Enterprise Linux Log

Dec 22 2008   3:54PM GMT

Java virtual machine performance: Ubuntu wins over Windows

Leah Rosin Leah Rosin Profile: Leah Rosin

In May we reported results of a Windows Server 2008 power test conducted by Michael Larabel at Phoronix. Last week he released the results of his most recent open source versus Windows test, a test of Java virtual machine performance running in Ubuntu Linux, Windows Vista Premium, and Sun’s OpenJDK.

For this round-up we had used a Dell Inspiron 1525 notebook (PM965 + ICH8M Chipset) with an Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 processor clocked at 2.0GHz, 3GB of DDR2 memory, 250GB Hitachi HTS543225L9A300 HDD, integrated Intel 965 graphics, and a screen resolution of 1280 x 800. On the Windows side we were using Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 while with Ubuntu we were using Ubuntu 8.10 and the stock packages (Linux 2.6.27 kernel, X Server 1.5, etc). Each OS was left to its default settings, including the use of the standard desktop effects.

Larabel’s graphs and detailed technical specifications and analysis tell the full story, but the good news to Linux fans is that Ubuntu was a clear winner, and OpenJDK seemed to hold its own compared to Vista.

Well, Java on Ubuntu was pretty much the hands-down winner compared to Microsoft Windows Vista Premium SP1. Running the Java tests on Ubuntu had experienced significant advantages when it came to file encryption, Fast Fourier Transforms, Successive Over Relaxation, Monte Carlo, and the composite Java SciMark performance. In only the Sunflow test were the results between Ubuntu and Windows even close. With the Java 2D Microbenchmark, Windows was faster but that likely falls on the Intel Linux graphics driver having little in the way of performance optimizations and Java on Linux not yet utilizing the X Render extension.

Comparing Sun’s Java and OpenJDK / IcedTea on Ubuntu had roughly the same performance between the two except for a few areas (FFT and Monte Carlo) where the official JVM was noticeably faster.

Last time we reported on these tests and it appeared that Windows had the lead, you responded. Larabel’s article includes a discussion link, and a brief review of some of the comments reveals that some Windows fans don’t like the results.

Linux got owned where it matters the most: Graphics.

But RealNC’s comment about graphics doesn’t quite align with a recent article reporting the results of the 2008 Linux Graphics Survey compiled by Phoronix.

What do you think? Are Linux graphics lacking? Are you surprised by the Java VM performance?

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