Benchmarked: Ubuntu vs Vista vs Windows 7


In depth: A lot of people have been chattering about the improvements Windows 7 brings for Windows users, but how does it compare to Ubuntu in real-world tests? We put Ubuntu 8.10, Windows Vista and Windows 7 through their paces in both 32-bit and 64-bit tests to see just how well Ubuntu faces the new contender. And, just for luck, we threw in a few tests using Jaunty Jackalope with ext4.

When Windows users say that Windows 7 is easier to install than ever, what do they really mean? When they say it's faster, is it just in their heads, or is Microsoft really making big strides forward? And, perhaps most importantly, when Linux benchmarkers show us how screamingly fast ext4 is compared to ext3, how well do those figures actually transfer to end users?

These are the questions we wanted to answer, so we asked Dell to provide us with a high-spec machine to give all the operating systems room to perform to their max. Our test machine packed an Intel Core i7 920, which in layman's terms has four cores running at 2.67GHz with hyperthreading and 8MB of L3 cache. It also had 6GB of RAM, plus two 500GB of hard drives with 16MB of cache.

The tests we wanted to perform for each operating system were:

  • How long does each operating system take to install?
  • How much disk space was used in the standard install?
  • How long does boot up and shutdown take?
  • How long does it take to copy files from USB to HD, and from HD to HD?
  • How fast can it execute the Richards benchmark?

We also, just for the heck of it, kept track of how many mouse clicks it took to install each OS.

Before we jump into the results, there are a few things we should make clear:

  • To ensure absolute fairness, install time was measured from the moment the computer was turned on until we reached a working desktop.
  • The same computer hardware was used for all tests, and all operating systems were installed fresh for this article.
  • We used the Ultimate versions of Windows Vista and Windows 7, simply because Windows 7 was provided only in this flavour.
  • We used the Windows Vista SP1 disk to accurately reflect what users are likely to experience todaay.
  • Our Windows 7 version is the open beta that Microsoft issued recently. It is probable Windows 7 will be at least this fast in the final build, if not faster.
  • For Ubuntu 9.04 we used the daily build from January 22nd.
  • All operating systems were installed using standard options; nothing was changed.
  • After checking how much space was used during the initial install, each operating system was updated with all available patches before any other tests were performed.
  • Our journalistic friends have informed us that Windows Vista (and, presumably, Windows 7 too) has technology to increase the speed of the system over time as it learns to cache programs intelligently. It also allows users to use flash drives to act as temporary storage to boost speed further. None of our tests are likely to show this technology in action, so please take that into account when reading the results.
  • The filesystem, boot, shutdown and Richards benchmarks were performed three times each then averaged.

And, of course, there's the most important proviso of all: it is very, very likely that a few tweaks to any of these operating systems could have made a big difference to these results, but we're not too interested in that - these results reflect what you get you install a plain vanilla OS, like most users do.

Install time

Amount of time taken to install, from machine being turned on to working desktop. Measured in seconds; less is better.

At first glance, you might think that Ubuntu clearly installs far faster than either version of Windows, and while that's true there is one important mitigation: both Windows Vista and Windows 7 run system benchmarks part-way through the installation to determine the computer's capabilities.

A bit of a flippant one - just how many mouse clicks does it take to install an OS with the default options?

Surprisingly, Ubuntu 8.10 gets it done with half the clicks of Windows 7. NB: hopefully it's clear this doesn't make Ubuntu 8.04 twice as easy to install. Measured in, er, mouse clicks; fewer is better.

Disk space used immediately after a fresh install. Measured in gigabytes; less is better.

While some people might complain that we used the Ultimate editions of both Vista and Windows 7, they probably forget that the standard Ubuntu includes software such as an office suite as standard. NB: Vista failed to detect the network card during install, leaving us without an internet connection until a driver was downloaded on another computer.

Bootup and shutdown

Boot up time was also measured from the moment the machine was turned on, and the timer was stopped as soon as the desktop was reached. The Dell box does take about 20 seconds to get past POST, but to avoid questions about when to start the timer we just started it as soon as the power button was pressed.

Amount of time taken to boot, from machine being turned on to working desktop. Measured in seconds; less is better.

The 32-bit version of Windows 7 is the only one to beat the one-minute mark, but that advantage is quickly lost in the switch to 64-bit. Linux has always been rather slow to boot, but as we understand it reducing boot time is one of the goals of the Ubuntu 9.04 release.

Amount of time taken to shutdown, from button being clicked to machine powering off. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Windows lags a little behind the Linuxes, with 64-bit again proving a sticking point - this time for Windows Vista.

IO testing

To test filesystem performance, we ran four tests: copying large files from USB to HD, copying large files from HD to HD, copying small files from USB to HD, and copying small files from HD to HD. The HD to HD tests copied data from one part of the disk to another as opposed to copying to a different disk. For reference, the large file test comprised 39 files in 1 folder, making 399MB in total; the small file test comprised 2,154 files in 127 folders, making 603MB in total. Each of these tests were done with write caching disabled to ensure the full write had taken place.

Amount of time taken to copy the small files from a USB flash drive to hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Amount of time taken to copy the small files from one place to another on a single hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Let us take this opportunity to remind readers that Windows 7 is still at least nine months from release.

Amount of time taken to copy the large files from a USB flash drive to hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

Amount of time taken to copy the large files from one place to another on a single hard disk. Measured in seconds; less is better.

With the exception of Windows 7 while copying larges files around a hard drive, Windows generally suffered compared to Linux in all of these tests. Obviously Windows does have to worry about some things that Linux doesn't, namely DRM checks, but these figures show a drastic performance difference between the two.

