Linux 4.1 Offers Potentially Dazzling Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 6 June 2015. Page 1 of 2. 19 Comments

Besides presenting a lot of new kernel features and functionality, the upcoming Linux 4.1 kernel release is potentially very exciting if you're an owner of certain classes of Intel hardware that offer better performance under this new kernel -- and in some cases, better battery life. Here's some tests from yet another system I found exhibiting some promising results from this new 2015 summer kernel version.

Covered on Phoronix in the past has been news about some Linux 4.1 power consumption improvements affecting some Intel Linux laptop owners. That improvement is still being explored while for Linux 4.2 we know there will be more power efficiency improvements for recent Intel hardware.

Last week I also posted benchmarks how some low-power Intel Atom hardware is much faster with Linux 4.1, namely the Intel Compute Stick on Linux, compared to earlier kernel versions. That appears to be attributed to some Bay Trail and Cherry Trail tweaks to the P-State CPU scaling driver.

This weekend when testing the latest Git code, I noticed one of my desktop test systems is running measurably faster under the Linux 4.1 development code. This system features an Intel Core i7 5960X Haswell-E processor. For verifying the improvements out of Linux 4.1 Git, I compared the results to the stable/vanilla Linux 4.0, 3.19, and 3.18 releases.

The open-source Radeon R9 290 graphics performance was unaffected on this system while in many of the CPU benchmarks there was quite measurable improvements. In fact, quite shocking for some of the results. However, as always, the Phoronix Test Suite automatically runs each of its tests a minimum of three times for accuracy and dynamically increases the run count if the deviation of the results is too high.

The Linux 4.1 results weren't clear-cut dramatically faster across the board, but in many cases it was. You can view all of this preliminary Core i7 5960X test data from this OpenBenchmarking.org result file.



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