Five Years Of Linux Kernel Benchmarks: 2.6.12 Through 2.6.37

“While we have conducted studies related to the Linux kernel
performance in the past such as benchmarking up to twelve kernel
releases, going out the door this morning are the results from the
largest-ever Linux kernel comparison conducted at Phoronix, and
very likely the largest ever of its kind regardless of source.
Every major Linux kernel release from Linux 2.6.12, which was
released in mid-2005, up through the latest Linux 2.6.37
development code was tested. This represents the past five years of
the Linux kernel and shows how the performance has evolved over the
past 25 stable kernel releases and the most recent 2.6.37
development kernel.

“Benchmarking 26 kernels was no easy feat with running nearly
two dozen tests each time and each test being run multiple times
(usually three to five times as a minimum). Fortunately, with the
Phoronix Test Suite combined with an Intel Core i7 “Gulftown” made
this process much faster, easier, and more reliable than what would
otherwise have been possible. A huge thank you goes out to Intel
for supplying Phoronix with the Intel Core i7 970, which is their
32nm Gulftown processor with six physical cores plus Hyper
Threading to provide a total of 12 threads. The Core i7 970 has
12MB of L3 cache and is clocked at 3.20GHz while having a maximum
turbo frequency of 3.46GHz. This is one very fast desktop processor
as shown in our Intel Core i7 970 Linux review and more recently
within our LLVMpipe Scaling On Gulftown article where the
performance of this Intel LGA-1366 CPU was looked at when running
Gallium3D’s LLVMpipe when enabling 1/2/3/4/5/6/12-threads. While
the i7-970 is very fast, it’s also very expensive at approximately
$900 USD (NewEgg.com and Amazon.com), but it allowed this major
Linux kernel comparison to happen in just under a week of constant
testing, which is significantly less time than it would have
required if using one of the less powerful Intel or AMD CPUs.”

Complete Story