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Thread: Running Ubuntu 9.10 With Older PC Hardware

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  1. #1
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    Default Running Ubuntu 9.10 With Older PC Hardware

    Phoronix: Running Ubuntu 9.10 With Older PC Hardware

    Last week we looked at the Ubuntu 9.10 netbook performance with two Atom-powered netbooks comparing the Karmic Koala numbers against that of Ubuntu 9.04. For the most part, Ubuntu 9.10 offered better performance over its predecessor, but there were a few performance drops in different areas. With our netbook results out of the way, next up we looked at how Ubuntu 9.10 is running with older PC hardware. For the testing in this article we pulled out an aging laptop and ran a set of tests across Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS, Ubuntu 8.10, Ubuntu 9.04, and the latest Ubuntu 9.10 snapshot.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14307

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by phoronix View Post
    For the testing in this article we pulled out an aging laptop
    An Lenovo ThinkPad R52 is not considered "older hardware" in my opinion especially with that much RAM, ATi X300 and hard drive space. I would happily use that. In fact I would LOVE to have that because those specs are great and I really love ThinkPads.
    I have used that model (had to crack the Windows password using Ophcrack for a client) and that thing flies and I believe it only had 1GB RAM.

    I currently run Fedora 11 on an old ASUS laptop (1.6GHz single core, 512 DDR, ATi 9700m, 40GB HDD) and it performs satisfactorily especially when compared with Windows, which would run OK for a few days until it becomes unbearably slow.

  3. #3
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    How about other OpenGL games?
    I've been using Kubuntu 9.04 and now I've upgraded to Kubuntu 9.10 with two ATI graphic cards both R300 series (Radeon 9600 on AGP and x300 on PCI-E) and I've tested 3D acceleration on Radeon 9600 (but the system (P4 32bit, 2GB RAM, motherboard with VIA PT880 chipset) is multiseat with both cards used) and I've seen that Nexuiz works better on 9.10 than on 9.04 and glxgears has 3 times better FPS than on 9.04 (both with KDE 4.3.2 desktop effects enabled or disabled).
    If I've get some time to test x300 card I'll check the performance there.

  4. #4
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    I am particularly intrigued by the last test: MAFFT Multiple alignment program. What could this be due to? Is there anything in gcc or libc that could be making this slight but consistent improvement over time?

    Quote Originally Posted by phoronix View Post
    Phoronix: Running Ubuntu 9.10 With Older PC Hardware

    Last week we looked at the Ubuntu 9.10 netbook performance with two Atom-powered netbooks comparing the Karmic Koala numbers against that of Ubuntu 9.04. For the most part, Ubuntu 9.10 offered better performance over its predecessor, but there were a few performance drops in different areas. With our netbook results out of the way, next up we looked at how Ubuntu 9.10 is running with older PC hardware. For the testing in this article we pulled out an aging laptop and ran a set of tests across Ubuntu 8.04.3 LTS, Ubuntu 8.10, Ubuntu 9.04, and the latest Ubuntu 9.10 snapshot.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=14307

  5. #5
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    My R350 (Radeon 9800 Pro) card has indeed extremely bad perfomance with any 3d game in 9.10.
    And the fact that I've got 512 MB of RAM makes it even worse.
    Pentium 4, 2,39 GHz CPU is OK in Karmic.

    Also, there's kind of too much HDD writing/reading going on.

    I hate the fact that Windows XP runs better than Ubuntu atm.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by avilella View Post
    I am particularly intrigued by the last test: MAFFT Multiple alignment program. What could this be due to? Is there anything in gcc or libc that could be making this slight but consistent improvement over time?
    Yes, newer versions of gcc can generate better code from the same source. This is the whole point of what a lot of the changes to gcc! Optimizing compilers are a hard problem. Lots of developers spend lots of time working on gcc to make it generate better code. They've obviously had some measure of success, as MAFFT runs faster when compiled with newer gcc.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by llama View Post
    Yes, newer versions of gcc can generate better code from the same source. This is the whole point of what a lot of the changes to gcc! Optimizing compilers are a hard problem. Lots of developers spend lots of time working on gcc to make it generate better code. They've obviously had some measure of success, as MAFFT runs faster when compiled with newer gcc.
    Indded. I made also some multimedia tests under Gentoo and found that they performed better with tha latest gcc.
    For example that's what I got with lame:

    gcc-4.3.4 + O3 = 1m6.207s
    gcc-4.4.2 + O2 = 1m5.916s
    gcc-4.4.2 + O3 = 1m5.716s

    I repeated the tests five times.
    Well not a tremendous boost, but even O2 is a bit faster than an older gcc with O3.

  8. #8
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    Default karmic is abysmal

    C'mon, tell the truth.

    Ubuntu 9.10 is absolutely crap on older hardware. I cannot use it on my T41. I tried the LiveCD and it crashes each time. It's practically the same as it was at the Alpha stage. Imho, the developers didn't care about older hardware and didn't address the issues. What other reason could there be?

    Ubuntu has a rep, too, for horrible support for users with ATI cards, the older ones or the new.

    What a POS! I'll be installing sidux or Debian, thank you!

  9. #9
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    Truth is that Ubuntu 9.10 has pretty much the same Xorg stack as in Debian sid, so please keep us posted about your findings.

  10. #10
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    WTF! That's an almost generalized huge performance drop!
    What about the old refrain stating that Linux is so suited for older rig?

    Last year I tried a Xubuntu 7.10 on a P3 500MHz laptop... ok quite old, but it was almost unusable (but I wrote my PhD thesis on it with win2000!!!!)

    I think that unless you get Linux From Scratch or distros that openly aim at small/weak/old hardware... Linux has in time evolved aiming at bleeding edge rig. I'm not angry about it at all... but at least defy the old beliefs about Linux being able to resuscitate old HW.

    IMHO, I think that two areas are mainly responsible for that performance drop: modern graphic drivers (blobs) are getting more and more complicated and designed over newest hardware.. and the kernel itself (I have modern schedulers in mind).
    So.. is Linux getting more and more feature rich at the cost of getting heavier and heavier?
    I couldn't explain otherwise the performance increase with modern HW and a slow-down with the older.

    Anyone has different opinions or more clues to explain the results of the test?

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