As a new user, I want to say how _very_ impressed I am with the performance
Readers of alt.os.linux.mandrake have been hearing the saga of my inherited
1996 PC for several months now. Maybe the latest twist would be of interest
to some here.
The box started life in 1996, with a 120MHz Cyrix 686 (a sub Pentium I
clone), running W95. Since it wasn't up to running NT4.0 it was replaced by
a faster machine and passed on to a friend. I found it again in March,
sitting in a corner gathering dust. I guess this fate has befallen many
perfectly usable computers - you can even write a 3 year old computer off
agaist tax Germany.
Since I needed a 2nd computer, I took it home again and tried to install
Linux on it. The box has now gone through these itterations. Redhat 7.1
(didn't work), Redhat 7.2 (failed too), Slackware 7 (crude install but
worked), (upgraded 128MB EDO memory) Mandrake 8.1, (hard disk upgrade)
Mandrake 8.2, (CPU clocked) Mandrake 8.2 + (CPU replaced by PentiumMMX 166)
Mandrake is beautiful to install and maintain but the performance for KDE
was often sluggish, even with the faster CPU and 128MB memory.
So out of curiousity I installed FreeBSD - not too easy since I got caught
by the CD DMA problem, but once it was running .... Jeepers! The box
behaves as if it were an P4 on steroids.
The performance, especially for KDE3, is nothing short of astounding
compared to Linux. KDE initalisation took around 2 minutes under Linux. It
takes around 15-20 seconds under FreeBSD which is about as fast as an
AthlonXP 1800 box running Linux. Applications are not just noticably
faster, they are so much faster I can now run programs, like glchess, that
near killed the same box under Linux. I'll try to run some benchmarks but
subjectively, from GUI userland, I would say the box feels as if the CPU
clock had been trippled or quadrupled.
Mandrake is not the fastest Linux but I won't them for sluggish performance,
since even good old Slackware was massively slower than FreeBSD. Anyone
care to offer an oppinion why the same hardware/software appears so much
faster under the FreeBSD kernel? Is UFS so much faster than ext3 ? (sure
the journaling is an overhead but I didn't notice so much difference
compared to ext2).
The range of packages availble for FBSD is also excellent. I'm particularly
grateful for the full Ruby implementation.
I believe I'm going to continue using FBSD ... looks like I'm a convert.