Ubuntu 18.04 vs. 20.04 LTS Performance Preview With Intel Xeon Scalable
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 29 March 2020. Page 1 of 9. 3 Comments

There is less than one month to go until the official release of Ubuntu 20.04 LTS "Focal Fossa" but we've already begun experimenting with it for weeks across a variety of platforms. For the most part we have found Ubuntu 20.04 slated to offer some nice performance improvements, especially if upgrading from the existing LTS series, Ubuntu 18.04. In this article are our initial benchmarks looking at the Intel Xeon Scalable from Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to the current 20.04 near-final state.

This round of testing was done on the new Intel Xeon Gold 5220R Cascade Lake Refresh CPUs, which we recently received and will be part of our forthcoming Cascade Lake Refresh Linux benchmarks. The Xeon Gold 5220R CPUs were running on a Gigabyte S451-3R0 Storage Server with 12 x 32GB RAM and an Intel 280GB Optane 900p NVMe SSD.

Upgrading from Ubuntu 18.04 to 20.04 can mean a significant upgrade to the packages offered. If running the Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS release with its hardware enablement stack it just means transitioning from Linux 5.3 to 5.4, but if not running an HWE stack the kernel upgrade side can be much more significant. With the two years worth of other software version bumps means going from GCC 7.5 to GCC 9.3 for those building your software from source and that alone is a big deal thanks to better support for modern CPU microarchitectures, new optimization passes, etc. The Ubuntu LTS upgrade also means Python 3.6 to 3.8, PHP 7.2 to PHP 7.4, and other significant software upgrades.

Via the Phoronix Test Suite there were 199 tests run on both Ubuntu 18.04.4 LTS and 20.04 in its current state for looking at the performance difference from this Intel Xeon Gold 5220R dual socket server. Additional Ubuntu 20.04 LTS server benchmarks will come in April with the official release of this long-term support release.


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