Windows 7 vs Ubuntu 9.10

I love Windows 7 but I can’t give up by favorite Linux OSeither. So, I finally decided to do a Performance Benchmark Showdown to decide who gets to rule on my PC. Probably, everyone knows what’s new in both of them.

I’ve thought long and hard about usage comparison, Windows proves out to be higher on ease of use. On the other side I have years of Windows experience and a lot less with Ubuntu but I still can work with both without any trouble.

Software:

Windows 7

Bunded software is poor, however, lots of free software are available. But most professional (and popular ones) have to be bought at a cost. (Check Windows 7 review for details)

Ubuntu 9.10

Comes complete with an excellent array of software that you will use in day-to-day life. Access to, and installing, new software is a snap using synaptics package manager and my favorite. In fact this is the same technology that is used on Jailbroken iPhones Cydiaapp, so you know how easy it is. However, on the bad side, if you are a windows user willing to migrate, you can run most windows apps but not all using Wine.

Media Support

Both Platforms have good support for Media Formats and more codecs can be added with Ease. Playing FullHD 1080p content on both gives smooth 30fps.

Hardware support

Windows 7

On the whole, Windows 7 offers excellent support for modern hardware right out of the box. You might be out of luck with old hardware

Ubuntu 9.10

Overall, hardware support is good, and getting better. On really low-end hardware you can substitute Ubuntu for Xubuntu. There are no guarantees. Newer hardware may find incompatibilities.

No matter what we try to compare, everything on both platforms, they are more or less equal. So what could be the distinguishing point? It’s Performance and that’s what we talk about in detail.

Test System

My new Sony VAIO CW16 Notebook:

Hardware:

  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.53 Ghz @ 1066Mhz FSB
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3,
  • Graphics: Nvidia GEFORCE GT 230M 512MB (16 stream processors) GPU

This is a great gaming notebook on budget, ideal for Desktop use.

Results:

1. Basic Tests- Winner: Ubuntu 9.1

  1. Installation Time (Trivial)
  2. Diskspace Used
  3. Boot Time
  4. Shutdown time

2. I/O Performance Tests – Winner: Ubuntu

  1. File Copy from External Drive to Internal 1GB in Size
  2. Bulk File copy each 10kb in size
  3. 1GB File Transfer average speed over Ethernet Network 100Mbps

3. Gaming Performance, Winner: Windows 7

  • Unreal Tournament (UT) 1280×720
  • Call of Duty 4 (COD4) 1280×720
  • Need For Speed Most Wanted (NFSMW) 1280×720

Basic TestsWindows 7Ubuntu 9.10Installation Time (minutes)3524Diskspace Used (GB)7.92.4Boot time (seconds)4532Shutdown Time (seconds)97I/O (MB/s)File Copy (1GB size)28.231.3Bulk File Copy (10kb size)5.65.1Network Transfer (1GB) via 100mbps10.79.2Gaming (fps) 1280×720UT (FPS)165110Call of Duty 4 (FPS)13592NFS Most Wanted (FPS)14195Idle RAM Usage (MB)120300

Update: Compared Native Unreal Tournament  on Ubuntu to the one using Wine, FPS increased by 6-7%, the difference between Win7 & Ubuntu is still significant. Since other games are not available natively, we’ve to compare via Wine.

Clearly, except for Gaming and Networking performance, Win7 loses everywhere. There is a huge difference in frames per second (FPS) you get on Windows 7 because of Direct X 11.

Inside DirectX 11 – The Technology in Detail

Direct X11 is Microsoft proprietary and much more mature than any other graphics acceleration standard. Hence, Gaming on Windows will always be superior.

VERDICT:

All said and done, if you need performance, Ubuntu is for you. If you are looking on Gaming, and a default good Look and feel, you have no other choice than Windows.

We write latest in Tech: Google, Open Source, Ubuntu, Windows 7, get them via Twitter updates, or RSS or below:


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  • JOKe

    What emulation software you've used for gaming tests in ubuntu ?

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    • No emulation, all are Real world tests with texture set to medium-high, All FPS are averages on that detail

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      • Does Ubuntu supports these games without any emulator?… How?…. Then COD and these EA games must be available for free…. seems like a joke.. Can you enlighten and guide me in Ubuntu Sir?. I'm still a beginner

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        • Ankur: Software running on Linux doesn't have to be free or open-source.

          He probably used wine to run the Games on Linux. It's not possible to run DirectX 10 or 11 on wine, so he had to use DirectX 9. Games that require DirectX 10 won't run on Linux at all.

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          • Exactly. I used wine + playonlinux mod
            and wine is not emulator 🙂 just like GNU not unix

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          • oh cool.. right… Wine Is Not Emulator… I thought it was. Then, it clears my doubt too. Thanks to make me aware of that, Evidently, I took it as Windows Emulator from myself.