Notes: Vista and Windows 7 really seemed to struggle with copying lots of small files, but clearly it's something more than a dodgy driver because some of the large-file speeds are incredible in Windows 7.

Both Vista and Windows 7 seemed to introduce random delays when deleting files. For example, about one in three times when deleting the files from our filesystem benchmark, this screen below would appear and do nothing for 25-30 seconds before suddenly springing into action and deleting the files. However, this wasn't part of our benchmark, so isn't included in the numbers above.

This was very annoying.

Richards benchmark

Notes: This was done using the cross-platform Python port of Richards. For reference, Ubuntu 8.10 uses Python 2.5.2, Ubuntu 9.04 uses Python 2.5.4, and we used Python 2.5.4 on the Windows tests. Even though the 64-bit results for Linux and Windows don't look that far apart, we have to admit to being very impressed with the Windows tests - the deviation between tests was just 3ms on Vista, and 5ms on Windows 7, compared to 20ms on Linux.

Amount of time taken to execute the Python Richards benchmark. Measured in milliseconds; less is better.

It's clear from that graph that having a 64-bit OS can make a real difference in compute-intensive tasks, but it's not too pleasing to see Windows pip Linux to the post in nearly all results.

Switching to ext4

All the Linux benchmarks above were done using ext3, so what happens when we switch to ext4? Well, not a lot:

Boot, shutdown and filesystem tests for Ubuntu 9.04/x86-64 using ext3 (blue) and ext4 (red). Measured in seconds; less is better.

Although there's no difference in shutdown speed, the boot time using ext4 dropped by 8 seconds, which is a fair improvement. We can probably discount the the USB to HD tests simply out of error margin, which leaves the HD to HD tests, and there we find a very healthy boost: 3.7 seconds were shaved off the small files test, making ext4 about 25% faster. Our tests also showed an improvement in the large file test, but it's not as marked.


Benchmarks are always plagued with questions, uncertainties, error margins and other complexities, which is why we're not going to try to look too deeply into these figures. Obviously we're Linux users ourselves, but our tests have shown that there are some places where Windows 7 really is making some improvement and that's good for competition in the long term. However, Linux isn't sitting still: with ext4 now stable we expect it to be adopted into distros fairly quickly. Sadly it looks like Ubuntu 9.04 won't be among the first distros to make the switch, so users looking to get the best performance from their Linux boxes will either have to fiddle with the default options, have patience, or jump ship to Fedora - which will be switching to ext4 in the next release..

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Your comments

Lot of shit

This bemchmark story is full of shit, belive me, what are we here, lunatics ? Are you crazy, dumass, or what??
What kind of story is this? What are you trying to prove?
If you like Kinux, so be it. fuck you and your banchmark!!!!

Real World Comparison

My experience in a nutshell. My computer: Asus board with P4 processor, Intel onboard video and 2 Gigs of ram.
My cost for Ubuntu or Windows $0.00 (My employer picks up the bill for my personal use of Windows.)
Windows Vista: did not support the Intel onboard video. The end.
Window 7 Beta: Loaded OK, but wrong refresh rate on the monitor (Sony Multiscan 540; yeah, I still have one of those), HP parallel printer not recognized, onboard sound not recognized, USB printer/scanner recognized but no scanner functionality. Any Microsoft games or screen savers unplayable because of lack of 3D acceleration. Bare OS with no user software.
Ubuntu: Everything recognized and working fine first pass through. No adjustment needed of any kind. Complete suite of all the software I can use and more. Needless to say, I am writing this on my Ubuntu install and if I could I would gladly give my Windows disks to anybody who wants them. That's what the "real world" experience is to an average computer user. To me Windows is a huge hassle and Ubuntu is simple.

I think its funny people do

I think its funny people do tests like this. Most of this is meaningless, and yet it still shows Linux as the overall superior OS.

Now lets factor in a few other things.

After 6 months of heavy use (like college students), windows will be virtually unusable because of the way it handles applications.

The amount of money one spends on each compared to the quality of the computing experience is insane. Someone said something about "what about gamers?!". Here's an answer: virtualization. I do that right now, and I can run any game I want just fine in my virtual Windows, while using Linux for actual work. I will say though, I'm not using a standard distro, I'm using Slamd64, recompiled to a custom distro, but at the same time, my computer can do anything and everything I need it to do, and it can do it faster than a Customized Vista box with the exact same hardware.

Oh, and you are running a bloated GNOME desktop environment against Windows, which integrates the DE to the OS. How about we make it completely even and run a stripped version of the Linux Kernel with no GUI, or hell, throw in Flux if you insist on a GUI, and see what the results are. I guarantee Windows can't stand up to it. I have a very old Gateway (400Mhz P2 with 128MB RAM running slackware with flux, and It owns my laptop (2Ghz Merom and 2GB RAM) thats running Ubuntu 8.10.

Also, with enough tweaking, you can't even compare the Windows OS to a Linux Distro. I don't care what you little IT fanboys say, Linux is a beast when you know how to use it. Windows, well...isn't.

As for the issue of boot times and windows needing to be restarted several times, that is just you silly sheep trying to argue that Windows is really better it just needs more time. Okay, how about we take away your anti virus, and don't allow you to install ANYTHING other than what comes on the CD. You might boot faster for a bit, but in a few days you'll be smoked.

Windows is nice for certain things, such as playing games, and having the support for anything, but in performance terms, you can't even begin to compare it to Linux.

I'd like to see this run against FreeBSD as well, and maybe Solaris?

If the game makers would support some *NIX based standard for coding, windows would be useless. The same goes for third party hardware makers. The thing is, there is no reason to support free software when you can get paid to support non-free software.

