Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7

Distros

In depth: A lot of people have been chattering about the improvements Windows 7 brings for Windows users, but how does it compare to Ubuntu in real-world tests? We put Ubuntu 8.10, Windows Vista and Windows 7 through their paces in both 32-bit and 64-bit tests to see just how well Ubuntu faces the new contender. And, just for luck, we threw in a few tests using Jaunty Jackalope with ext4.

When Windows users say that Windows 7 is easier to install than ever, what do they really mean? When they say it's faster, is it just in their heads, or is Microsoft really making big strides forward? And, perhaps most importantly, when Linux benchmarkers show us how screamingly fast ext4 is compared to ext3, how well do those figures actually transfer to end users?

These are the questions we wanted to answer, so we asked Dell to provide us with a high-spec machine to give all the operating systems room to perform to their max. Our test machine packed an Intel Core i7 920, which in layman's terms has four cores running at 2.67GHz with hyperthreading and 8MB of L3 cache. It also had 6GB of RAM, plus two 500GB of hard drives with 16MB of cache.

The tests we wanted to perform for each operating system were:

  • How long does each operating system take to install?
  • How much disk space was used in the standard install?
  • How long does boot up and shutdown take?
  • How long does it take to copy files from USB to HD, and from HD to HD?
  • How fast can it execute the Richards benchmark?

We also, just for the heck of it, kept track of how many mouse clicks it took to install each OS.

Before we jump into the results, there are a few things we should make clear:

  • To ensure absolute fairness, install time was measured from the moment the computer was turned on until we reached a working desktop.
  • The same computer hardware was used for all tests, and all operating systems were installed fresh for this article.
  • We used the Ultimate versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, simply because Windows 7 was provided only in this flavour.
  • We used the Windows Vista SP1 disk to accurately reflect what users are likely to experience todaay.
  • Our Windows 7 version is the open beta that Microsoft issued recently. It is probable Windows 7 will be at least this fast in the final build, if not faster.
  • For Ubuntu 9.04 we used the daily build from January 22nd.
  • All operating systems were installed using standard options; nothing was changed.
  • After checking how much space was used during the initial install, each operating system was updated with all available patches before any other tests were performed.
  • Our journalistic friends have informed us that Windows Vista (and, presumably, Windows 7 too) has technology to increase the speed of the system over time as it learns to cache programs intelligently. It also allows users to use flash drives to act as temporary storage to boost speed further. None of our tests are likely to show this technology in action, so please take that into account when reading the results.
  • The filesystem, boot, shutdown and Richards benchmarks were performed three times each then averaged.

And, of course, there's the most important proviso of all: it is very, very likely that a few tweaks to any of these operating systems could have made a big difference to these results, but we're not too interested in that - these results reflect what you get you install a plain vanilla OS, like most users do.

Install time

Amount of time taken to install, from machine being turned on to working desktop. Measured in seconds; less is better.

At first glance, you might think that Ubuntu clearly installs far faster than either version of Windows, and while that's true there is one important mitigation: both Windows Vista and Windows 7 run system benchmarks part-way through the installation to determine the computer's capabilities.

A bit of a flippant one - just how many mouse clicks does it take to install an OS with the default options?

Surprisingly, Ubuntu 8.10 gets it done with half the clicks of Windows 7. NB: hopefully it's clear this doesn't make Ubuntu 8.04 twice as easy to install. Measured in, er, mouse clicks; fewer is better.

Disk space used immediately after a fresh install. Measured in gigabytes; less is better.

While some people might complain that we used the Ultimate editions of both Vista and Windows 7, they probably forget that the standard Ubuntu includes software such as an office suite as standard. NB: Vista failed to detect the network card during install, leaving us without an internet connection until a driver was downloaded on another computer.

Bootup and shutdown

Boot up time was also measured from the moment the machine was turned on, and the timer was stopped as soon as the desktop was reached. The Dell box does take about 20 seconds to get past POST, but to avoid questions about when to start the timer we just started it as soon as the power button was pressed.

Amount of time taken to boot, from machine being turned on to working desktop. Measured in seconds; less is better.

The 32-bit version of Windows 7 is the only one to beat the one-minute mark, but that advantage is quickly lost in the switch to 64-bit. Linux has always been rather slow to boot, but as we understand it reducing boot time is one of the goals of the Ubuntu 9.04 release.

