Raspbian Based On Debian 10 Offering Up Some Performance Improvements For Raspberry Pi
Alongside this week's announcement of the Raspberry Pi 4, the Raspberry Pi Foundation also released a new Raspbian operating system release that is re-based from Debian 9 Stretch to the soon-to-be-released Debian 10 Buster. In benchmarking of these new and old Raspbian releases on a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Plus, there are performance gains to find even if not jumping to the Raspberry Pi 4.
With the newly-released Raspbian 10, they have pulled in all of the latest Debian Buster package updates, which are quite meaningful compared to the rather stale state in the Debian 9 archive. Raspbian had already been offering a Linux 4.19 based kernel for the Raspberry Pi boards, so there isn't much of a kernel difference (just a slight 4.19.23 to 4.19.42 bump) but there are prominent upgrades like moving from the GCC 6.3 to GCC 8.3 compilers and various user-space application upgrades.
Curious about the Raspbian performance difference, I ran some Raspbian 9.6 vs. Raspbian 10 benchmarks on a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Plus Rev 1.3 board using the Phoronix Test Suite.
In addition to better performance, there are also other evolutionary improvements made to Raspbian 10 as outlined on the Raspberry Pi Blog.