I did try to make it short

I m a vista user but i m seriously considering switching to Linux. I ve been a Linux user in the far past in a quad boot system with Nt4.0,win98,XPpro and SuSe 4(all installed in a number of partitions on 2 HDDs).I ve discovered the SuSe install in an official graphics card driver cd (i think from Hercules) which for some strange reason instead of having drivers had a full SuSe distro.I was very happy discovering this and decided to install.I only had win98 installed at the time as XP was very young then and i didnt like either WinMe or 2000 which i had to use at work unfortunately. I did the quad thing very easily and the reason for so many OSes was that i m an IT engineer so i had NT/XP only for testing programs and settings for my clients and win98 and SuSe for personal use. I found very easy the installation process of SuSe (the only difficulty being setting the x-server) which i found very strange as the main talks back then where that Linux was hard to install (thats why the "clicks to install" test is significant for many non-Linux users as they may believe that the old install problems still apply to Linux). Linux was by far the fastest OS on all occasions in my PC and the most reliable along with NT.I used KDE desktop.Then came the troubles..Very confusing and time consuming install/uninstall process for programs,very little hardware support (i never managed to make my modem work) and on top of all this was the confusion about KDE/Gnome choices and the different distros.All this confusion made me switch back to windows.Now as i said i m a vista user in my HP 9000 series notebook,i ve sell my desktop and didnt replace it yet so i m stuck with the notebook.From the moment i ve bought it i wanted to switch back to XP but lucking drivers from HP i ve stayed with vista. In my almost 2 years experience running vista i ve found out to my surprise that they are far better than XP in terms of security and stability/reliability.At first i suggested to all my customers to stay with XP untill some time passed and i have tested vista.After that i ve installed vista to all my customers and they left me without work! (No calls for problems anymore!). Their stability is amazing (only applies to HomePremium and Ultimate) but..They are extremely slow and recourses-hungry,very slow boot/shutdown/restart and programs launch,they need much additional software installed to get usefull,they still need restarts though much less than XP,they need many services and little things disabled to get lighter,they have serious problems with uninstalling software as they always leave files and registry strings behind causing a much slower system over time.With these considering i m going for a Linux distro but the confusing aspects still remain (which distro? KDE or Gnome? Will my devices work?).I still believe Vista is a very good OS but micro$ofts policy of releasing a new OS instead of making (the very expensive) Vista better or delaying Vista to release a really good OS is making me very angry and seriously thinking of switching permanently to linux or even OS-X for my personal use.Last, when comparing any M$ OS with Linux always have in mind that Vista/Win7 or whatever are VERY EXPENSIVE while Linux is free,you are stuck with services (DRM) and rootkits you dont have any way of turning off/uninstalling,micro$oft will make your M$/OS obsolete as soon as you install it (along with your all new and much expensive hardware),you will need additional expensive software to make your PC fully secure and functional,you will need a very fast DSL connection and much patience to download the necessary security updates after you install vista. I think i ve covered it. Sorry for the long story.

Last thing

Oh! And something last to consider when comparing Windows with Linux is that the only real advantage of Windows is having (as others already mentioned) many professional suites like photoshop etc not released for Linux and of course games. It s not Linux to blame or micro$soft to praise for that fact. Think of it.. we created this conditions for Linux. We as users made micro$oft what it is today,we preferred their products thus the software houses and game developers followed. It s on the users to switch tables around by choosing Linux and the software houses and game developers will be forced to follow whether they like it or not.

Again? Dont blame me..

Some say that with todays hardware there is no problem running vista/Win7..!! Is that so?? Do you think that every consumer can afford to spend 1000€ or 1500$ just for the box? Cause with a cheaper system vista will face problems when the user starts installing programs. Or do you forget that notebooks exist too?? (which are already overpriced comparing to their desktop equivalent). Also does the advancement in hardware means in any way that you are excused to load it with crappy,huge and very bad programmed OSes? Micro$oft in reality never made an OS advancement after NT4.0/win98/win2000 they just make the same OS over and over and just add some features which should be already there,fix problems of their previous OS which shouldnt be there anyway and add support for new hardware. A way to understand how bad designed windows is just use a notebook in the pricerange of about 900€ (mine cost me 1800€) which is supposed to be well equipped by todays standards and comes preloaded with vista home premium. You will find out that listening your machine working you will have the feeling that IT SUFFERS running vista. Add antivirus and firewall on top of that and you will see your resources getting devoured and an alarming temperature issue just by running the desktop. Now unplug your power cord and try to use a crawling machine fast enough to finish your work before it drains your battery.. All these problems could also mean that vista uses your hardware to its full potential which would mean that you get maximum performance (give me a sec to stop laughing). We all know that with vista this isnt the case. Another problem which wasnt discussed here is fragmenting. The huge disk space vista occupy after install is an issue as with fragmenting the disk will need more time to defragment and with the 5400rpm disks most notebooks use (to avoid cost,temperature problems and shorter battery life) defragmenting takes forever. Now tell me that a lighter OS isnt needed with todays technology..


I tried Linux (Ubuntu 64-bit) and I had three major issues:

1. No support for my ATI video card which NEEDS HDMI out support-I get video but no audio out of HDMI.

2. Unable to play Blu-Ray format or HD-DVD fom my dvd drive. And yes I have both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD drives.

3. Ubuntu is not compatible with my Dinivo Mini keyboard.

If there are drivers available to make this happen then it shouldn't be this hard to find. Ubuntu is completely worthless as an HTPC.I built my HTCP so it's not like I am an idiot, it really shouldn't be this hard to find drivers.

To be fair I had similiar issues with W7.