Amount of time taken to shutdown, from button being clicked to machine powering off. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Windows lags a little behind the Linuxes, with 64-bit again proving a sticking point - this time for Windows Vista.

IO testing

To test filesystem performance, we ran four tests: copying large files from USB to HD, copying large files from HD to HD, copying small files from USB to HD, and copying small files from HD to HD. The HD to HD tests copied data from one part of the disk to another as opposed to copying to a different disk. For reference, the large file test comprised 39 files in 1 folder, making 399MB in total; the small file test comprised 2,154 files in 127 folders, making 603MB in total. Each of these tests were done with write caching disabled to ensure the full write had taken place.

Amount of time taken to copy the small files from a USB flash drive to hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Amount of time taken to copy the small files from one place to another on a single hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Let us take this opportunity to remind readers that Windows 7 is still at least nine months from release.

Amount of time taken to copy the large files from a USB flash drive to hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Amount of time taken to copy the large files from one place to another on a single hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

With the exception of Windows 7 while copying larges files around a hard drive, Windows generally suffered compared to Linux in all of these tests. Obviously Windows does have to worry about some things that Linux doesn't, namely DRM checks, but these figures show a drastic performance difference between the two.

Notes: Vista and Windows 7 really seemed to struggle with copying lots of small files, but clearly it's something more than a dodgy driver because some of the large-file speeds are incredible in Windows 7.

Both Vista and Windows 7 seemed to introduce random delays when deleting files. For example, about one in three times when deleting the files from our filesystem benchmark, this screen below would appear and do nothing for 25-30 seconds before suddenly springing into action and deleting the files. However, this wasn't part of our benchmark, so isn't included in the numbers above.

This was very annoying.

Richards benchmark

Notes: This was done using the cross-platform Python port of Richards. For reference, Ubuntu 8.10 uses Python 2.5.2, Ubuntu 9.04 uses Python 2.5.4, and we used Python 2.5.4 on the Windows tests. Even though the 64-bit results for Linux and Windows don't look that far apart, we have to admit to being very impressed with the Windows tests - the deviation between tests was just 3ms on Vista, and 5ms on Windows 7, compared to 20ms on Linux.

Amount of time taken to execute the Python Richards benchmark. Measured in milliseconds; less is better.

It's clear from that graph that having a 64-bit OS can make a real difference in compute-intensive tasks, but it's not too pleasing to see Windows pip Linux to the post in nearly all results.

Switching to ext4

All the Linux benchmarks above were done using ext3, so what happens when we switch to ext4? Well, not a lot:

Boot, shutdown and filesystem tests for Ubuntu 9.04/x86-64 using ext3 (blue) and ext4 (red). Measured in seconds; less is better.

Although there's no difference in shutdown speed, the boot time using ext4 dropped by 8 seconds, which is a fair improvement. We can probably discount the the USB to HD tests simply out of error margin, which leaves the HD to HD tests, and there we find a very healthy boost: 3.7 seconds were shaved off the small files test, making ext4 about 25% faster. Our tests also showed an improvement in the large file test, but it's not as marked.

Conclusions

Benchmarks are always plagued with questions, uncertainties, error margins and other complexities, which is why we're not going to try to look too deeply into these figures. Obviously we're Linux users ourselves, but our tests have shown that there are some places where Windows 7 really is making some improvement and that's good for competition in the long term. However, Linux isn't sitting still: with ext4 now stable we expect it to be adopted into distros fairly quickly. Sadly it looks like Ubuntu 9.04 won't be among the first distros to make the switch, so users looking to get the best performance from their Linux boxes will either have to fiddle with the default options, have patience, or jump ship to Fedora - which will be switching to ext4 in the next release..

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Your comments

"He also treats both

"He also treats both distro's as if Ubuntu comes with all codecs and s/w installed - it doesn't (Yes I know Windows doesn't have .FLAC and the like, but it still outdoes Linux for ready-installed codecs by a large margin)."

Well in my opionion, i can play everything that's thrown at me in Linux (audio or movie wise) with 0 or 1 install command. With Windows it's a continuous battle to find the correct codecs for every new type of audio/video file you get and make sure that in the mean time you don't get swallowed by mallware/virusses or a crappy running machine due to all the mega-codec-packs out there.

