FreeBSD 7.1 BETA 2 vs Opensolaris vs Ubuntu performance

Alexander Leidinger Alexander at
Wed Nov 26 00:43:24 PST 2008

Quoting Ivan Voras <ivoras at> (from Tue, 25 Nov 2008  
21:46:35 +0100):

> 2008/11/25 Adrian Chadd <adrian at>:
>> 2008/11/25 Ivan Voras <ivoras at>:
>>>> I believe most of the synthetic numbers (mp3 encoding etc.) difference
>>>> comes from the different version of gcc the different OS uses...
>>> You're very likely right. Ubuntu 8.10 has gcc 4.3.x - it could make for
>>> the small difference in gzip and 7z compression performance.
>> Well, that should be a reasonably easy thing to test and feed back to
>> the author.
> OTOH if the goal is to measure "operating system" performance, this

If you want to test OS performance and use Java programs in there to  
do so, you would use the same Java version, wouldn't you? They didn't.

If you want to run some high performance java software and you want to  
know on which OS it performs best, you would test the same Java  
version on the OS' in question (or at least you should do that, to not  
compare apples and oranges).

If you want to run number crunching software, you are interested in  
high computing throughput of your app, so you use a compiler which  
performs best for your code in question (which would mean probably the  
Intel compiler or the Portland compiler on Linux, maybe the Sun  
compiler on Solaris, and probably gcc on FreeBSD). You also want to  
optimize the code for your CPU (it makes a difference if you do  
floating point calculations and are allowed to use the SSEx or  
whatever instructions), and not some generic settings the OS comes with.

The "benchmark" presented there is flawed in a lot of ways. No  
descrition what they really want to benchmark, no description what  
each subtest benchmarks (e.g. lame is performing on one CPU and  
occasionally performs IO, what does this benchmark mean? That your  
multi-CPU system is mostly idle and can be used to browse the net  
without that you notice any impact). Only absolute numbers and no  
relative performance comparision (percentage of difference).  
Inconsistent starting point (not the same compiler, not the same java  
version, ...) in case you want to promote an OS for specialized tasks  
(there are comments which tell FreeBSD would be good for raytracing,  
as the corresponding subtest was the fastest on FreeBSD), and so on.

Did I overlook some part where they tell how they test? Do they  
calculate the average of several runs?

> must also include the compiler, libraries and all. (for example, what
> does Solaris default to nowadays? I think it ships with gcc but not as
> default). The hold on gcc 4.3 in FreeBSD is, after all, political
> (licencing).

Users most of the time don't care what the reasons are, they use what  
is there and complain or switch if it works better somewhere else.  
People which care about compute intense stuff, will install their  
preferred compiler anyway.


So so is good, very good, very excellent good:
and yet it is not; it is but so so.
		-- William Shakespeare, "As You Like It"    Alexander @ PGP ID = B0063FE7       netchild @  : PGP ID = 72077137

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