8gigs DDR2 800/6400 Corsair ram
AMD Phenom Quad 9500+ 2.2Ghz
LG Blu-Ray/HD-DVD Drive
Samsung 1080p 50-inch DLP

Ubuntu doesn't seem to be on par with my needs, I don't have time to make it as good as Vista.

Install mouse clicks

I has been instaled windows 50 times in same computer. (During 9 years)
When i come to Ubuntu. I install 7 times in same computer. (During 4 years)

All times when Ubuntu stop to work, was because windows kill the linux partition.

Sorry about my english. /(u_u)

Ha, win98!

Somebody remember how painfull is install win 98? HaHaha.
Now all is only "next" "next" "next" ...


O.S. is not installed each 5 minutes...

BTW, I say to all future Windows 7 Users
"Enjoy your new expensive virus"

Ubuntu = cant install

Ubuntu = cant install Debian
Ubuntu = Debian unstable
Ubuntu = Good hardware support for linux
Ubuntu = slow linux vs all other
Vista = slow microsoft
Ubuntu or Linux = refresh rate and font problem
Utorrent best torrent client windows only.
Firefox slow on linux
Flash very slow on linux vs windows same hardware
Java very slow on linux vs windows same hardware
power managemnent on linux unstable
wine is not for me

best os today:
Debian , Slackware , Windows XP.

Penguin in the BUFF

well folks, I saw the test results, so did you, Ubuntu IS FASTER! so --- DEAL WITH IT.

When I sit down to my PC I want it boot up and load quickly so I can git my work done and then go off and play my PS3.

PC are DEFINATELY NOT comparable with game consoles on the simple measure of Effort. With my PS3 i just shove in a disc, it boots up, does any updates in approximately 2 mins, and I'm away. I don't have to worry about viruses and all that other GARBAGE. Also on the other simple measure of cost, where I live in AU it costs $3000 for a decent gaming machine, $100 for virus protection annually, + all the software, while it only costs me $700 for a PS3 and I can either load Linux on the PS3 for my office chores, or buy a small notebook for $1200 with Ubuntu to do my office chores. Which leaves me with $900-$2300 to spend on games. Definately the better option.

What really makes me angry is when dopey people say things like "I don't use any internet browser other than windows explorer because I simply couldn't live without tabs" - Firefox HAD TABS FIRST, or "I couldn't stand using any OS other than VISTA because of how it looked" KDE had all of the fancy garbage BEFORE VISTA.

Finally I like Linux so ITS BETTER!

I love linux ubuntu and if

I love linux ubuntu and if you have a problem too bad


Okay, cool, I've seen the benchmark tests and I have had both Ubuntu Jaunty and Xubuntu installed on my little netbook and Laptop. Whilst my P4 laptop excels when running Ubuntu, compared to windows XP, Ubuntu does have the upper-hand, I like the fact that after the boot up, there is no more HD activity and the GUI is slick and that even with all the options switched on, the machine is still not stressed.

The same goes for the netbook - However, what I have noticed is that there is significant latency on the laptop, between any human input and actions occurring on the screen. There are still problems with with displaying flash video in that frames are all too easily dropped. MP3s sound a bit rough to. Firefox is a real pain to work with and severely lags when there is just simply one flash item in the window - These problems never occur in Windows XP.

My verdict is that, Ubuntu is great for mid to high end machines- I love it. But it is a bit frustrating to use in Netbooks.

I disagree...

I disagree with the majority of results comparing Vista to 7...

Now my experiences with Vista are using an OEM installation, which takes 6 hours to install on my brand new laptop... about 2 hours for vista install... and 4 hours for crap-ware installations...

I can definitively say that Windows 7 runs 50-75% faster in all respects than the Vista installation I had.

I also needed to reinstall Vista each month otherwise everything would start bugging out and crashing up.

open source will rule over windows

why pay for a OS that crashes on a new pc your paying for a window that doesn't open i like the way windows hides the blue screen of death by default and reboots the pc lol Linux is free if it don't work then you haven't lost anything thumbs up Linux ppl :):):) open source all the way

open source will rule over windows

why pay for a toaster to only cook half the bread consumer madness and the b gate foundation is cashing in on fools good luck what is the world coming too lmfao :)

an IT bod of 20 years

an IT bod of 20 years ...

Um... you do realize that the reason ubuntu doesn't come with a lot of those codecs is because including them in the base install would cause the OS to violate laws in some countries, including the US? MP3, for example, is not an open-source codec, and so it actually makes sense to make the user explicitly give the OK to install it.

So lets look at how easy it is to hunt down a codec you don't have...

Windows: Open your browser, navigate to google, type the name of the codec and hope that it's in the first few pages. Download the codec, install the codec, hope it works.

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get (package name here... try gstreamer)

Huh... wasn't that easy?


People WILL PAY 350$ for Windows 7 and Windows WILL STAY most popular OS.

People WILL NOT PAY even 35$- ONLY (10%) for Linux! And if Linux eventually goes to charge it would be GAME OVER to it!

DELL is rising voice against W7 price = DELL is going to lose!


windows has touch support for tablets.

ubuntu and linux os's need the support of touch on certain tablet pc's, like n-trig digitizer. now only windows has this. windows will own the touch tablet market until. my hp tx2 would be sweet with any linux distro if worked.
windows is slow everyone knows, even if it boots faster then before. i like windows, i love linux. donate to open source keep it free. bill wants money and power, open source wants freedom. penguins roam free! windows wants to be more like linux os's, windows i can see right through you.

Extra software

Lets not forget that Ubuntu comes preloaded with many software included a full Office suite, that's make it an even faster installer. That wasn't noted during the "Install time" section.