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          • Then I was correct.. wasn't i?. WinE (Windows Emulator) is emulator itself… When we say we used wine, then we can't expect to get free softs. because they contain Win tag with them. And Arnold, root softs. in linux are always free, that's the reason they are called open source… no-one is having perception to pay for pidgin or Gstreamers.
            PS: Arnold certainly knows this all.. but still, this explanation is for comment readers.

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          • Tyler

            Ankur… WINE stands for “Wine Is Not An Emulator”… it uses reverse engineering to achieve compatability with windows software why dont you research a bit before you just assume

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          • Tor Djärv

            ther is a UT 2004 edition for linux

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  • beeman

    Nice review 🙂

    Only the Idle ram in Linux won't tell you a thing, Linux always consumes almost all of your ram 🙂

    http://www.novell.com/coolsolutions/qna/2327.html

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  • sickmind

    What about ubuntu 9.10 vs windows server 08 r2 on IO performance?
    I'm sure there's something to analyze, like the linux's IO caching which is use the RAM's size to increase it's throughput. Only windows server class has this kind of benefit.

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  • Lukasz

    “except for Gaming and networking performance, Win7 loses everywhere”
    loses in instalation time??-> once a 6 or more months. Booting or closing is not so important for me as i boot my computer once a day (loosing 12 seconds vs Ubuntu, making coffe meanwhile). I spent most time on Internet and developing(Visual Studio works great, Eclipse too), some time gaming that is not comfortable in Ubuntu(Wine does not supports every game). So is really Win 7 a looser?

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    • I never quoted Win 7 is a loser. Read from start, All it meant was: “In all application performance” win7 loses. Everywhere else Both are equivalent: Features,apps,etc.

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      • Argh… not again. It's really annoying to see people's immaturity whenever Mac/Windows/Linux posts surfaces out. Guys, give it a hold… it's thing to grasp in head and explore about, not to make fuss over it. If you are sticked with your opinion then better you to support then cursing others.

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  • Good comparison dude. If you want to look at this comparison based on different factors, you can take a look at my article..”Windows 7 is a worthy successor to Windows XP..”

    http://snastavirs.blogspot.com/2009/11/battle-o

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  • Ti-Paul

    Never compare games or any other software that are not native.

    Thus, to compare games on Linux VS Windows, you must install the Linux version of the game.

    As for UnrealTournament game, there is a Linux version.
    This one should be compared with the Windows version.

    Everything running under Wine should not be considered. (Processes under Wine are slowed down… like running Linux under a virtual machine on Windows)…

    As for the installation time, this is not cricital for OS “Usage”… 😉

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  • Hi Taranfx,
    I think ubuntu is better then windows.I used both of them and i like to work on ubuntu.it's little difficult but it is more safe thne windows. inter net is working extremely good on ubuntu.

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  • Tor Djärv

    What do you mean with “Features” (Features can be what ever you want it to be)?

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  • Apopas

    For network cmparison you used what? Samba? Because this will give a great bonus to win7.

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    • Ubuntu also has samba 🙂

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      • Apopas

        Yes, but Samba is for networking whatever is Wine for games.

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    • Guest

      Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 both are the leading operating systems, and they have there own features.

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  • Apopas

    The installation time also is tricky, since win7 will isntall only themselves and few apps, while Ubuntu will install everything a user needs at once.

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  • sam

    Don't even go there. Funny title tho. Windows 7 vs Ubuntu (whatever version).

    Looks like the author has run-out of articles.

    How's this for comparision;

    Windows 7 installation can be repaired. Can ubuntu do that?
    NO – once it decides not to boot, what do you do? Re-install?

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    • Apopas

      You can repair Ubuntu installation as well. That's what the recovery option is for. But is rare the need for it. Also, a new installation of Ubuntu is even faster than a win7 repair.

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    • dave

      U can also use SuperGrub to fix most boot problems.

      http://www.supergrubdisk.org/

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    • Narendran

      u can use the live CD to fix it. Or just a simple System Rescue CD.

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  • smithjame

    Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 both are the leading
    operating systems, and they have there own
    features. But my favourite is Windows 7.

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  • dave

    I'm using Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10. Ubuntu finds my network effortlessly unlike Windows 7 lately. Ubuntu uses very little ram when idle and most of the time in general.

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  • Peter Ridgers

    Do the startup and performance tests include windows virus, spyware and malware programs – if so which ones?

    I clean my windows registry and hard disk every day and run virus sweeps on every internet dowload and foreign program install – i never clean my linux machines and never bother about viruses. I still have a fully utilised pentium 2 red hat database server (postgesql and mySQL) – heavily used almost never turned off and as fast now as when it was new.

    My experience of Linux (since 1998), including desktop and server use (Red Hat, Fedora, and various Debian variants) is if you pay attention to the hardware compatibility lists and install it right it just runs and runs and runs, does not slow down and does not give you blue screen or black screen pain. However, I use my machines for business and programming and not for gaming ……

    So, I would be interested to see benchmark timing comparisons averaged over a five year 24/7/52 (ie never willingly turned off) performance cycle.