"If I'm not mistaken Ubuntu comes with indexing turned on by default. There is no difference between the two. I don't believe it has anything like superfetch by default as preload is an additional install but I could be wrong."

Ubuntu has a prefetcher or preloader or whatever they call it knowadays.. With preloads data from harddrive into memory during the moments in the boot process where there is little or no disk I/O activity. This is mostly used to speed up the boot process.
(But i cannot really speak on how this compares to superfetch on Windows from the hyper/techno-words it sounds like superfetch does much more... but it's hard to know before getting real data on it's actual behaviour and impact)

On what planet

On what planet does windows vista boot faster than ubuntu? Really, I have two laptop machines one running vistax64 (with 4 gigs of ram, duo core, fresh install 2007 model from HP) and the other ubuntu 8.10 (2 gigs of ram, 2005 model from FJS, had ubuntu running for 6 months) and not only doesn my ubuntu boots faster, it runs faster as well.

Nope, not buying Vista out-doing Ubuntu on ANY aspect, and it's not that I am a unix die-hard (my main machine is winXP, ubuntu is my web-runner) but Vista is really bad performance-wise...

Large files seems rather of medium size

The large files in the test seems rather of medium size. Maybe the next test could use a few 700MB .ISOs, some 4.4GB dvd backups and maybe a directory with a few hundred ~20MB .RAWs and .FLACS.

test objectives

Next time I would measure not only the number of mouse clicks during install, but also the total angle rotated with mouse wheel and, with windows of course, number of facepalms :-)

Live in peace or die in war!

User Freedom

there is more to a desktop than just a performance and is freedom of use for what ever purpose i need and ubuntu provides all that and windows doesn't provide any of them.even if windows performs a lot more better i simply wouldn't use it.
ubuntu is the desktop linux distribution that is in use by most no.of people in the world,therefore as a representive of all GNU/Linux distributions in use UBUNTU is used.
All linux distributions should should learn from each other and the competition should be healthy and productive not counter-productive.
This is the power of open-source model of development

I like it

Of course we can't take this benchmark seriously but it's quite interesting.

For me, boot time is pointless but some people wants to have the desktop ready asap when turns it on. Someone told about STR in Windows. Be careful! Windows needs to many restarts because of it's working model and I saw a lot of people loosing data because never turned the notebook off.

The installation time and clicks needed should not be interesting for customers that buy Windows taxed as a part of the computer's price but for people like me that had to make it after and outage. I install any Linux distribution (Ubuntu, Fedora, Suse, Debian) with ALL needed codecs, office suites and a full hand of useful programs fully updated in about an hour in a Pentium IV 512M ram. The last time I installed Windows XP, Office 2003, Adobe Reader, antivirus and all Updates from Microsoft took me 6 hours on a dual core machine and 2GB of ram. Oh yes, and a pile of CDs and DVDs for all of them.

Come on guys... how can someone say that Windows is serious business?

Transcode test

Another good benchmark would be to test handbreak on how quick a "home video" can be reduced in size.

Windows 7 on netbooks

The press are saying Windows 7 will be the answer to netbooks (and it isn't even released yet - its only beta). Considering ubuntu has all it's applications in 2.3GB of disc space but Windows 7 is has almost nothing and yet still takes 8GB then Windows 7 can't compete on the smaller netbooks because the OS needs too much disc space. Windows based netbooks will still need a different spec to the lighter, leaner linux based netbooks.
Windows 7 isn't going to be the netbook killer after all.

IOPS test

An IOPS (Input/Output operations Per Second) test would be nice and not just bandwith :)

Good afternoon for

Good afternoon for all..

Well, when I installed Ubuntu 8.10 64 bit, I got some dificulty to find the correct sound and wireless drivers - the video and the modem worked fine. I spent about 12hs looking for these missing drivers and a little more to learn how to recompile and install.
Oh, I needed to adapt the flash player, because adobe doesn´t have a 64 bit version of this software for linux.

On vista, I had my entire system working properly in 3 or 4 hours (includding office, anti virus and a final defrag).
And more - I found vista 32 incredible faster than ubuntu 64.

Finally, Open Office has corrupted one of my Excel files...

