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Test System Specs And Methodology

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS: Lucid Lynx Benchmarked And Reviewed
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We based the qualitative side of our review on the overall end-user experience with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS running on five separate test systems: a 64-bit desktop, a 32-bit desktop, a notebook, a netbook, and a USB flash drive. For the quantifiable half, we put the 10.04 LTS desktop system through an updated set of OS benchmarks versus the previous LTS release, 8.04 “Hardy Heron.”

64-bit Desktop Test System Specs

Operating System 1

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Desktop Edition (64-bit)

Operating System 2

Ubuntu 8.04 LTS Hardy Heron Desktop Edition (64-bit)

Processor

AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ @ 2.0 GHz (dual-core)

Motherboard

Biostar NF61S-M2 TE

Memory

4GB DDR2 @ 800MHz (2 x 2GB)

Graphics

Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 (896MB GDDR3), PCIe 1.0

Storage

Western Digital WD2500KS 250GB SATA 3 Gb/s, 7,200 RPM, 16MB Cache

Optical

Asus DVD-RW 1814-BLT-BULK-BG

Power Supply

Corsair TX750W (750W max)


32-bit Desktop Test System Specs

Operating System

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Desktop Edition (32-bit)

Processor

Intel Pentium 4 @ 2.0 GHz

Motherboard

Biostar P4M80-M4

Memory

768MB DDR-333

Graphics

Asus V8170 GeForce MX440 (128MB, AGP)

Storage

Western Digital Caviar WD400, 40GB EIDE, 7,200 RPM

Optical 1

Hitachi-LG DVD GDR-8163B

Optical 2

Hitachi-LG CD-RW GCE-8483B

Power Supply

Enlight HPC-300-101 (300W Max)


Notebook Test System Specs

Model

HP Pavilion dv6700

Operating System

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Desktop Edition (32-bit)

Processor

AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-60 @ 2.0 GHz (dual-core)

Memory

2GB DDR2-667

Graphics

Nvidia GeForce Go 7150M 128MB (shared)

Storage

Western Digital Scorpio WD2500, 250GB SATA, 5,400 RPM

Optical

DVD+/-RW w/ LightScribe


Netbook Test System Specs

Model

Dell Inspiron Mini 10v

Operating System

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx Netbook Edition

Processor

Intel Atom N270 @ 1.6 GHz

Memory

1GB DDR2-533

Graphics

Intel Graphics Media Accelerator (GMA) 950

Storage

120GB 2.5-inch 5,400 RPM SATA HDD


USB Test System Specs

Model

Kingston DataTraveler 128GB

Operating System

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS  Lucid Lynx Desktop Edition (32-bit) – Live, Persistent

Storage

8GB Total, 4GB EXT2 File System for Persistence


Our USB thumb drive in the file copy tests is a 1GB Kingston DataTraveler 2.0. We also used a 4GB SanDisk Cruzer Micro for moving essential benchmarking files to the test machines.

Methodology

Whenever we rely on a stopwatch to get time trial results, we run the test for more iterations than when our results are measured by the benchmark. Because differences are amplified on a smaller time scale, we run additional iterations for tests that take less time to complete. 

We use clean and updated installations. This means that we do a full install (not upgrade) of the operating systems to the hard drive. While we use virtual machines (VMs) to capture a lot of our screen shots and to quickly reference features, no testing is done on a VM.

We like to run our operating system benchmarks using the default settings of each OS. This means that we leave preference settings (other than disabling screensaver/power management) the way they are configured immediately after a clean installation. However, we had to make some exceptions on this article. For Lucid, the Hardware Drivers utility in the System/Administration menu automatically detected the Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 and installed Nvidia driver version 195.36.15, the latest available for that OS. The Hardy test system did not detect the video card at all. This left us with no choice but to manually install the latest Nvidia drivers in order for Hardy to recognize our card. The driver version used on Hardy is slightly newer than the version used for Lucid testing (195.36.24). We had to break even further from defaults in our graphics-heavy benchmarks in the area of desktop effects due to the use of a newer Nvidia driver on the older system. See our UNiGiNE Heaven benchmarks for a full rundown of the situation.

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