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Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal), Reviewed In Depth

Benchmark Results: Gaming

Unigine

There is a major difference in performance between the older LTS release and Ubuntu 11.04. In the Sanctuary and Tropics tests, Natty Narwhal delivers more than two times the frame rate as Lucid Lynx.

The newer release also scores nearly twice the frames per second as the rock-solid LTS in Heaven, Unigine's latest benchmark. This could be due to (among other things) newer AMD graphics drivers available to Ubuntu 11.04.

Native Commercial 3D Gaming

As you may have noticed, we're removing Unreal Tournament 2004 from the Linux benchmarking suite. That title is now seven years old and not really a taxing game in terms of 3D hardware anymore. Doom 3 is about six years old, but we unfortunately don't have anything to replace it with. We still want to maintain an even ratio of actual games to synthetic benchmarks, though. Hopefully, by the time Natty Narwhal's successor (Oneiric Ocelot) arrives, Postal 3 and Oil Rush will be available, at which time we can finally retire Doom 3 and perhaps Prey as well.

Doom 3, the oldest game hanging onto our native commercial gaming benchmark suite, gives the lead to the newest version of Ubuntu by around five frames per second. The results of Prey reverse that, with Ubuntu 10.04 LTS holding on to nearly ten more frames per second than the newest release. Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, the newest game in our suite, gives Ubuntu 11.04 a whopping 40 FPS lead over 10.04.

When taking the Unigine and gaming benchmarks into account, with the exception of Prey, Ubuntu 11.04 is a must-have upgrade for Linux-oriented gamers.

  • jryan388
    One problem I faced with the standard unity desktop is the horrible performance even on my Athlon II @ 3.6 and Radeon 5750. I upgraded on launch day, so maybe canonical fixed it by now, but the performance was absolutely abysmal. The easiest fix is the unity-2d package. Great performance, doesn't look any worse.
    Reply
  • ksa-_-jed
    U should add more distros to the benchmarks like Debian, Fedora, and open SUSE.
    Reply
  • shiftmx112
    Meh is exactly how I described 10.10 Still gonna try Unity.
    Reply
  • Yuka
    11.04 sucks; plain and simple.

    Power users can do little to nothing to fix things between gnome3 and the buggy Unity.

    I wouldn't even bother with 11.04 when 10.04 is rock solid.

    Cheers!
    Reply
  • davewolfgang
    I tried the upgrade, but unity is blech. I am still using the upgrade, but doing the classic.

    But I may go back to 10.10 for my EeePC.
    Reply
  • adamovera
    jryan388One problem I faced with the standard unity desktop is the horrible performance even on my Athlon II @ 3.6 and Radeon 5750. I upgraded on launch day, so maybe canonical fixed it by now, but the performance was absolutely abysmal. The easiest fix is the unity-2d package. Great performance, doesn't look any worse.Wow, that isn't right, the old X2 test system which has a considerably older Nvidia card runs it great. What's the full specs?
    Reply
  • adamovera
    ksa-_-jedU should add more distros to the benchmarks like Debian, Fedora, and open SUSE.Fedora 15/GNOME 3 coming up next. I have never had any luck whatsoever with openSUSE, will keep trying new versions as they come out though.
    Reply
  • bellman80
    I tried 11.04. Unity was more annoying than useful. I installed the new Linux Mint instead, I'm a happy camper now.
    Reply
  • Tamz_msc
    I'm going to stick with 10.04, because it has been running rock-solid without a glitch for almost a year. It was able to find drivers for my on-board audio which even Windows 7 could not find.

    Unity is not my cup of tea., though I'm looking forward to GNOME 3.0.

    Till then Lucid Lynx FTW!
    Reply
  • RogueKitsune
    Unity is a nice idea, but not my cup of tea. Overall I am happy with the changes in 11.04. Right now i have my laptop(AMD Turion x2, radeon x1200)running it with no problems(everything worked out of the box)
    Reply