    It sounds as though I am simply knocking windows – but I am not. I only run one windows machine (xp pro) – it is five years old, used almost every day (mainly for Sage accounts and a bit of visual studio programming) and still feels as fast as when I bought it. But it does take more tlc than my linux machines.

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  • Peter Ridgers

    Do the startup and performance tests include windows virus, spyware and malware programs – if so which ones?

    I clean my windows registry and hard disk every day and run virus sweeps on every internet dowload and foreign program install – i never clean my linux machines and never bother about viruses. I still have a fully utilised pentium 2 red hat database server (postgesql and mySQL) – heavily used almost never turned off and as fast now as when it was new.

    My experience of Linux (since 1998), including desktop and server use (Red Hat, Fedora, and various Debian variants) is if you pay attention to the hardware compatibility lists and install it right it just runs and runs and runs, does not slow down and does not give you blue screen or black screen pain. However, I use my machines for business and programming and not for gaming ……

    So, I would be interested to see benchmark timing comparisons averaged over a five year 24/7/52 (ie never willingly turned off) performance cycle.

    It sounds as though I am simply knocking windows – but I am not. I only run one windows machine (xp pro) – it is five years old, used almost every day (mainly for Sage accounts and a bit of visual studio programming) and still feels as fast as when I bought it. But it does take more tlc than my linux machines.

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  • Howe

    The game test is useless since the 3 games were heavily optimized to be run under windows but not at *all* for linux, they are simply “bare ports”.

    To be fair you should use games whose engines are paltform neutral in terms of optimizations.

    Howe

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    • Apopas

      He didn't use the linux ports at all. But the windows ports with Wine.

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  • Steve

    Dude, Nexuiz runs natively on both platforms. I get less FPS on Win, but I used VISTA (which is a crappy piece of software), but if you like you can test yourself. BTW it is a pretty kool game too.
    Network-wise I also get higher speed with Ubuntu.
    But I am not installing Win 7. Paying for a patch (or software pack if you prefer) is not my game. VISTA was the end for me….

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  • dranger

    Ubuntu can come close to windows only if the terminal is removed

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    • Tor

      Their is a “Terminal” in windows too but it is not as use full. It would be bether if you wouldn't have to use it.

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      • anony

        You don't “have” to use it in Ubuntu either…anyways. Windows' “terminal” is a piece of shit. It's extremely limited..it can do about as much as I cant count on one or two hands.

        You don't want to use the terminal? don't. I think what you are thinking of, are the more customization options that linux offers but windows does not (at all), but it is sometimes available through the terminal only.

        Although not really, because in linux mostly the configuration option-changing, is just editing a text file. Complicated? hardly…especially if you follow guides for $whateveryouwanttodo

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    • duble08

      by allowing ubuntu to have a terminal, your not really losing any features, you're actually allowing more flexibility with the OS for things you can't always do with a GUI. By removing the terminal, i don't see how ubuntu would get better, i just see you eventually reducing the flexibility of the OS, kind of like microsoft is doing. Sometimes the old ways are the good ways.. I agree using a GUI is easier to use and adapt to, but by removing the terminal you're not necessarily making anything better. I personally loved win7 when i first tried it, until i realized they crippled my recording ability (there's an unfixable delay) and that's when i tried ubuntu – i can say after 20 years of me being a steady windows/dos user, i'm never going back after running ubuntu – i game with ubuntu too, and am totally satisfied 🙂

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  • lavezarez

    Some points of comparison also:
    1. Virus / malware infection rate: Which OS is more susceptible to infection and data damage? And you have to spend for antivirus/antispyware?
    2. Need for data maintenance: Which OS needs to be defragmented, have its registry cleaned, has greater rate of slowdown as the the hard disk and usage increases over months and years?

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  • sendok

    unfair, testing games based on windows games (not multiplatform), on linux this testing will reduce the performance of the game because it uses wine (wine not just for run games, also some apps/softwr 2), i think itz normal. testing should use games that can be played with good, without help of software to run it, in other words can be played in both OS or have a separate version for each OS. does not mean gamers should always play games on windows. because so many games for linux with a pretty good graphics 2. but anyway and yes games that come with Dx11 have a very good view. however Linux its Free “Time to broke the Gates Bill! and ur windows 2” 😉 -The Power of OpenSource-

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  • andre

    i love ubuntu

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  • Nice test, but it seems that some content is from ZDNet? Anyway, nice Performance Test.

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  • Windows 7 and Ubuntu 9.10 both are the leading operating systems.

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  • Fatima Olarte

    whats the main difference of windows 7 to ubuntu?

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  • I find that my Dell computer has more power in Ubuntu than Windows. The Linux operating system does perform better.

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  • I find that my Dell computer has more power in Ubuntu than Windows. The Linux operating system does perform better.

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