I tried both and I prefer Windows Vista (better even than Xp)

DRM Checks? Bogus

Obviously Windows does have to worry about some things that Linux doesn't, namely DRM checks, but these figures show a drastic performance difference between the two.

>
What?!
DRM inside Windows does NOT influence copy times. Please dont spread false information.

Don't forget the apps

Ubuntu (and almost all Linux liveCD) include a lot of programs, you don't need to install MS-office, Adobe Photoshop, and a large etc ...

Ubuntu works well, now just imagine using a better Linux (Fedora/Mandriva/Debian/OpenSUSE) ...

Nice attempt

Like the fact you tried to compare them, but many things could have been done different.
Compare apples to apples!!!

NTFS vs ext3? Nice.
Boot times? Vistas preloader doesnt work until AFTER its had a chance to figure out yoru pattterns, not on first install

Well...

Linux users could be right, but Windows is easier for 'common' people who don't know command-line management (nor have time to learn it from scratch).

In the meantime, I'll install Ubuntu on my second partition and give it a try (because I'm interested and have time to learn a new OS, but hey, not everybody's like me...)

@Anon Penguin - Nice Attempt

The prefetcher is all about loading applications you use into memory from boot. If anything, this should slow down boot time, not improve it. The purpose of prefetching is to load frequently used applications into memory before you actually launch them improving startup times of applications, not the boot time of the system.

Although boot time to me is time from power on until I can do something useful. How about bootup, login, launch Firefox (since it's available for both platforms) and browse to a simple web page. Sure that adds complexity to the chart, but I don't care how quickly the computer pretends to be ready, I care about how long it takes until I can do things on my system and expect it to actually respond to my requests.

Install and boot times for Linux vs windows

I find it interesting to constantly see posts or threads on the net about the time it takes windows to boot up. The burning question for me has never been how fast does the desktop come up, because by virtue of design, windows is optimised to bring up the desktop very quickly. After the desktop has appeared and the windows jingle sounded, the CPU and hard disk are always thrashing about sometimes for a couple of minutes on a fresh windows system loaded with office, PDF reader, antivirus, anti-spyware.

For this test to be truly equal, all systems need to have equivalent software capabilities and security, but as we all know, windows is not capable of looking after itself in this regard, so third party tools are required. That's a shame because the third party tools will only add to the boot times as I would consider them, at the point of system activity settling. Without further clarification of exactly how long it took for the hard disk and CPU to settle and a software and security equalisation, I would classify the times posted for windows to boot as a moot point to be ignored.

With Linux (and I do not classify Ubuntu as the benchmark for Linux), the time is generally consistently somewhere around 2 minutes for most of the distros I have personally tested, so I, along with others that have already replied, can not take certain portions of this benchmark seriously, though to be fair, the title does give the names of the systems tested. Where I see the benchmark failing in this regard is the use of the word "Linux" 12 times throughout the authors text, whereas it should have been Ubuntu for this test.

I think if the test was to be further equalised, the Linux used should have all additional drivers removed so only code for existing hardware is parsed at startup and services not required by the system for non-existent hardware should not be loaded. I have seen Linux boot times drop from 54 seconds to 38 seconds when the add-ons were removed. If we take that a step further and complie a kernel specific to the architecture and installed hardware, there will be not only an additional speedup at boot, but often in certain aspects of general operation too. Why note these things? Windows requires hardware drivers to be loaded and it loads those during bootup for the system it's running on, so it does less than a "broad spectrum" distro installed from a Live-CD.

As for install times, I found my preferred distribution Mepis8, still in the testing phase and now at the rc2 level, installs in close to 1/3rd of the times posted for the fastest Ubuntu install. There are others that have equivalent install times too, but I think it is sufficient to say that that all things that are called Linux are not Ubuntu.

Mike P

why don't you compare gentoo or arch to windows

Comparing this 2 distros to windows (7 8 or 9, what you want) would be fun; I'm sure results would be very different...

I'm joking obviously, great article...

Jaunty has ext4

Really nice article, thanks.

I am running Ubuntu Studio Jaunty Alpha 3 and it has ext4 available on install, which I use.

It does default to ext3, however.

I dont see what the big deal is though, choosing ext4 instead of ext3 is very easy.

Disk space on Windows includes swap file?