Extra software

Lets not forget that Ubuntu comes preloaded with many software included a full Office suite, that's make it an even faster installer. That wasn't noted during the "Install time" section.

Is is noted that Windows in beta mode, well Ubuntu 9.04 was not an RTM either, so that equals thinks out. Doesn't it

Ubuntu just works!

Well, I tried to follow the whole discussion. But I became unpleasant with lots of words written here.
Why should the installation process be compared as normal user experience works with an OS pre-installed? Well, I see it as a way to show, that the traditional prejudice is a lie nowadays, saying that a Linux installation is much more difficult as a Windows one. That's certainly not true.

But against Linux-enthusiast must be said: Linux can only win acceptance and market-share, when it's usable for the average use. Most people go away frustrated when they're said to compile the kernel or to work on the command line. And the question is: why should they? They don't have to on Windows, saying this with a long-term XP experience.

As I'm seeing it: Ubuntu is the only distro, that has at least a minor chance to compete with Windows and MacOS. The more there's a flame war about, what the real and best Linux is, no-one will be impressed. It's time for concentrated action. Let geeks use whatever linux seems best to them. But if you don't want to stay an elitist minority, then you should leave all the beginners the freedom to work with an OS, that simply works. And Ubuntu does (as others but with muss less popularity also do).

I think the most effective hindrance for people to leave Windows for Linux has nothing to do with quality, but with the self-containment of lots of people in the OpenSource scene. They just don't be disturbed. They just don't want users, but they want converts.

I've made the switch from XP to Ubuntu and I'm still impressed how easy and clear everything works. I'm not converted, but convinced. That's it.


@oz123: so you're trying to say that windows 7 has no drivers? I just installed windows 7 rc1 x64 on a p6t deluxe and when i ran the new intel chipset updater, it couldn't find one thing to update!!

all i needed to install was a simple soundmax audio driver, and a graphics driver. When i connect any usb printer i have i have never been asked for a driver. even my wifi dongle was automatically installed. the annoying thing though is that on every boot you have to manually reconnect to a wifi, it never auto connects (tried with 2 different builds *7000 & 7100* and with 2 different dongles: linksys N#, netgear wn111)

There's a huge updated driver database in windows 7 now as there has been in windows since there was 9x.


Not a good benchmarking

The copying for the small files is not a good benchmark bcoz linux file system driver caches a lot a windows file system driver. I have tested the same benchmark in usb drive which give indication of light when there is an i/o activity. Liunx cheats in this benchmark, even it shows the copying is complete the i/o activity is shown for a long time. In windows i/o activity of usb drive reflects with the progress bar. Who the hell measures the clicks for one time install.

Total BS article.

Whats the point

You guys should compare Windows 7 to OS/2 while you're at it.
What is the point of all of this.
If you like Linux (all distros) you are NOT going to like Windows 7 or anything from Microsoft and vice versa.
All this hoopla on how fast Linux is or how secure it is is quite old and never conviced the masses.

Remember BeOS???

Does anyone know of a real unbiased comparison

I am looking for a true performance comparison of both as I am trying to decide on the right off the shelf OS for control. They both have their advantages but I would like to see things like thread/process timing and performance comparisons. Anyone know of any unbiased perf comparison benchmarks?


Мне насрать на эти тесты! Главное, это производительность в "тяжёлых" программах, таких как игры!!!!!!

Windows the Best

Windows 7 лучше , чем всякое говно, такое как Mac, Ubuntu.
И чё что 7 больше места на винте тратит? Мне пох, т.к. 1 Tи свободен

alot of these

Are quick fixes in windows.Just change the registry so that the boot time is faster, and turn off all the startup programs with in the msconfig menu. Disk space after you install? just delete the programs that come bundled up with the system. Also any of the changes aren't very significant. 2-20 seconds? not that big of a deal, and Ubuntu is never becoming better then windows for the simple fact that its not made for the daily user, but it's more appreciated by computer-savy people. But the ease of use doesn't compare, coming from somebody that used both, and is very familiar with java c++.


Mint 7.0 (based on Ubuntu) is way faster than any of them, especially the 64 bit version.

Long read, fine article

I have almost entirely read the first two pages of comments. It started with interesting arguments about the benchmark and it continued with a lot of crap, small fights, contradictions and so on.

Some people understood the purpose of this benchmark. That is actually stated in the introduction but I suspect some people didn't pay too much attention to that, quickly looked and the pretty pictures with their explanations then jumped into commenting. At least that's what would explain quite a few comments.

I find myself installing operating systems very often because it's both my job and IT is my hobby so I also help others in private. Someone said that we cannot compare installation time because Ubuntu only copies some files from an image while Windows does something else - that's decompressing files. I happen to agree with that but on the other hand it's not this benchmark's purpose. It was all about looking on the watch and see how time flies - or to put it in another way, it's like this other's guy wife says that she only interested to see when she turns the light on, without knowing anything about the infrastructure.

The fact is "real-world" really means the majority of people that simply use the computers as tools that help them do their stuff on the internet or writing documents, creating/listening/viewing music, images, movies or whatever else. These people really get things as they are and most of them don't know anything about drivers, caching nor they would have to know something about this technicalities. Most people care about how fast a computer is available for work/play/etc and it's not uncommon that sometimes we hurry and we like our systems to shutdown faster. This stuff does matter in the real world.

