Clear Linux Continues To Maintain Slight Graphics Lead Over Ubuntu 16.10
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 11 October 2016. Page 1 of 4. 16 Comments

Back in April I did tests showing how Intel's Clear Linux distribution showed much potential for HD/Iris Graphics performance, something that intrigued many Phoronix readers since Clear Linux would generally be seen as a workstation/cloud/container-optimized Linux distribution and something with not much emphasis on the desktop or gaming. Those earlier tests were with Ubuntu 16.04, bur with Ubuntu 16.10 coming out this week, here are some fresh tests of Clear Linux and Ubuntu Yakkety Yak on an Skylake HD Graphics system.

For curiosity sake, I ran some fresh Ubuntu 16.10 vs. Clear Linux (10820) benchmarks on the same Core i5 6600K system with an MSI Z170A GAMING PRO motherboard, 16GB DDR4-2133MHz memory, and 256GB TS256GSSD370S SSD. The mid-range i5-6600K is equipped with HD Graphics 530.

Ubuntu 16.10 makes use of the Linux 4.8 kernel, X.Org Server 1.18.4, xf86-video-modesetting, GCC 6.2.0, and Mesa 12.0.3. Unfortunately Mesa 12.1 didn't make it thus for Yakkety Yak is just OpenGL 4.3 support rather than OpenGL 4.4 (officially, or unofficial 4.5 extension completion too). So in addition I also tested Ubuntu 16.10 when switching to Mesa 12.1-dev via the Oibaf PPA. Additionally, I did a secondary run of the Mesa 12.1-dev stack when switching to the Xfce version of Ubuntu 16.10 to complement the Unity 7.5 desktop numbers.

Clear Linux currently ships with the Linux 4.8 kernel, GCC 6.2.0, and Mesa 12.1-dev. So the versions aren't vastly different between Ubuntu 16.10 and Clear Linux, but keep in mind Clear uses CPUFreq over P-State by default plus carries an assortment of other patches and optimized configurations with its default package set. All of these benchmarks were carried out in a fully-automated manner using the Phoronix Test Suite.

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