Computers Archives
ODROID-XU4: Much Better Performance Than The Raspberry Pi Plus USB3 & Gigabit Ethernet @ $60

Hardkernel recently sent over the ODROUD-XU4 for benchmarking. This ARM SBC that just measures in at about 82 x 58 x 22 mm offers much better performance than many of the sub-$100 ARM SBCs while also featuring dual USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, eMMC storage, and is software compatible with the older XU3 ARM SBCs. Here's a look at the performance of the ODROID-XU4 compared to a variety of other single board computers.

11 December 2018 - 14 Comments
Benchmarking Amazon's ARM Graviton CPU With EC2's A1 Instances

Monday night Amazon announced the new "A1" instance type for the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) that is powered by their own "Graviton" ARMv8 processors. Since then I have been running benchmarks on Amazon's first-generation 64-bit ARM processors and seeing how these ARM cloud instances compare to their Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC performance on EC2 in both raw performance as well as performance-per-dollar.

28 November 2018 - 29 Comments
A Look At The Open-Source Talos II POWER9 Performance Against x86_64 Server CPUs

In the benchmarks earlier this month looking at the Talos II POWER9 dual 22-core performance its performance was compared to various AMD Threadripper and Intel Core i9 CPUs. They were used as comparison points since all of those CPUs sport four memory channels, including the Sforza POWER9 CPUs, while IBM caters the larger LaGrange/Monza POWER9 modules with eight memory channels as competition to Xeon and EPYC. But for those wondering how the POWER9 Sforza performance compares to Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC processors, here are some benchmarks.

27 November 2018 - 32 Comments
Benchmarking The $25 Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ Performance

Released last week was the Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ as their latest ARM SBC coming in at the $25 USD price point and their last board release before doing a redesign. I was able to snag a Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ for $25 with availability appearing to be better than some of the past Raspberry Pi releases. Here are some initial benchmarks of the RPi 3 Model A Plus compared to a few other ARM boards.

23 November 2018 - 24 Comments
Void Linux, Solus, Manjaro, Antergos, Sabayon & Clear Linux Put To A Performance Battle

Given last week's new images release of the rolling-release, systemd-free, original-creation Void Linux I decided to take it for a spin with some fresh benchmarking as it had been two years or so since last trying out that Linux distribution with its XBPS packaging system. For seeing how the performance compares, I benchmarked it against some of the other primarily enthusiast/rolling-release/performant Linux distributions including Antergos, Clear Linux, Debian Buster Testing, Fedora Workstation 29, Manjaro 18.0, Sabayon Linux, Solus, and Ubuntu 18.10.

19 November 2018 - 24 Comments
Benchmarking Packet.com's Bare Metal Intel Xeon / AMD EPYC Cloud

With the tests earlier this week of the 16-way AMD EPYC cloud comparison the real standout of those tests across Amazon EC2, Packet, and SkySilk was Packet's bare metal cloud. For just $1.00 USD per hour it's possible to have bare metal access to an AMD EPYC 7401P 24-core / 48-thread server that offers incredible value compared to the other public cloud options for on-demand pricing. That led me to running some more benchmarks of Packet.com's other bare metal cloud options to see how the Intel Xeon and AMD EPYC options compare.

15 November 2018 - 2 Comments
16-Way AMD EPYC Cloud Benchmark Comparison: Amazon EC2 vs. SkySilk vs. Packet

With last week Amazon Web Services rolling out AMD EPYC cloud instances to EC2, I figured it would be an interesting time for a fresh benchmark look at how the AMD Linux cloud performance compares from some of the popular cloud providers. For this article are sixteen different instances benchmarked while looking at the raw performance as well as the value on each instance type relative to the benchmark performance and time consumed for the on-demand spot instancing. EPYC instances were tested from Amazon EC2, Packet.com, and SkySilk.

12 November 2018 - 7 Comments
System76 Shares With Us More Details On Thelio Open Hardware, Pricing Starts At $1,100 USD

While System76 is officially announcing their Thelio systems next week on 1 November with plans to then begin shipping these "open hardware" systems in December, today the Linux-friendly PC vendor shared with us some more exclusive details on the forthcoming hardware being manufactured in Denver, Colorado. Here are those exciting details -- much more than just some digital web saga.

26 October 2018 - 48 Comments
Hands On & Initial Benchmarks With An Ampere eMAG 32-Core ARM Server

Especially with Qualcomm's Centriq efforts going quiet in recent months, one of the most interesting ARM server efforts at the moment is Ampere Computing -- the company founded by former Intel president Renee James and with several other ex-Intel employees on staff. They started off with the acquired assets from what was AppliedMicro and their X-Gene ARMv8 IP and for the past year have been improving it into their recently announced eMAG processors.

