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Testing The Different Ubuntu 10.04 Kernels
The 7-Zip compression performance was close between the three Ubuntu and three mainline kernels with no major differences.
Again, for Parallel BZIP2 compression the kernels did not have much of an impact.
Encrypting a 1GB file using GnuPG did lead to slightly different results between the kernels. Ubuntu's -server kernel was about a second slower than -generic and -preempt, but this was around the same speed for the 2.6.32 and 2.6.33 mainline kernels. The best performance was actually with the mainline 2.6.34-rc1 kernel.
When looking at the IOzone write performance to the high-performance OCZ solid-state drive running with EXT4, the results between the different kernels were most interesting. When comparing the Ubuntu -generic, -server, and -preempt kernels the -preempt kernel speed was almost doubled of the -generic kernel while the -server kernel was 48% faster than -generic. While Ubuntu's -preempt kernel looks good when comparing just the packages available through the Lucid repository, the mainline Linux 220.127.116.11 kernel upped the write speed by an additional 15% compared to 2.6.32-16-preempt. The speeds rise even higher with the 2.6.33 and 2.6.34-rc1 kernels.