Performance or timing are also subjective. The author clearly mentioned the hardware they are using, how Windows can learn to perform better over time AND that this test was about fresh default installs. We should keep in mind that even older systems that the one used in this benchmark can actually perform better but that's because of the available drivers. 2-3 years old computers have heavily optimized drivers for the majority of operating systems, while the newest are nearly always simply performing - but not at full specifications. This is natural but performance differences are also a fact we should consider when talking about different 2-3 year-old systems because they have different drivers - some good, some better, some worse. These differences really make software to behave differently. But again, this benchmark was performed on some system and the author didn't claim his results reflect the actual differences between the operating systems but only their behaviour on Dell's test machine.

For those people that think this is an article to praise Linux or Ubuntu, just so you know, you are wrong. Even if the author didn't state it, to me it's only a comparison between the latest Windows operating systems and the latest two versions of the most discussed Linux distribution these days. It is true, both Windows and Linux can be optimized, but talking from a regular PC user's point of view - who doesn't even think about customizing the operating system, this benchmark is very close to real life - with the exception of the USB tests with caching disabled - which doesn't happen in normal situations - but I think it's obvious why he disabled the caching: for a raw performance test.

Clicks during the setup? Well... this was fun, but I didn't even think someone would pick on the author for that piece of information. He said he did it for the heck of it.

As I see it, the point of this benchmark is seeing how a very popular Linux distribution can be compared with Windows by a set of tasks. It is obviously a short list of tests and people asked for more, but as I have read some comments I agree there is a large difference between a default Linux distro installation and a Windows installation. While Windows comes with a basic set of applications, Linux often has more than a user will use/need.

I would also like to pick on those who said disk space is irrelevant. You are right about the quantity of data compared to today's hard drives but aren't you forgetting about fragmentation? If you're so interested in small details, do you know an EXT file system rarely gets fragmented in such a bad manner that it needs defragmentation? That's why there aren't defrag tools for ext3, ext4 or other newer Linux file systems. I do know a mail server (for example) gets very fragmented but this benchmark was about regular usage of current operating systems.

So there are some people who think Windows is better than Linux regarding drivers. That might be true for very new hardware but that's not at all the Linux kernel developers' fault but simply the hardware manufacturer's. Some manufacturers only make Windows drivers and they only make them for currently supported Windows versions. This is already another story, because I will surely never see Vista or Windows 7 on a Pentium III as a backup machine - as someone before mentioned that. Not only that Windows doesn't include such drivers but it doesn't need them because it cannot run on computers that old. This is obviously one thing Linux is clever enough that it can be used on old machines as well as on new machines. Anyway, the thing is it's a very rare case that a Windows setup won't need any drivers to work on the hardware it's deployed onto, while Linux now has so many drivers - especially for printers - that it can offer alternatives as well.

Actually, another Linux distribution worth testing side by side with the latest Windows versions is Linux Mint 7.0 - based on Ubuntu. Mint is a great Linux distribution that includes many things Windows people spend some time to install. Most Windows users need to install codecs or extra software to be able to see DVDs, Quicktime or RealMedia files and other audio/video formats. Linux Mint's Main Edition has codecs, Flash and Java pre-installed, so after the 10-15 minutes setup you will really be able to do almost everything you want on your system. And this, with less disk space taken (useful to install more applications), less memory usage and all within a splendid user interface that's also easily manageable by novice users.

Regarding other needs, don't blame the author for Ubuntu's chosen packages. There are hundreds of distributions out there. One would only have to browse to find the ideal distribution for a certain set of requirements. It's just we should get rid of the stupid mentality that makes the average PC user a mere monkey that doesn't know what planet he's living on. What difference does it make when buying a car? There are many manufacturers, there are hundreds of models, a lot of them have similar functionalities and look and feel but in the end we get to use one or maybe two - or, if we are more demanding, 3 cars or more. It's the exact same thing with operating systems. I'm not PRO Linux or AGAINST Windows but I think it's up to us, the ones who know about what Linux can do right to inform the others because Linux might not be a hardcore gamer's choice but it will be a gold mine for people who only check their e-mail, read web news and print them for some reason. Then there are other people who need a good server but don't have the money for Microsoft software or simply know/find out Linux can do what they need.

Why would we stick to what we're used to? Windows is very good for some things, Linux is very good for other things and as time passes, both operating systems can do the same things very well - just in a different manner if not the same. It's about the choice. A good office system costs around 200 USD, while Windows + Office cost more than 400 USD together. Then if that goes inside a company, "free for home users" products won't be available for Windows and what hurts most is an anti-virus that not only it costs money but also resources. So it's not a strange thing to check operating systems capabilities and compare them to your needs, because a secretary could very well work with a Linux distribution and there are now plenty of those to choose that both look very good and do their job very well without needing any special training for the user. After all, Vista changed many things compared to XP, just as XP changed many things compared to Windows 98.

Even if some won't admit, no matter what operating system you move to, there is a learning curve. It's just some people find it more mentally comforting to know the label says the same thing as it did before - "Windows". Obviously, if it says "Windows", no matter how many times you mumbled because of the latest version's layout of the Control Panel or Office, you will end up using Windows - and you're a Windows user since ages so... you'll just use it and suck it up. Not mentioning the money involved, I think it's immature to overlook alternative operating systems simply because of prejudice and word of mouth. That's why the car sales have test drives - to get the real feel of a car. So you can't just dismiss something you didn't honestly tried as an alternative. It's just not right to ill judge something and think you're making a good decision.

Compared to Windows, most Linux distributions have live CDs so it's so easy to check them up - it only takes good will and an open mind to it. With the economy of our times it is irrational not to look for solutions to lower costs. I only wish This sentence won't bring in wise guys about TCO. The total cost of ownership is something a manager needs to know in order to make a good decision, but it all depends on how honest, realistic and informed IT people are about hardware/software solutions. Why also hardware? Because not being forced to buy Windows & Office licenses will allow you to save a lot of money and even add a little more to buy even better computers.

