Multi-Core, Multi-OS Scaling Performance

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Hardware

In this article we are looking at how Linux, OpenSolaris, and FreeBSD scale across multiple cores. Benchmarked are CentOS 5.5, Fedora 14, PC-BSD/FreeBSD 8.1, and OpenIndiana b148 as we see how the performance differs when running on one, two, three, four, and six cores, plus when Intel Hyper Threading is enabled.

To do this comparison the Intel Core i7 970 "Gulftown" processor was used, which boasts six physical cores plus Hyper Threading. With the ASRock X58 SuperComputer motherboard, from the BIOS the number of enabled cores can be adjusted as well as toggling Hyper Threading. CentOS, Fedora, PC-BSD, and OpenIndiana were tested in their stock OS configurations, aside from building GCC 4.5.1 on each of these operating systems to have a similar compiler across platforms.

Aside from all operating systems being tested with the GNU Compiler Collection 4.5.1 release, CentOS 5.5 has the Linux 2.6.18-194.el5 kernel, GNOME 2.16.0, X.Org Server 7.1.1, and an EXT3 file-system. Fedora 14 has the Linux 2.6.35.6 kernel, GNOME 2.32.0, X.Org Server 1.9.0, and an EXT4 file-system. PC-BSD 8.1 has the FreeBSD 8.1 packages including the 8.1-RELEASE kernel, KDE 4.4.5, X.Org Server 1.7.5, and a UFS file-system.

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