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Benchmark Analysis: Windows Versus Linux

Ubuntu 11.10 Review: Benchmarked Against Windows 7
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The following table groups the benchmarks into categories, lists the winner of each test, and indicates if the victory was by a significant margin or not.

Benchmark
Winner
Significant
Start And Stop Times
Boot
Ubuntu 11.10
No
Shut Down
Windows 7
No
Hibernate
Ubuntu 11.10
No
Wake
Windows 7
No
File Copy Times
HDD to HDD
Ubuntu 11.10
Yes
HDD to USB
Windows 7
Yes
USB to HDD
Ubuntu 11.10
No
Archiving
Zip
Windows 7
Yes
Un-ZipWindows 7
No
Tar.gzUbuntu 11.10
Yes
Un-Tar.gzUbuntu 11.10
No
Multimedia
Video Transcoding (HandBrake)
Ubuntu 11.10
Yes
Audio Encoding (LAME)
Windows 7
Yes
Image Processing (RawTherapee)
Ubuntu 11.10
Yes
System
CPU & Memory (Geekbench)
Ubuntu 11.10Yes
CPU: Single-Threaded (POV-Ray)
Windows 7Yes
CPU: Multi-threaded (Blender)
Ubuntu 11.10
No
Gaming
AMD
Ubuntu 11.10
Yes
Nvidia
Windows 7
Yes


Results

By category, Ubuntu leads with three wins (File Copy Times, Multimedia, and System), while Windows has the upper hand in none. On a per-test basis, Ubuntu wins 11 out of 19 tests and Windows wins eight. Of those, Ubuntu holds six significant victories over Windows' five. Any way you want to cut it, Ubuntu 11.10 beats Windows 7 in cross-platform performance testing.

Analysis

The speedier HDD to HDD file copy times are a major victory for Linux. Although the scale of scores in this test are fairly small, file copy operations from one section of the hard drive to another are very common, and Ubuntu displays a proportional advantage over Windows. Moreover, the notable win favoring Ubuntu over Windows in Geekbench was unexpected. The penguin's victory in gaming with an AMD graphics solution was surprising in two ways. First, Nvidia has long offered more frequently-updated Linux drivers. And second, using the AMD card allowed Ubuntu to actually beat Windows in gaming performance, albeit in very old games.

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