full review on that nifty industrial PC in the coming days). There is great performance uplift moving from FreeBSD 12.2 to 13-BETA1 on the systems tested so far... A third system is confirming these findings. As the FreeBSD 13.0-RELEASE approaches, I'll be through with FreeBSD 13 benchmarks on larger AMD EPYC and Intel Xeon servers as well. Likewise, benchmarks of FreeBSD 13 up against Linux distributions will be forthcoming. But long story short the FreeBSD 13 performance is looking a hell of a lot better than what we have seen previously and from rough comparisons so far puts it closer to parity with Linux performance on the same hardware, but stay tuned for the full coverage following the official FreeBSD 13.0 release.

The same two systems were used for this fresh out-of-the-box testing on both FreeBSD 12.2 and FreeBSD 13-BETA. Let's dive more into these preliminary benchmark figures of FreeBSD 12.2 vs. 13.0-BETA1 with the Phoronix Test Suite.

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