11 October 2018 - 34 Comments
The Current Linux Performance With 16 ARM Boards

Last week I provided a fresh look at the latest Linux performance on 22 Intel/AMD systems while for kicking off the benchmarking this week is a look at the current Linux performance on sixteen different ARM single board computers / developer boards from low-end to high-end.

17 September 2018 - 46 Comments
Libre Computer's Tritium Is A Line Of Low-Cost Allwinner ARM Boards

In addition to Le Potato and Renegade, another line-up of ARM boards being offered by Libre Computer is Tritium. The Libre Computer Tritium boards are Allwinner-based boards with options from the H2+ for IoT use-cases, the H3 as a mid-range offering, or H5 for a better-performing ARM board that is well supported by the open-source Linux community.

8 September 2018 - 20 Comments
ROC-RK3328-CC: A Raspberry Pi Competitor With Gigabit Ethernet, USB3, DDR4

The folks from LoverPi.com have sent out some of their newest ARM SBCs. What we're taking a look and benchmarking first is the Libre Computer Board ROC-RK3328-CC. Pricing on this board, which was developed between the Libre Computer Project and Firefly, starts at $35 USD with 1GB of DDR4 but at $80 USD a 4GB version can be acquired. This quad-core 64-bit ARM board has modern features like Gigabit Ethernet, USB 3.0, and other interfaces over what is found with current generation Raspberry Pi hardware.

4 September 2018 - 52 Comments
The NVIDIA Jetson TX2 Performance Has Evolved Nicely Since Launch

Word this week of the NVIDIA Jetson Xavier Development Kit being up for pre-order reminded me of some benchmarks I had been meaning to do of seeing how the NVIDIA Jetson TX2 developer kit's performance has evolved since its launch a year and a half ago. There's actually a quite measurable improvement in performance with the latest software/drivers compared to it was at launch.

29 August 2018 - 37 Comments
Dell XPS 13 Kabylake Makes For A Great Linux Laptop

When it comes to new laptops for the summer of 2018 that are Linux-friendly, the latest-generation Dell XPS 13 with Intel Kabylake-R processor ranks high on that list. Recent in upgrading my main production workstation, I decided to go with the Dell XPS 13 9370 while using Fedora Workstation 28 and it's been a phenomenal combination. Here are my thoughts on the current Dell XPS 13 as well as some benchmarks and other information.

31 July 2018 - 34 Comments
PowerTOP Still Worthwhile For Extending Linux Battery Life In 2018

Intel's open-source PowerTOP utility has been around for more than a decade now for aiming to extend the battery life of x86 Linux laptops. Following the recent Linux laptop battery life benchmarks of various distributions, a Phoronix Premium patron was asking whether PowerTOP still makes a difference with 2018 Linux distributions... Here are some fresh test results.

27 July 2018 - 14 Comments
A Closer Look At The Linux Laptop Power Use Between Ubuntu, Fedora, Clear & Antergos

Earlier this month I posted some results when looking at the Windows 10 versus Linux power consumption using a Kabylake-R Dell XPS 13 laptop and testing Windows 10, Ubuntu 18.04, Fedora Workstation 28, openSUSE Tumbleweed, and Clear Linux. For some additional numbers, I took three other distinctly different laptops and tested them on a few Linux distributions to see how their battery life and power efficiency compare as additional metrics to complement this earlier data.

22 July 2018 - 14 Comments
Intel Hyper Threading Performance With A Core i7 On Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Following the news yesterday of OpenBSD disabling Intel Hyper Threading by default within its OS over security concerns and plans to disable Simultaneous Multi Threading for other processors/architectures too, here are some fresh Intel HT benchmarks albeit on Ubuntu Linux. The OpenBSD developer involved characterized HT/SMT as "doesn't necessarily have a positive effect on performance; it highly depends on the workload. In all likelihood it will actually slow down most workloads if you have a CPU with more than two cores." So here are some benchmarks using a current-generation Intel Core i7 8700K six-core processor with Hyper Threading.

20 June 2018 - 45 Comments
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ WiFi Performance

Yesterday in our Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ benchmarks we looked at the faster Cortex-A53 CPU cores of this new $35 USD ARM SBC as well as its much faster Ethernet and better thermal management over earlier Raspberry Pi boards. The other area improved with the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ is the WiFi/WLAN wireless networking, which is what we have benchmarks of today.

