Intel Linux 3.3 To Linux 3.13 Kernel Benchmarks
First up for our benchmarking of the past eleven major Linux kernel releases from this Intel Core i5 "Sandy Bridge" laptop was the disk results.
With a single instance of Dbench running, the results didn't get interesting until the Linux 3.10 kernel although there is a very large jump in performance for this SSD-based system with the Linux 3.7 kernel. The Linux 3.7 kernel was by far the fastest contender for Dbench but this level of performance wasn't found in Linux 3.8. It wasn't until the Linux 3.10 kernel that the Dbench performance was getting quite serious. The Linux 3.7 results are reproducible and were run three times and there was little variation between the test runs as indicated on all of the results. The Linux 3.13 kernel shows the best Dbench number aside from the Linux 3.7 outlier. Interestingly this system does not show any Linux 3.13 disk/block regression like we have seen on other systems with this new kernel.
The overall Compile Bench testing on the EXT4 file-system across the various kernels running on the Intel solid-state drive showed little variation in the results.
With PostMark the performance is slightly lower out of the post-3.8 kernels. The Linux 3.9 kernel is when the Intel P-State driver became employed on this Core i5 laptop, but that might not be the cause of the change in this disk benchmark trying to reproduce mail server workloads.