"The performance results of different distributions, even ones
running the same kernel version, the same core libraries, and the
same filesystem can be very, very different.
"I see this issue debated on countless Linux forums often
without a lot of facts. "It's faster for me" won't convince anyone
and rightly so. In a discussion on LXer.com a user named herzeleid
asked exactly the right question: "I wonder why that is?"
This little article grew out of my response.
"Different distributions are better suited to different
hardware. The most obvious example of this, both on the home
desktop and in the corporate server room, are differences in
processor architecture. For most desktop users this boils down to
whether you are running a 32-bit CPU or a 64-bit CPU. (Dual and
quad core machines are generally multiple 64-bit CPUs nowadays.)
Yes, a 32-bit distribution will run just fine on a 64-bit machine
and for most ordinary tasks there really won't be much if any
difference in performance. For CPU intensive tasks that take full
advantage of a 64-bit processor a 32-bit OS will not perform