Clear Linux vs. Ubuntu On An Intel Pentium CPU
Written by Michael Larabel in Clear Linux on 28 January 2017 at 12:24 PM EST. 64 Comments
When we are usually running our cross-distribution/OS Linux comparisons, we are generally using Intel Xeon or Core i5/i7 CPUs and whatever else is the latest and greatest hardware, since that's what excites us the most. But a Phoronix Premium member recently inquired whether Intel's performance-oriented Clear Linux distribution would also be of benefit on lower-end hardware. So for some benchmarking fun this weekend, here are some Ubuntu 16.10 vs. Clear Linux results on an older Pentium system.

Tests were done with a Pentium G3258 system, a Haswell dual-core processor with a clock speed up to 3.2GHz. No Hyper Threading, No Turbo Boost. We were making use of the integrated Intel HD Graphics and the system was using a 250GB Samsung HD253GJ HDD. So it's a much slower platform than we are typically testing with and also one of my few systems left not using a SSD.

The latest releases of Ubuntu Linux and Intel's Clear Linux were running on the system, out-of-the-box.

The Haswell HD Graphics were a little bit faster with Clear Linux, but even still I wouldn't recommend this Pentium CPU for a Linux gaming box.

Then in the other benchmarks run, the results ranged from Clear Linux performing just in line with Ubuntu to still being much faster, depending upon the workload. So even with an older Pentium dual-core CPU, Clear Linux with its aggressive CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS by default, change of default CPU frequency scaling driver, function multi-versioning, and various other changes still make for competitive out-of-the-box performance. More data via this result file.
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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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