Apple OS X 10.10 vs. Ubuntu 14.10 Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 25 November 2014. Page 1 of 5. 71 Comments

While I delivered some OS X 10.10 Yosemite preview benchmarks back in August, here's my first tests of the official release of Apple OS X 10.10.1 compared to Ubuntu 14.10 Linux. Tests were done of OS X 10.9.5 and OS X 10.10.1 against Ubuntu 14.10 Utopic Unicorn when running the benchmarks under both GCC and LLVM Clang compilers.

OS X 10.9.5 Mavericks and OS X 10.10 Yosemite were both benchmarked from the 2013 Apple MacBook Air that was used as the basis for all of the tests. Both OS X releases were tested to see how the performance compares against the two latest versions of Apple OS X before comparing it to Ubuntu 14.10. Ubuntu 14.10 was tested both in its stock form -- using the GCC 4.9.1 compiler -- and then again a second run when switching over to its packaged LLVM Clang 3.5 compiler. Apple uses LLVM Clang by default with Xcode as its development environment while Ubuntu Linux uses GCC as its build environment default. Thus I tested Ubuntu under both compilers to try to rule out any large performance swings being attributed to just the compiler. All other settings were maintained at their defaults by the tested operating systems.

The 2013 MacBook Air that was used for all testing was equipped with an Intel Core i5 (i5-4250U) Haswell processor with a base frequency of 1.3GHz and turbo of 2.6GHz. The Core i5-4250U has two physical cores plus Hyper Threading. The system has 4GB of DDR3-1600MHz memory, Apple 120GB SSD, and Intel HD Graphics 5000 Haswell-ULT graphics.

All of the benchmarks carried out under OS X and Ubuntu Linux were facilitated in a fully automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software. The benchmarks chosen on for execution by the Phoronix Test Suite were limited to tests that are known to be in a very reasonable and comparable cross-platform state.

Let's see how OS X is running against Ubuntu Linux these days...

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