OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 vs. Fedora 21 vs. openSUSE Factory

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 29 November 2014. Page 1 of 4. 7 Comments

This week I posted some OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 performance results that were quite interesting and showed Ubuntu Linux largely dominating over OS X Yosemite with a Haswell-based MacBook Air. For those curious how other Linux distributions compare in this performance showdown, here are some results when also testing Fedora 21 in its near-final state and also openSUSE in its rolling-release form.

The same 2013 Apple MacBook Air with Intel Core i5 4250U (Haswell) processor, 4GB of DDR3 system memory, 120GB Apple SSD, and Intel Haswell-ULT HD Graphics 5000 was used for testing of OS X 10.10.1 Yosemite and the three Linux distributions. In the earlier comparison I tested Ubuntu 14.10 with LLVM/Clang 3.5 and GCC due to OS X 10.10's Xcode using LLVM/Clang 3.5, but for this comparison it was limited to the default compilers and other stock software packages/settings of each operating system to make for a fair and easy comparison to reproduce out-of-the-box. Check out the earlier article for the Ubuntu Clang results along with OS X 10.9.5 numbers that complemented OS X 10.10.1.

Apple OS X 10.10.1 with Xcode 6.1 was compared to:

- Ubuntu 14.10 with its Linux 3.16.0-25-generic kernel, GCC 4.9.1, EXT4 file-system, Unity 7.3.1, X.Org Server 1.16.0, and Mesa 10.3.

- Fedora 21 in its release candidate shape had the Linux 3.17.4 kernel, GCC 4.9.2, EXT4 file-system, GNOME Shell 3.14.2, X.Org Server 1.16.1, and Mesa 10.3.3.

- openSUSE in its rolling release state had the Linux 3.17.2 kernel, GCC 4.8.3 compiler, XFS file-system for home and Btrfs for the root file-system, KDE 4.14.3 desktop, X.Org Server 1.16.1, and Mesa 10.3.

For all distributions tested, the 64-bit (x86_64) versions of the operating systems were used. All three Linux distributions defaulted to the Intel P-State CPU scaling driver for the Core i5 MacBook Air and used the powersave scaling governor. Ubuntu 14.10 on this SSD ultrabook defaulted to the deadline I/O scheduler while Fedora and openSUSE defaulted to the CFQ scheduler.

On the following pages are the results from this Linux vs. OS X performance comparison using the Phoronix Test Suite with a wide variety of open-source tests from OpenBenchmarking.org that allowed for an interesting open-source and fully automated comparison on the 2013 MacBook Air.

Related Articles