AMD and Linux: Reaching for the 64-bit Trophyby Kristopher Kubicki on July 12, 2004 12:05 AM EST
- Posted in
Without a viable 64-bit Windows solution available today, enthusiasts and neophytes alike are looking to Linux for new opportunities. Is Linux mature enough to take advantage of the same technology released to the public only months ago? The answers are more complicated than many of us originally thought, particularly considering the competition.
To get a well-rounded breakdown of where Linux is going, and where it trumps (or fails against) Windows, we took the two largest 64-bit Linux distributions, their 32-bit counterparts, and the Windows XP 64-bit public beta for a test drive. The way that we are running the benchmark is slightly unique; we do not recompile or optimize benchmarks per hardware platform. Our goal is to see which out-of-the-box operating system performs the best with as much support as possible. Thus, we use RPMs and binaries packaged with or compiled for the specific operating system tested.
|Performance Test Configuration|
|Processor(s):||Athlon 64 3500+ Socket 939 (2.2GHz, 512KB Cache)|
|RAM:||2 x 512MB Mushkin PC3500 Level II|
|Hard Drives||Seagate 120GB 7200RPM IDE (8Mb buffer)|
|Video AGP & IDE Bus Master Drivers:||Linux NVIDIA Core Logic: 1.0-275
Linux NVIDIA Graphics: 1.0-5332
Windows 64 bit Graphics: 57.30
Windows 64 bit Core Logic: 4.34a
|Video Card(s):||NVIDIA GeForceFX 5600SE 128MB|
|Operating System(s):||SuSE 9.1 Professional (32/64 bit)
Fedora Core 2 (32/64 bit)
Windows XP SP1 (32/64* bit)
|Motherboards:||NVIDIA NForce3 250 Reference Board|
*Windows XP SP1 64-bit is the February 2004 open beta release.
We attempted to keep our test configuration as close to CPU/Motherboard/Memory Windows test configuration as possible. The only major change that we adopted for this analysis include the change in processor, IDE rather than SATA hard drive, and the NVIDIA GeForceFX video card. We opted for an NVIDIA card over an ATI card for these benchmarks primarily because of 64-bit Linux driver support. We have a Linux video card roundup planned for the future; so, in that article, we can take a better look at where the particular differences lie in video processing.