Not everyone needs a sports car, not everyone needs a wagon, not everyone needs all the add-ons and so on. That's why people should forget about fighting over minor stuff, look at the principles and apply all the good knowledge to their ecosystem. If we don't dare to optimize our lives by simple choices, then we don't deserve to cry about it.

cost and ease of doing things

I had to rebuild my old PC but as lost my original XP CD so tried to install one from other PC's CD but could not get it registered with Microsoft..
So decided to move to Linux

Being a new migrant to Ubuntu and not being tech savvy, was bit anxious what I have face with new istallation
But guss what ? it was such a smooth saling, .....
It not saved me couple of hundred dollars in buying the new Windows OS but also the unlimited download patches

This old machine is working excellent, much faster than when it was with windows, , smooth and dose exaclty .

Infact its has become the PC of choce with kids and family
and for me as i have not to fix it every other day ...

I wonder why for a home PC we need such a big and complicated operating system like windows anyway..

I honestly believe that it

I honestly believe that it is a horrible review. It is etremly biast to Linux distros.
The reviewer forgot 1 thing called DEPENDABILITY!!!!
As someone who has Xubuntu 64 JJ, Ubuntu 64, Kubuntu 64, Fedora 10 64 RC, Vista 32 and W7 64 i have a different take.
Xubuntu is the fastest, barely over W7 which is still an RC, but after making it presentable (compiz and AWN) the xServer kills the resources of a GeForce 9600M GT. Also, running progs more than a few days will hogg the heck out of the CPU. Almost everyone using Linux has to tweek the startup every 25-30 starts because it crashes.
Linux distros look slightly better than M$ os’s but in the end of the day they are nothing more than a bunch of programs forced together but never molded. They are far less stable when placed together than M$ os’s.
To conclude I would say that if you want to show off to your friends about the desktop cube or are willing and able to controll your desktop from a command line than go for Linux but if you need to write that set of yearly reports while having a pleasent interaction with your mouse and not worring much if th report will be there once the computer is restarted go for M$ os’s, preferably W7

WHAT A TARD!!!!!!!!


"Thanks for the info

Anonymous Penguin odiebugs (not verified) - March 5, 2009 @ 2:24pm

Thanks for the test. Its amazing that most all of the posters
here didn't know that windows was made for women and tards.
Windows 7 is vista the way it was suppose to be made.
They fix there mistakes and all the clowns get on there knees
for microsuck. These clowns go years without reinstalling,
well, when you use a computer besides looking at kiddie porn
like the posters here,and use it as a computer, windows is a error dump and has nothing but problems. I am not going into every detail of registry or driver problems or kernel of the OS. Intel and amd,when they make a better product,there is a real change, microsuck adds eyecandy and a small kernel and the boat load of clowns jump on it like it was the greatest thing in the world. Most everyone here will be more comfortable with win 7, like I said,it is made for women and tards so they can sell it to anyone too fill there pockets
and the blockheads can think there running a computer.

losers, don't bitch about the test,do your own with your laptops,that are garbage,and don't forget they make a nice purse that you can carry it in."



I'm finding this comments

I'm finding this comments section to be quite funny as you have Linux users QQing where windows wins, Windows users QQing where Linux wins, and Ubuntu haters QQing that Ubuntu is not Linux.

First, Ubuntu may not be the best distro, but it is one of the most popular. To be fair, I would like to have seen a comparison to Fedora, SuSE, Gentoo, and a few other distros as well. I would have also like to have seen the XP comparison too since many users have stuck with XP due to Vista's failures.

The install times does seem to be irreverent, however it seems that it was included because of a claim made by Vista and Windows 7 to be easier and faster to install which is why this was tested.

Both Shutdown time and start up time are very interesting. But both of those are subjected to variations through startup software such as an Antivirus as well as other hardware limitations.

Many people have said "I get different results on my computer." The fact is, all hardware is different. You can get 30 computers with the exact same parts and they will give you 30 different results. This is, however, a very high end computer to be testing on.

They choose Richards Benchmarking program because they needed to use the same program that would work with both Windows and Ubuntu. Richards is programed in Python, a OS-neutral language. The only real difference here is Python come on Ubuntu by default. We could try different program if one would prefer, but if your going to criticize, your going to criticize.

While I do have my criticisms in this test, it is a fair test. I don't think I will ever understand the OS wars as every OS has its pluses and minuses. I use a Windows 7, Vista, Ubuntu, Mac OSX, and XP, on a daily basis. I have seen a lot of the ups and downs of each. (Some more then others but hey) But the test was done as fairly as possible and I don't think any amount of complaining will change these results.


"Asterix (not verified) - February 5, 2009 @ 3:38am

For games there is a thing called a Game Console. Games does not belong on a desktop unless you want to break and bloat your install."

You can't use linux and then pull the "consoles for gaming" card, people play games on the pc for the sheer customization, and the community of the games, not some kids on xbox live. Sort of similar reasons to why you use linux.

If you want a good all round media/gaming PC, you go with windows. If you want a super fast boot times, go with linux.

It's great fun - and I think

It's great fun - and I think it's amazing the way everyone complains 'it's only the Beta of windows 7'

The fact is that linux in general, and Ubuntu in particular, have made such an incredible rate of progress lately, that unless Windows 7 is ready to upgrade to Windows 8 within the next 6 monthly cycle, it will be left behind.

My startup time now is around 25 seconds, using ext4, and my shutdown time is around 5 to 10 seconds. Rumours are afoot that the boot time is to be hacked down to close on 10 seconds (I'd be extremely happy with 15 to 20).

Compare this snapshot to one year ago....