23 March 2018 - 24 Comments
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ Benchmarks

Last week on Pi Day marked the release of the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ with a slightly higher clocked Cortex-A53 processors, dual-band 802.11ac WiFi, faster Ethernet, and other minor enhancements over its predecessor. I've been spending the past few days putting the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ through its paces the past few days with an array of benchmarks while comparing the performance to other ARM SBCs as well as a few lower-end Intel x86 systems too. Here is all you need to know about the Raspberry Pi 3 B+ performance.

22 March 2018 - 47 Comments
CompuLab Fitlet 2 Is A Mighty Fine, Low-Power PC Preloaded With Linux Mint

Over the past decade we have looked at many interesting PCs from CompuLab, a vendor capable of delivering Linux-friendly PCs that are originally designed and often catered to meet demanding industrial requirements. The latest Linux PC we have been putting through its paces the past several weeks has been the Fitlet2, which CompuLab describes as being designed "from the ground-up to minimize size and maximize capabilities, durability and thermal performance." After running our plethora of benchmarks on this mini Linux PC, we can say with confidence they have succeeded in their mission.

9 March 2018 - 13 Comments
The Fastest Linux Distribution For Ryzen: A 10-Way Linux OS Comparison On Ryzen 7 & Threadripper

While we frequently do Linux OS/distribution performance comparisons on the latest Intel desktop and server hardware, some requests came in recently about looking closer at the fastest Linux distribution(s) when running on AMD's Ryzen desktop processors. Here are benchmarks of ten popular Linux distributions tested out-of-the-box on Ryzen 7 1800X and Threadripper 1950X systems.

25 January 2018 - 40 Comments
The Latest In Our Massive Linux Benchmarking Setup - November 2017

Two and a half years ago was the start of the continually evolving effort around turning a basement into a big Linux server room and last year having shared a one year redux in the effort but having been late in a second year redux into this effort and how the systems are configured for our Linux/BSD/open-source benchmarking at scale, here is an update.

12 November 2017 - 15 Comments
Apple's Late-2016 MacBook Pro Is Still A Wreck With Linux

At the end of last year we had a brief encounter with the new at the time MacBook Pro with Touchbar to see how well it would run under Linux. It was a mess with SSD difficulties, non-working touchpad/keyboard, WiFi issues, and more. It's a bit better using the newly-released Ubuntu 17.10, but would still advise against Linux for the Apple MacBook Pro Late-2016 model / Mac-A5C67F76ED83108C / MacBookPro 13,3 model.

10 November 2017 - 47 Comments
ASUS Tinker Board Is An Interesting ARM SBC For About $60 USD

Earlier this year ASUS announced the Tinker Board as their first step into the ARM single board computer world. Earlier this month I finally received a Tinker Board for testing and it has been quite interesting to say the least. The Tinker Board with its Rockchip SoC has been among the most competitive ARM SBCs we have tested to date in its price range and the form factor is compatible with the Raspberry Pi.

24 September 2017 - 41 Comments
AMD EPYC 7601 + TYAN Transport SX TN70A-B8026 Arrives For Linux Benchmarking

Like us, many of you have probably been anxious for weeks to see a plethora of benchmarks featuring AMD's EPYC processors. An EPYC-equipped server arrived today courtesy of AMD and TYAN and is now in the process of being tested at Phoronix. Next week we should have some initial comparison numbers to feature of the AMD EPYC 7601 processor under Linux while in the weeks ahead will be more extensive numbers in looking at the Linux performance in different areas followed by FreeBSD/BSD results and other interesting tests. Here's our first look at this Tyan Transport SX TN70A-B8026 server.

8 September 2017 - 27 Comments
Razer Blade Stealth Laptop On Linux, Various Linux Laptop Performance Metrics

Earlier this year Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan announced that Razer is planning better laptop support on Linux. He noted that more customers are requesting Linux support and they formed a goal of figuring out how to make "the best notebook in the world that supports Linux." Razer doesn't have any Linux laptop announcement to make yet, but for seeing the current state of affairs, they sent over the Razer Stealth laptop so we could put it through our Linux testing paces at Phoronix. Here is a look at the Razer Stealth ultrabook on Linux as well as a variety of interesting performance metrics, including some power metrics compared to Windows.

30 August 2017 - 29 Comments
A GNU/Linux Smartphone Running GNOME & HTML5 Web Apps? Priced At $599, Ships In 2019 If The Stars Align

After two successful crowdfunding campaigns for producing security-focused Linux laptops while aiming to be as open-source as possible and now shipping with Coreboot, Purism is aiming for their most ambitious project yet... the smartphone. Can Purism succeed where Ubuntu Mobile, Firefox OS, OpenMoko, and others have not lasted? They think so, but it will take crowdfunding again and the finished device likely won't surface until at least 2019.

24 August 2017 - 62 Comments

153 computers articles published on Phoronix.