Operating Systems Archives
A Look At The Relative Spectre/Meltdown Mitigation Costs On Windows vs. Linux

The latest in our Windows versus Linux benchmarking is looking at the relative performance impact on both Linux and Windows of their Spectre and Meltdown mitigation techniques. This round of tests were done on Windows 10 Pro, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, and Clear Linux when having an up-to-date system on each OS where there is Spectre/Meltdown protection and then repeating the same benchmarks after reverting/disabling the security functionality.

23 March 2018 - 15 Comments
Windows 10 Pro vs. Five Linux Distributions In Various Benchmarks

Here are our latest Windows 10 versus Linux benchmarks for the week. This benchmarking dance is looking at the Windows performance compared to Ubuntu, Clear Linux, Fedora, Antergos, and Solus Linux in various workloads. Among the tests this time around were looking at the performance with Go, Java, Perl, Python, FFmpeg, and more.

23 March 2018 - 19 Comments
Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux With Radeon / GeForce GPUs On The Latest 2018 Drivers

Given how fiercely the latest open-source AMD Linux driver code is running now up against NVIDIA's long-standing flagship Linux GPU driver, you might be curious how well that driver stacks up against the Radeon Software driver on Windows? Well, you are in luck as here are some fresh benchmarks of the Radeon RX 580 and RX Vega 64 as well as the GeForce GTX 1060 and GTX 1080 Ti while being tested both under Microsoft Windows 10 Pro x64 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS while using the latest AMD/NVIDIA drivers on each platform.

21 March 2018 - 45 Comments
Ubuntu 18.04 Versus Six Other Linux Distributions On AMD EPYC

With Ubuntu 18.04 LTS set to be released next month and its final package configuration quickly falling into place, we have begun firing up some benchmarks for seeing how this Ubuntu 18.04 "Bionic Beaver" release is comparing to various other Linux distributions. Up first as part of this series of benchmarks is using an AMD EPYC workstation/server for seeing how the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS performance compares to six other Linux distributions.

15 March 2018 - 12 Comments
Vulkan Is Now Available On macOS/iOS By MoltenVK Being Open-Sourced, Vulkan SDK for Mac

Two years and a few days since the Vulkan 1.0 release is now marked by a new significant milestone for this cross-platform graphics/compute API... It's not a new Vulkan release today, but Vulkan is now available on Apple's iOS and macOS platforms! Here are the details with the embargo just expiring on Vulkan now on macOS/iOS but still without the official support from Apple.

26 February 2018 - 48 Comments
Windows 10 WSL vs. Linux Performance For Early 2018

Back in December was our most recent round of Windows Subsystem for Linux benchmarking with Windows 10 while since then both Linux and Windows have received new stable updates, most notably for mitigating the Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities. For your viewing pleasure today are some fresh benchmarks looking at the Windows 10 WSL performance against Linux using the latest updates as of this week while also running some comparison tests too against Docker on Windows and Oracle VM VirtualBox.

22 February 2018 - 16 Comments
Intel Coffee Lake OpenGL Performance On Windows 10 vs. Linux

For those curious about the state of Intel's open-source Mesa OpenGL driver relative to the company's closed-source Windows OpenGL driver, here are some fresh benchmark results when making use of an Intel Core i7 8700K "Coffee Lake" processor with UHD Graphics 630 and testing from Windows 10 Pro x64 against Ubuntu 16.04.3 LTS, Ubuntu with the Linux 4.16 Git kernel and Mesa 18.1-dev, and then Intel's own Clear Linux distribution.

21 February 2018 - 9 Comments
Amazon EC2 Cloud Compute Performance: December vs. February

For those wondering how Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) performance is now after being mitigated for the recent Spectre and Meltdown CPU vulnerabilities, here are benchmarks of five Linux distributions comparing the performance to last December prior to the Linux kernel mitigations coming about to now.

10 February 2018 - 7 Comments
The Cost Of Home Directory Encryption & LUKS Full Disk Encryption On Ubuntu 18.04

With many of you likely upgrading to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS upon release and the recommendation to use disk encryption as important as ever on any important system especially laptops/ultrabooks, here are some fresh benchmarks using a development snapshot of Ubuntu 18.04 "Bionic Beaver" and looking at the current performance overhead of using the current "home directory encryption" and "full disk encryption" options available to Ubuntu Linux users.

9 February 2018 - 33 Comments
Trying Out openSUSE Leap 15.0 Beta, Comparison Linux Benchmarks

With this morning's debut of the openSUSE Leap 15.0 public beta that is derived from the upcoming SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 15 source code, I was curious to check it out and also run some benchmarks. For seeing how the current beta performance is stacking up I ran some benchmarks against openSUSE Leap 42.3, openSUSE Tumbleweed, Clear Linux, and a daily snapshot of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS.

31 January 2018 - 4 Comments
Arch Linux vs. Antergos vs. Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu Benchmarks

Last week when sharing the results of tweaking Ubuntu 17.10 to try to make it run as fast as Clear Linux, it didn't take long for Phoronix readers to share their opinions on Arch Linux and the request for some optimized Arch Linux benchmarks against Clear Linux. Here are some results of that testing so far in carrying out a clean Arch Linux build with some basic optimizations compared to using Antergos Minimal out-of-the-box, Ubuntu Server, and Clear Linux.

17 January 2018 - 20 Comments
Tweaking Ubuntu 17.10 To Try To Run Like Clear Linux

Even with the overhead of having both KPTI and Retpoline kernel support in place, our recent Linux distribution benchmarks have shown Intel's Clear Linux generally outperforming the more popular distributions. But if applying some basic performance tweaks, can Ubuntu 17.10 perform like Clear Linux? Here are some benchmarks looking at a few factors.