Ubuntu etc. will usually create a swap partition. Windows generally throws a pagefile.sys in your C: drive.

If you just check how much space is used by the installation on the "Root" drive, you will get different values meaning different things.

In the data here does the Windows value include the swap file? How was the data collected on each system?

I ask because I couldn't make Windows 7 use up 8GB on my systems with 1GB of RAM; the install was around 3GB with a ~1GB pagefile.sys lurking around.

In English Please

Doesn't anybody use a spell-checker? Despite the various Windows versus Linux/Ubuntu arguments, I'm going to go out on a limb, and guess most of you use Firefox, which by default has a spell check. Please, for the love of the Internet, use it!

WTF was that? Boot times?

WTF was that? Boot times? How on earth does that have anything to do with benchmarking? You might as well benchmark cows vs space shuttles and learn that cows win because they eat more hay.

I enjoy Linux, I am a seasoned sysadmin and I couldn't care less about the install time. Give me a solid OS and I will be happy to spend a week getting the damn thing functional.

Bugger off, waste of everybody's time.

Very nice article!

I'm a Linux user and liked to read a neutral article, that doesn't try to "prove a point".

Some conclusion from reading it:

- Windows 7 is generally on par with Linux, in terms of performance.

- However, Linux is much smaller than Windows 7.

Even if Microsoft can trim Windows to (say) 3Gb, that's more than Linux uses -- and Linux already includes all the tools you may need. (Firefox, OpenOffice, Gimp, etc.)

This may be the key for Linux adoption in netbooks and smaller devices.

Time to desktop = meaningless?

I find it interesting that the boot time was stopped when the desktop was reached. I don't know if Vista or 7 are any better, but in my experience with XP, it's at least another minute after the desktop appears before the machine is usable, with so many tasks starting up in the background and churning disk. On my Debian install, as soon as the desktop appears I'm good to go.

Perhaps a better measurement would be to stop once you have a page loaded in a brower?

Also, performance aside, I think for a lot of people the choice is more about which one best supports what they want to do with it. Granted, I'm using old OSes so this is an obsolete comparison, but at least for me I find Linux has better networking (XP has serious trouble with WPA), while Windows has better USB hotplug support.

You forgot patching time

Another measurement that should be included, right after install.

Time from reboot, to desktop, to patching/reboot cycle, to final desktop where patching is completed.

Van der Lancaster: Adobe

Van der Lancaster: Adobe DOES offer Flash for 64 bits for some time. No need to adapt the 32 bit package anymore.

EULA's

Does the Windows install time include reading (and understanding :-) the EULA?
Note that the GPL is not an EULA, it is only involved when distributing the software, not when installing, using or even modifying it.

Windows 7 != NT

First when you compare windows 7 to ubuntu you don't compare it to to NT.
I've used NT for 2 years and now I find Windows 2000 faster on everything. Plus, I already learned enough to optimize my machine really well. The strength of Windows 7 is that it has really excellent hardware support, but that comes with a cost - it fits everything, so it's really bloated and slow...

Second, when you compare python on windows 7 to python on ubuntu you should check how python on windows 7 was compiled and how on ubuntu - for example usually Windows 7 packages are optimized for i686 arch. That ofcourse has a price... I think Ubuntu binaries where optimized to i386... but it has to be checked...

And finally, installation time is really not measured by second, rather by what you get after that.
In installing any modern NT distro today, icluding Windows 7, you get a really productive computer which includes a full office suite, printer drivers and digital camera drivers and etc. With Debian you get grep and vi, and bash. With every product you have to connect to you computer you need to install kernel modules, and there is not software coming with it... so in Total NT is much more usable after install.

So benchmark like this are not really convincing.

Blackhouse: check up on

Blackhouse: check up on Windows 7 multimedia support. Things have changed positively.

Author: The bit about DRM is just mind-bogglingly dumb.

Really, the guy that said

Really, the guy that said benchmarking the 7 beta is against the EULA is right. Plus, I'd love to see XP(x86/x64) vs Ubuntu(x86/x64).

Wothless

What a waste of time....as was this post.

