macOS 10.14 Mojave vs. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS vs. Clear Linux Benchmarks

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 27 September 2018 at 10:30 AM EDT. Page 1 of 6. 23 Comments.

With macOS Mojave having been released earlier this week, I've been benchmarking this latest Apple operating system release on a MacBook Pro compared to Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS with the latest updates as well as Intel's high-performance Clear Linux rolling-release operating systems to see how the performance compares.

MacOS Mojave is more focused on delivering the new "dark mode" and various app improvements over a particular performance focus, but from our side it's always interesting to see how Apple's latest macOS releases compare to the performance of Linux distributions on Apple's own hardware. For comparison, macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra was benchmarked alongside macOS 10.14.0 Mojave.

On the Linux side first up was Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS with all current updates for its stack consisting of Linux 4.15, GCC 7.3, GNOME Shell 3.28.3, X.Org Server 1.19.6, and Mesa 18.1. With Intel's Clear Linux platform in its rolling-release state as of build 25180 there is the Linux 4.18 kernel and GCC 8.2.1 compiler. With Clear Linux there were not any graphics tests carried out due to being limited by the command-line -- Clear's kernel seems to ship without some graphics "switcheroo" bits that end up leading to a black screen when booting the system without "nomodeset" due to the system under test having the AMD Radeon RX 460 discrete graphics and Intel onboard HD Graphics 530. A few other Linux distributions tested previously on this hardware also experienced similar problems of blank screens on both. Both Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and Clear Linux with their mainline kernel didn't have working touchpad or keyboard support for the laptop tested as other Linux shortcomings on Apple's hardware.

These benchmarks were benchmarked with a late-2016 Apple MacBook Pro featuring an Intel Core i7 6700HQ processor, 2 x 8GB LPDDR3-2133 memory, 250GB Apple SSD, and Radeon RX 460 graphics paired with the Intel HD Graphics 530. The same device was used for testing across all four operating system configurations. Unfortunately this is the only device under test in this article given it's our only modern Apple system that was available for testing.

All of these macOS and Linux benchmarks from this MacBook Pro were carried out in a fully-automated and standardized manner using the Phoronix Test Suite.

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