13 January 2018 - 22 Comments
Benchmarking Clear Linux With KPTI + Retpoline Support

Yesterday Intel landed KPTI page table isolation and Retpoline support in their Clear Linux distribution. Given that one of the pillars of this Intel Open-Source Technology Center platform is on delivering optimal Linux performance, I was curious to see how its performance was impacted. Here are before/after benchmarks on seven different systems ranging from low-end Pentium hardware to Xeon servers.

9 January 2018 - 22 Comments
DragonFlyBSD's Meltdown Fix Causing More Slowdowns Than Linux

Following the move by Linux to introduced Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) to address the Meltdown vulnerability affecting Intel CPUs, DragonFlyBSD has implemented better user/kernel separation to address this issue. While the Linux performance hit overall was minor, in our tests carried out so far the DragonFlyBSD kernel changes are causing more widespread slowdowns.

7 January 2018 - 37 Comments
Docker Performance With KPTI Page Table Isolation Patches

Overall most of our benchmarks this week of the new Linux Kernel Page Table Isolation (KPTI) patches coming as a result of the Meltdown vulnerability have showed minimal impact overall on system performance. The exceptions have obviously been with workloads having high kernel interactions like demanding I/O cases and in terms of real-world impact, databases. But when testing VMs there's been some minor impact more broadly than bare metal testing and also Wine performance has been impacted. The latest having been benchmarked is seeing if the Docker performance has been impacted by the KPTI patches to see if it's any significant impact since overall the patched system overhead certainly isn't anything close to how it was initially hyped by some other media outlets.

6 January 2018 - 20 Comments
How Linux Performance Changed In 2017 With Clear Linux & Ubuntu

The latest in our streak of year-end benchmarking is seeing how Linux performance has evolved over the course of 2017. For that we tested Intel's performance-optimized Clear Linux distribution as well as Ubuntu using releases from the start of the year to their current state for seeing how the performance compares using the same system.

28 December 2017 - 25 Comments
7-Way Linux OS Comparison With KVM

Complementing our recent Amazon EC2 Linux cloud distribution benchmarks, here are some fresh test results when comparing various Linux distributions when benchmarking them as guest VMs with the KVM hypervisor.

21 December 2017 - 9 Comments
Running FreeBSD 12, TrueOS On AMD EPYC

Back in October I did some basic tests of the BSDs on AMD EPYC while now with having more of our extensive Linux testing of AMD EPYC complete, I went back and did a few fresh tests of the BSDs with an AMD EPYC 7601 processor housed within the Tyan Transport SX TN70A-B8026.

6 December 2017 - 10 Comments
Windows 10 vs. Linux - Intel UHD Graphics OpenGL Performance

Over the past week I have carried out some Radeon and NVIDIA Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux benchmarks. While not quite as interesting as those discrete GPU comparisons, while having the Windows 10 Pro x64 Fall Creator's Update around and testing from the Core i7 8700K, I also ran some Windows vs. Linux tests for the integrated UHD Graphics.

5 December 2017 - 19 Comments
Radeon vs. NVIDIA With Windows 10 & Ubuntu Linux

A few days back we published some Windows 10 vs. Linux gaming benchmarks with two Radeon graphics cards. For putting those numbers into better perspective, here are the results now when adding in two competing NVIDIA graphics cards on both operating systems.

3 December 2017 - 34 Comments
Windows 10 WSL vs. Docker on Windows 10 vs. Bare Metal Linux Performance

With the recent Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update there were some improvements to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) particularly around boosting the I/O performance (though further WSL performance work is coming), so this week I've been carrying out some fresh benchmarks of Windows 10 WSL with its openSUSE and Fedora options. For additional perspective I also compared the performance to running benchmarks with Linux containers on Docker under Windows 10 and lastly the "bare metal" Linux performance.

1 December 2017 - 13 Comments
Windows 10 vs. Linux 4.15 + Mesa 17.4-dev Radeon Gaming Performance

As we end out November, here is a fresh look at the current Windows 10 Pro Fall Creator's Update versus Ubuntu 17.10 with the latest Linux 4.15 kernel and Mesa 17.4-dev Radeon graphics driver stack as we see how various games compete under Windows 10 and Linux with these latest AMD drivers on the Radeon RX 580 and RX Vega 64 graphics cards.

29 November 2017 - 84 Comments
Amazon, Clear, Debian, Gentoo, Red Hat, SUSE & Ubuntu Performance On The EC2 Cloud

It's been a few months since last running a Linux distribution / operating system comparison on Amazon's EC2 public cloud, but given the ever-advancing state of Linux, here are some fresh benchmarks when testing the Amazon Linux AMI, Clear Linux, Debian 9.2, Gentoo, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.4, SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 SP3, and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS.

28 November 2017 - 9 Comments
Some Basic macOS 10.13 vs. Ubuntu 17.10 OpenGL Gaming Tests

Following last week's F1 2017 launch for Linux which is making use of the Vulkan graphics API on Linux and Metal API on macOS, originally I set out to compare the macOS vs. Linux performance, but that didn't go quite as planned due to MacBook Pro woes. But here are some other OpenGL game tests between macOS and Ubuntu 17.10 Linux.

9 November 2017 - 29 Comments
34-Way Graphics Card Comparison On Ubuntu 17.10

As part of marking AMD's open-source driver strategy starting 10 years ago, among other articles, over the past week I posted an 18-way Radeon graphics card comparison on Ubuntu 17.10 while upgrading to the latest drivers. Taking those numbers further and putting them into more perspective, here is now a brief 34-way comparison with the NVIDIA GeForce counterparts added in.

3 November 2017 - 20 Comments

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