Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chromium OS Early Benchmarks - The Results Don't Look Good

Google's Chromium OS hasn't been officially released yet however developers have been working with the recently released source code to compile testbed version of the new OS and so far things look fairly disappointing.

Phoronix took their preview build of the Chromium OS and tested it against Moblin, Fedora 12, openSUSE 11.2 and Ubuntu on a Samsung NC10 and well Chromium's initial numbers just don't look good.

Phronix's tests included H.264 video playback, OpenArena, LZMA compression, 7-Zip compression, IOzone, PostMark, dcraw, OGG Encoding, FFmpeg and x264 video encoding. They also tested for CPU use battery life with Chromium coming in dead last in every single area. Phoronix did admit that some of the test results might be skewed because of various issues.

Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology does not appear to be functioning appropriately under Chromium. Then there is the use of the EXT3 file-system by default in Intel's Moblin and Google's Chromium OS which caused them to suffer in some of the tests compared to the others running with EXT4.

In their conclusion Phoronix said, "It is far too early to say how Google's Chromium OS will perform in the end considering that it is roughly a year out from shipping with any netbooks or other devices. Our first benchmarks of Chromium OS show that its system performance is nothing too spectacular at this time, but we will certainly be looking at its performance again as this Google distribution matures."

I personally have yet to play around with Chromium, personally I don't care much for the Chrome interface which the OS is built largely around. Nor do I care for the "cloud" design that requires applications to be utilized online. That said these early numbers really aren't that surprising. Chrome is very much in the alpha state therefore it hasn't been optimized and tweaked as much as any of the other OS's tested. Then there is also the fact that a lot of the benchmarking done really can't effectively test what a cloud-based operating system is meant to do.

So for now at least I'm going to take these early tests with a grain of salt and remain open to giving it a chance. I say say give it a year, at least let it hit beta and then we can see how it performs. If the numbers are still well below the competition then we can talk.

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