Benchmark Analysis: Windows Versus Linux
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.
|Start And Stop Times|
|Shut Down||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|
|Video Transcoding (HandBrake)||Ubuntu 11.10||Yes|
|Audio Encoding (LAME)||Windows 7||Yes|
|Image Processing (RawTherapee)||Ubuntu 11.10||Yes|
|CPU & Memory (Geekbench)||Ubuntu 11.10||Yes|
|CPU: Single-Threaded (POV-Ray)||Windows 7||Yes|
|CPU: Multi-threaded (Blender)||Ubuntu 11.10||No|
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.
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.