Running FreeBSD 12.0 With Intel Xeon Scalable Cascade Lake / Gigabyte S451-3R0 Server, Benchmarks Against Linux
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 10 April 2019. Page 5 of 5. 13 Comments

FreeBSD 12.0 with the Clang compiler led to much faster performance than CentOS/Ubuntu/openSUSE with GCC (or FreeBSD 12.0 with GCC) though Clear Linux with its default optimizations led still to the best performance with GCC.

For the most part these results align with our past BSD vs. Linux benchmarks.

FreeBSD did come out ahead with a small win in the Apache web server performance.

But its PHP performance was slower than the others on PHP7.

If taking the geometric mean from the dozens of benchmarks that ran successfully across all tested operating systems, here is the breakdown of the performance overall. Even CentOS 7 with its dated packages ended up being faster than FreeBSD 12.0 and some additional performance was squeezed out of FreeBSD when switching over to the GCC compiler rather than default Clang compiler. This was our first time trying out openSUSE Leap 15.0 on the Cascade Lake server and here the performance of that Linux distribution built from the SUSE Linux Enterprise sources was similar to that of Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS. Clear Linux though was ~13% faster than Ubuntu/openSUSE to once again take the cake.

While FreeBSD 12.0 wasn't the fastest in our benchmarks run, at least this BSD was playing nicely out-of-the-box on this Gigabyte Storage Server with dual Xeon Platinum 8280 processors, for those preferring BSD for other reasons like reliability, support, or using it in environments like complex network setups where FreeBSD can potentially outperform Linux. So it's great that FreeBSD 12.0 has working support for Cascade Lake and we'll be back with more tests as it matures as well as seeing the likes of DragonFlyBSD running with these newer server platforms.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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