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Old 05-27-2003, 07:11 PM   #1
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Registered: May 2003
Distribution: mandrake, suse
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Real-life speed diference between 386,586 and 686 optimized distros

Distros are optimized on a wide variety of x86 architectures. It would be nice to see people's experiences about real-life speed differences between distros optimized for different hardware.
Here are the some popular binary-based distros:
RedHat9 - 386,
Mandrake9 - 586,
Slackware9 - 386,
Debian3 - 386,
Vector3.2 - 686,
Suse8.1 - 586
Arch0.4 - 686
Libranet2.8 - 386

I have had experience only with RH8 and MDK8.2. The speed difference between the systems was almost nonexistant..Ok perhaps MDK was a tiny bit faster...
What are your observations?
Old 05-28-2003, 09:52 AM   #2
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Registered: Nov 2000
Location: Seattle, WA USA
Distribution: Ubuntu @ Home, RHEL @ Work
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I think the major speed increases often times has nothing to do with the platform the system is running. I have used Mandrake (i586), Slackware (i386), and Gentoo (i686) boxes. Gentoo was slightly more responsive then Slackware but they were both far more responsive then Mandrake. I think the issue was with all default installs slackware and gentoo were running far less crap then mandrake. Gentoo also has the advantage of a few kernel modifications that make it better for desktop usage.

All in all GCC isn't that great at optimizing code for a particular processor but there technically should be some kind fo speed up.
Old 05-28-2003, 06:23 PM   #3
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Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Debian, Free/OpenBSD
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My LFS is optimized for i686, debian isn't. I don't see much performance increase on LFS, but the idea is nice .
Old 05-28-2003, 06:37 PM   #4
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Registered: Mar 2003
Location: New Jersey
Distribution: Arch Linux
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I dont really see that much speed increase. But I know when I compiled GNOME by hand, (i686) it was a lot more responsive than the default Slack packages.

That said, on 99% of things, I cant tell any difference.

On Slack: It IS compiled for i386, but its optimized for i686 , so your losing very little "performance". And, Slackware 9 was never really i386 compliant anyway.

I wouldnt worry about it. Ive tried distros of all arcs, and I cant really tell on most things.

Distros(Yoper ) mostly use the i686 compiling to make the distro sound faster and more up-to-date, or to easily get away from supporting old machines.
Old 06-19-2003, 12:21 PM   #5
Registered: Feb 2003
Location: atlanta ga usa
Distribution: suse 8.2
Posts: 78

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i have gentoo 1.4, suse 8.2, and rh 9 on seperate 20g hard drs(all 7200rpm) running on the same machine. gentoo is optimized by use flags for the specific processor. openoffice apps
load faster in gentoo, browsers are a tad faster, etc.
i dont know if this is really due to gentoo optimization or because
i didnt install gentoo with every bit of software known to man, like i did with suse and redhat(boxed versions).
the app loading speed differences are noticable but not earth shattering. oh yeah, all gnome.


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