Ubuntu != GNU/Linux

i agree with all the people that says that ubuntu is not gnu/linux... i've used ubuntu, and deleted after 2 hours of playing with it. i prefer Debian instead, or Slackware or even openSuSE.

the numbers of clicks of installing software with default options is not an item to be in consideration, because for me Ubuntu is a Unnatended version of Debian... so you'll have to compare Ubuntu with XP UE or Vista UE or a Win7 UE if it's exists...

i know every linux distro installs office suite, but... ue does it too, drivers... in linux i can't make work my webcam, even if the box says that was linux compatible.

the counter for linux, is from a designer point of view, gimp is good... photoshop is a thousand ways better... the layer effects of photoshop i use a lot, the emulation of this in gimp is very poor. Flash CS3 or CS4 , i can't make it work under wine, i've tried a lot... but it stills have some bugs to be fixed... this part still makes me install windows

but i know that gnu/linux still have strong points over windows, like the filesystems and the security that de filesystems allow and the "ready to work after install".

so if you wan't to compare operating systems... compare asking to people that have used both systems, which systems feels mo confortable in the daily use of a computer...

It's not the OS that

It's not the OS that matters. It's the applications. The GIMP still sucks. Photoimpact 5 (from 1999) is still better than GIMP UI wise. Make an opensource version of <b>PHOTOSHOP</b>, with a Photoshop like GUI, and decent performance.

Installing Gentoo... 0 clicks

But it takes 3 days! Ha. Had to put that in. I love Gentoo.
Nice article - well done

This is the silliest "benchmark" I've seen in a long time

Like, wow.

Is it user friendly compare to Windows?

I have a laptop which run Ubuntu but the problem is

1. when ever my daughter wants to watch video/games on pbskids.org, firefox on ubuntu dones't load these games.
2. Realplayer embedded in firefox doesn't work on ubuntu even though I have installed realplayer Linux version of application.
3. I have a VCD on PAL format which movie player on Ubuntu doesn't detect.

All of these above works fine on windows. Do I care if Ubuntu boots faster or load application faster 2-3 milli seconds compare to windows but non of above uses cases work?

Is this article a joke? Benchmark something important.

Okay - since you're writing this article from a user perspective, lets look at these results from a user perspective.

INSTALL TIME - Irrelevant. Your average user isn't installing, and when they do, they're running a recovery disk which merely images the disk.

INSTALL CLICKS - Irrelevant, as mentioned.

DISK SPACE USED - Irrelevant to MOST home users. With 250gig and 500g HDDs standard, a difference between 4 and 8 gigs means nothing to them.

BOOTUP TIME - Aha! Here's something that is relevant. :) However, in this test, Windows beat Linux in all categories except 64-bit Windows 7, where it only lost out by 2 seconds. Many people are claiming "but it isn't useable at desktop". How many of these people are using Windows 7? Mine is useable, at the desktop, after 50 seconds.

SHUTDOWN TIME - A mostly irrelevant test, unless you're restarting, but interesting all the same. It appears the 32-bit Vista was doing some cached-writing or patching at the end there. It's hard to tell what it was doing though. I guess this test is relevant if you're .. no, I can't really think of a scenario.

IO TESTING - Ah well. Fair enough test. Your disabled the write-caching which speeds up Windows copying, which makes it simply a test based on file systems. And yes, ext is faster than NTFS. :)

RICHARDS TEST - The only real benchmark here. Windows wins.

I would like to see a real-world comparison, rather than install tests the average user is hardly ever going to run into. I believe that in acutal usage tests, Linux would be faster in every category, but this kind of "benchmarking" is purely situational and subject to very easy tampering of results. It doesn't appear you did tamper (much) but obscure testing like this doesn't support either cause.

And Charles Nome - Did you even check the results? Your table is all wrong:
Issue Windows Linux
keyclicks to install More Less (Arguable - they appear in this test to click everytime it said RESTARTING IN 30 SECONDS, and clearly at the 29th second in order to drag out the time-test).
Speed of start More Less (Are you kidding? Windows was faster in 3/4 categories, and the only one it was slower in was by 2 seconds.)
Moving files More Less (see above)
Benchmark tests about equal (If they were the other way around, you'd be saying LINUX CLEARLY FASTER. So lets be honest here - WINDOWS CLEARLY FASTER.)
Cost $100s Free (I think you'll find they're both free *cough*)

exy4 boot time

If I understand correctly, your boot times are influenced by an enormous BIOS delay (which affects all the benchmarks)?