Windows - installed
Ubuntu - shit no screen, crap no wireless.

Whilst everyone who could hack ubuntu was saying how amazing it was, there were thousands trying it and not being able to get it to do anything. Now it's really looking to me like a viable option (ignoring cost - I don't think anyone thinks that $100 on the price of a computer is important - divide that by 5 years or so... it's nothing)


You are not normal. 7 is better than Vista and Vista i better than Ununtu. Why do not try with game or other 3d to see why Ubuntu is not good? Make that test with game.

Face it free or overpriced.

I use Windows, OSX and Ubuntu. I love Ubuntu the most for all my online and work needs.

I only use my mac for music and my Windows is just there so I can keep up to date on fixing other peoples windows problems.

I do play games on windows but I don't even dare to get online with it. From the time a normal person opens there windows system's box there computer degrades and needs constant work yeah it keeps me in a job but I would much rather work on a Linux based OS any day then Microsoft.

Ubuntu has seemed to get faster and faster over time because of updates, yeah some stuff can be hard to install on Ubuntu but when you compare that to trying to fix the countless windows problems that you have to fix all the time installing something like a strange video card driver on Ubuntu seems easy.

I don't miss BSOD's or internet problems I set Ubuntu up once and its good to go updates take care of the rest. If you cant live without the games then for god sake partition Ubuntu cause it works better for your normal computer needs. and its free!

Plus I get sick of looking at the same theme all the time yeah Ubuntu is ugly but you can change that there are new themes posted all over the net. With a little work on it you can put windows to shame, with windows your stuck with what they give you. I use to mod Windows XP till they started doing updates that messed it all up. With Ubuntu thats not a problem.

Three years on Ubuntu and not one problem tell me one person that can say that about windows. I set up my first Ubuntu machine for my Mom cause windows kept pooping out on her now shes been problem free for years.

It's not just about benchmarks its about having something you don't have to worry about and Ubuntu does that like a Mac but also has the upgrade ability of a PC. There is no reason not to use it.

That's my two cents.

Slanted review (if you can call it that)

So Windows 7 is really close to the heaven Linux is?
15% longer install time. That 8 minutes can be shaved off with a USB key install.

Also 32 seconds is the average boot time for Windows 7.
google for it.

Ubuntu is the king. :D

Ubuntu is the king. :D

Vista is a bloated pig

I have recently switched to Ubuntu from Vista.Ubuntu 9.04 makes a mockery of Vista. If vista was an animal it would be an overweight bloated pig with the brains of a coat hanger. Long Live Linux !!!

And all you micro$$$$ fanboys can keep paying Bills retirement fund.

PC users wants out!

Really wish Linux still didn't need a geek hat to make more advanced things work easily. I have so many legacy windows apps that are essential for my day to day work, that I can't afford the grief time to fiddle with dual monitor script files, dual boot setups to run top tier mainstream web design programs and interact with existing Windows networks.

XP will have to do for me until Macs get cheaper or Linux can run windows software **easily** out of the box.


I get the feeling more people are interested in bashing the author and trying to show off their 'technical expertise' rather than reading about some preliminary results...

Very interesting article

This was a very good read, i have another reason to feel proud of my Ubuntu.

One more test

Call it, the OS Entropy Test.

Let the average teenager use each OS for six months of OS updates (maybe sometimes), AV updates (maybe sometimes), freeware downloads, indiscriminate browsing, Facebook, mp3 downloads, incorrect shutdowns and general use and abuse and rerun the benchmarks. And add browser start and pageload tests as well. In my experience, the Win times will be off the charts.

Which is why I switched to Linux.

All benchmarks compromised.

How well does a windows machine run after crutch apps like anti-virus / spyware are installed? The improvements to installation on behalf of MS will be much appreciated by those who have to redo it to the same machine over and over again. A linux install could take all night for all I care, because if done right it's done once.

Well Done

IT's very easy do this or that but doing thing is what count. WELL DONE MAN and keep doing this benchmarking

I'm a Microsoft guy, but

I'm a Microsoft guy, but well done on this Benchmark. Very good job.

Software Availability

As a windows user I should say that Linux lacks a bunch of important products from Autodesk, Adobe, ABBYY and so on. Yeah it includes office suite, VoIP, mail client, some picture editing tools and some more... You may mention that all this soft is free. Yeah it is free... But look, you can install OpenOffice, Skype, NetBeans, Thunderbird, any browser, Gimp,
mplayer, ffdshow (all codecs you'd ever need) and it will be also completely free... What's more, when you download an installation package, you can be sure that it will fit your system completely. But with Linux, its another story. A painless installation can only be done via repository, but when downloading from an independent resource, then ouch..
# tar -zxf xxx.tbz
# cd xxx
# ./configure && make install clean
There is no guarantee that the package will install correctly, you have to edit configuration files, enter installation paths, manually compile and link modules. And after that, you'll be provided with little documentation (I mean desktop programs of course), in most cases its a description and a short manual (how-to for example).
Oh, I've forgotten the most important :) Kernel patches! Windows downloads them automatically in background and after reboot I have absolutely no problems. But when I used Ubuntu Hardy, I installed the latest patches via Synaptic and what did I see after reboot? Gnome didn't started at all! Of course somebody'll say I must have straight hands and so on... I don't want an operating system itself, I want to use applications it supports... I won't talk about driver support, because Linux drivers manufacturers provide are crap when comparing to their performance in windows. So my conclusion: Want speed, beauty, reliability - then Mac OS is for you. Want good server - *BSD is for you. Want best support of ALL programs(opensource too) - then windows is for you. Want pain in neck and troubleshooting all the time - then Linux is for you... :)))))

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