Pop!_OS 20.04 vs. Ubuntu 20.04 Linux Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 9 May 2020 at 05:00 PM EDT. Page 1 of 3. 34 Comments.

A Phoronix Premium reader recently asked about whether Pop!_OS 20.04 performance differs from Ubuntu 20.04 given some underlying changes made by System76 to their distribution, besides the plethora of higher-level desktop improvements. Well, here are some benchmarks.

We recently looked at the Pop!_OS 20.04 vs. 19.10 performance while for this article is a look at Pop!_OS 20.04 against its upstream, Ubuntu 20.04 LTS "Focal Fossa" package set. Tests were again done on the mighty powerful System76 Thelio Major workstation with its AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3990X processor, 128GB of RAM, Samsung 970 EVO Plus 500GB NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX 5700 XT graphics.

One of the primary low-level differences between System76's Pop!_OS 20.04 and Ubuntu 20.04 is a slightly different kernel. Pop!_OS is still on a Linux 5.4 based kernel but with various changes from the upstream Ubuntu kernel. Both of these new Linux distributions are employing GNOME 3.36.1, X.Org Server 1.20.8, Mesa 20.04, and the GCC 9.3 compiler, among other common package versions. Though higher up the stack with Pop!_OS 20.04 is where they have auto-tiling windows by default and other usability improvements.

Pop OS 20.04 vs. Ubuntu 20.04 Benchmarks

On the System76 Thelio Major, Pop!_OS 20.04 and Ubuntu 20.04 LTS were freshly installed followed by firing off a slew of benchmarks via the Phoronix Test Suite. 269 benchmarks were run in total for this comparison!

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