That makes the ext4 boot time improvement much bigger than it looks as a proportion.

well ...

I wouldn't really switch to a machine this powerful to just prove that is what the OS is capable of ... you are testing for the end user (who by the way would not own this machine you have described before a year and a half from now -- considering the recession, this is a very fair deal for your argument) ... i would consider reading another benchmark from you only if you use some machine that we have access to.
for your information, my office machine still runs on a single core 1.6 Ghz with 1 GB RAM ...
the problem though as always (with any linux) is the lack of support from third-party vendors (on the desktop level - not enterprise apps)

What a bunch of BS "benchmarks"

Install time? Seriously? Do you do this on a daily basis? No. If it's a desktop you don't reboot daily either. If it's a laptop you hibernate and you don't reboot daily either (well, that's if you've even got that working in Ubuntu).

Try running Geekbench 64-bit on Windows 7 and Ubuntu. You'll see very, very different results. And it actually uses metrics that are relevant, such as processor and memory performance. Copying a file to a USB stick isn't exactly a great yardstick.

Microsoft Astroturfing?

I can't help but feel that there are Microsoft astroturfers on this thread...

Use of the word "astroturf"

I can't help but feel that there's a Slashdot zealot in this thread.

You do know that you need to

You do know that you need to "shift + del" to delete a file in Windows. Simply "del" moves it to the recycle bin, which I believe takes more time. Your screenshot showing the recycle dialog tells me you were recycling, not deleting.

Who paid this guy?

Seriously, a lot of you are complaining like you paid this person to do a benchmark and you didn't get your money's worth. Sure, the results aren't all that accurate, and if you would read the damn thing you would see that the author is aware of this. This benchmark was done for the hell of it, and I for one applaud people who do things just for the hell of it.

One comment on gaming though; I've ran a dual-boot system for years (Windows XP and some linux distro) and have noticed that I generally see about 30-40FPS more in linux than Windows when I play the same game (UT2004, Q3A, etc.). The argument that "Windows is better for gaming" holds no ground. I have even seen some games run better in Wine. Are there more games compiled for Windows? Heck yes. Do games "run better" or is Windows "a gamer's OS"? You might want to hold your comments until you learn how to use linux first and try it out for yourself.

Boot time

Something has to be off with the shutdown/bootup,
I'm getting avg of 5 seconds on shutdown, boot to working desktop 58. on windows 7 x64 while vista x64 takes hours to boot or shutdown. And thats with office, avast, ventrilo, and about 15 other programs installed. I'm running a 6600 2.4 780i 8GB @ 1066 2X 8800GT SSC's (I pulled my raptor's which still have my vista installed and windows 7 is installed on a 80gb WB Sata 1.5 cache is 8mb maybe)

Another Microsoft Ripp off.

We were all led into buying Vista for the wow factor, now they are saying windows 7 is the way to go in the future. I wonder if windows 7 will be just like Vista with all the bloated software needed to run printers, and firewall, anti virus software,updates and fixes that don't work so they bring out fixes and updates to fix the fixes.They should fix Vista and forget about bringing out another OS. I think this is wrong of Microsoft to keep bringing out another OS that we will have to fix with updates to run the software we all use. Then they will try and get the people to buy Windows 8 in 2011. I will stick with LINUX from now on, it does everything Vista does without the bloat.

Great

Thanks for all the work you put into this!!!

??

It tes for idiots :)

win

Good article, I do feel you tried your best to make it fair. (comparing two completely different operating system platforms is hard!)

And yes.. there are quite a few Windows fan boys in here... but if you paid hundreds of dollars for an OS you would have to defend it also ;)

ext4 test possibly skewed

I'm not entirely sure how you switched to ext4. If you just remounted the partition as ext3 -- obviously you'll see similar performance for stuff already on the disk, since that is effectively stored in ext3, NOT ext4. The only decent way to measure would be to reinstall.

Poor ***old** Linux

Those windows statistics are way off; even on my 4 year old DELL 8400 / 4600 machines Vista / Windows 7 starts / boots / installs / shuts down faster.

No matter how much 'faster' linux is, it still has the look and feel of a 1990's visual basic application with the little GNOME green ticks and red X's alongside the OK and CANCEL buttons.

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