Ubuntu 24.04 LTS & Fedora 40 Continue To Trail Intel's Linux Performance Optimizations

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 9 May 2024 at 12:26 PM EDT. Page 1 of 6. 29 Comments.

While Canonical has been investing more into the performance of Ubuntu Linux and engaged some new performance improvements in Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, it's still not the fastest Linux distribution out there on x86_64 hardware. Similarly, the recently released Fedora Workstation 40 features the brand new GCC 14 compiler and other leading-edge open-source software packages, but there's still more performance left on the table as shown by Intel. Here are some fresh benchmarks looking at how Ubuntu 24.04 LTS and Fedora Workstation 40 are competing with Intel's in-house Clear Linux distribution that offers aggressive x86_64 Linux performance defaults and the best possible out-of-the-box Linux performance on modern x86_64 hardware.

Clear Linux installation

Ubuntu, Fedora, and others have been working to enhance their Linux performance by making recent considerations around x86_64 baselines, engaging compiler optimizations for more packages, and taking other steps that Intel software engineers have been working on for years with their Clear Linux platform. The engineers at Intel also haven't been coasting along either since taking the Linux performance crown but this year have continued taking new steps to enhance the Linux performance ecosystem such as with their new Thin Layout Optimizer project that is already employed by Clear Linux, on top of all their other upstream kernel improvements and other tuning/optimizations. They have also already begun prepping for APX and AVX10 binaries as another notable accomplishment so far in 2024.

Intel Clear Linux desktop

On an Intel Core i9 14900K Raptor Lake Refresh desktop I ran some fresh benchmarks of clean installs under Ubuntu 24.04 LTS, Fedora Workstation 40, and Clear Linux 41680 for seeing how these very latest 2024 Linux distributions compare for the out-of-the-box Linux performance... But to little surprise, Clear Linux continues to lead though these other more notable Linux distributions have caught up in some areas.

Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu 24.04 vs. Fedora 40 Performance

The same hardware was used throughout testing and then each time testing each Linux distribution at their respective defaults. With Clear Linux was also a secondary run when switching over from its default Intel P-State "performance" governor over to the "powersave" governor as is the default on both Ubuntu and Fedora. That's one change made by Intel engineers for faster performance but just one of many optimizations. In any event the run is useful for showing the governor difference there and quantifying the impact of the other Intel Linux defaults besides that. Let's move on with this fresh 2024 Linux performance look on current Intel Core hardware.

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