Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby XidCat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:02 am

Went over to the dark side for a couple of weeks. Was using Mint 8 x64 exclusively and bought a copy of Win7 (have to keep current for work). I have a Phenom Quad Core w/6 GB RAM. Under Win7, CPU load is a constant 10% w/35% RAM in use on boot. Stock install and added NOD32 AV. After browsing, (Flash, Java sites included), with any browser (I used Opera, FF, IE8, Maxthon, Chrome), my CPU and RAM usage steadily climb and are not completely released when shutting down the program. Moving multiple large files between HDDs is slow and renders the computer almost useless to do anything else. My computer's main cooling fan is on demand, and running Mint, I never heard it run, under Win7, it is constantly kicking on. I think my computer will burn cooler and last longer with Mint :D . I reboot Win7 once a day to free RAM and CPU cycles. After doing some reading on the 'Net, I find that this is not uncommon. When I boot Mint 8, I am using about 500MB RAM (<10%) and my CPU is at 0 on boot. I can browse, use e-mail, edit vids, do whatever and I have never seen my CPU go over 40-45% and computer is always usable (ie doesn't slow to a crawl under the load). I can leave the box on for days, weeks and it never heats up to where the fan kicks in and it never needs a reboot to free RAM or CPU cycles.
"Contrariwise", continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."

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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby FedoraRefugee on Wed Mar 17, 2010 8:52 am

XidCat wrote:Went over to the dark side for a couple of weeks. Was using Mint 8 x64 exclusively and bought a copy of Win7 (have to keep current for work). I have a Phenom Quad Core w/6 GB RAM. Under Win7, CPU load is a constant 10% w/35% RAM in use on boot. Stock install and added NOD32 AV. After browsing, (Flash, Java sites included), with any browser (I used Opera, FF, IE8, Maxthon, Chrome), my CPU and RAM usage steadily climb and are not completely released when shutting down the program. Moving multiple large files between HDDs is slow and renders the computer almost useless to do anything else. My computer's main cooling fan is on demand, and running Mint, I never heard it run, under Win7, it is constantly kicking on. I think my computer will burn cooler and last longer with Mint :D . I reboot Win7 once a day to free RAM and CPU cycles. After doing some reading on the 'Net, I find that this is not uncommon. When I boot Mint 8, I am using about 500MB RAM (<10%) and my CPU is at 0 on boot. I can browse, use e-mail, edit vids, do whatever and I have never seen my CPU go over 40-45% and computer is always usable (ie doesn't slow to a crawl under the load). I can leave the box on for days, weeks and it never heats up to where the fan kicks in and it never needs a reboot to free RAM or CPU cycles.


That is interesting, especially as you have a very new computer! On my HP dv6700 laptop I am running a Turion X2 64 bit TL-60 with Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit and 3GB of RAM. The computer (OS) has been up for 4 days now (I was in the Mint desktop 4 days ago) and only sleeps when I shut the lid. My CPU usage will rest around 1%-3% but my RAM also sits at 32%??? :?: Even funnier is there is not much I can do to spike it! It sits there pretty solid.

TBH, this is the first time I ever monitored my usage on Windows 7. I have been running this install since late November of last year and have 0 complaints. So far it has easily handled whatever I have thrown at it, though admittedly they are lighter laptop duties. Even moving larger multi-GB files has no effect on the OS, I can easily do other things while it crunches on something. I usually have 5-6 apps open at the same time, streaming music, web browser, Office, calculator, e-sword...I have simply never bogged this OS down.

Also, I have the opposite cooling problem than you do. With Mint booted my fan runs much more and the laptop runs hotter. Not enough to worry, but it is noticeable. Also, battery life is not as good with Mint. These two things combined are one of the bigger influences that keeps me in Win 7 on this laptop. I am also used to 7 and for this application I believe I even prefer it. I run Linux on all my other computers (other than my wife's Vista Ultimate laptop) and enjoy Linux...But on this laptop I stick with Windows.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby XidCat on Wed Mar 17, 2010 9:33 am

@FedoraRefugee...

One of those YMMV things I guess... :lol:

I'm using 64 bit Win7 which may have a lot to do with it. My wife put 32 bit Win 7 on her 2 year old Dell laptop. She had Mint 8, but she has some things for school she absolutely needs Windows for, so I bought Win7 for her. Win7 32 bit runs great on the Dell, she has none of the RAM/CPU issues I have. She has had the same experience as you, under Win7, the battery does last longer and it runs cooler (thereby extending battery life because the fan runs less :?: ).

She only has one HDD, so she doesn't do file transfers. I was transferring files to an external HDD via Firewire and it was so slow (Windows reported 8 Mb/sec). I tried moving several large files (>1Gb) to an internal eSATA HDD, and Win reported 18 Mb/sec. I hit cancel and Explorer crashed. Then everytime I went into Explorer and right clicked something, it would crash again, forcing me to reboot. :shock: After the reboot, when I was transferring files, it pegged my CPU so bad, it took Firefox over a minute to open. I hit cancel again, and before I knew it, I was chasing my tail... :roll:

I'm going to keep Win7 on my machine for reference, but I'm going to reinstall Mint 8 on a dual boot today... Good to be back home 8)
"Contrariwise", continued Tweedledee, "if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn't, it ain't. That's logic."

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, Chapter 4
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby pallabbasu on Tue May 11, 2010 10:47 am

Mint 8 is definately slower to boot than windows 7 in my HP Dv6214, 64 bit, 3GB ram. Interestingly there isalso a few seconds delay after entering login and password. Gnome takes 7-10 sec to boot, where as windows ui takes much lower.

Also in Ubuntu 9.10 and Ubuntu 10.04 gnome login is faster than Mint 8. Is there any reason why it should be so?
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby hinto on Tue May 11, 2010 12:44 pm

Unless you run games or need high-end graphics, you can export the existing Win7 partition to a VMWare virtual machine and run it inside of Mint.
I do that. At home, I have an XP vm. At work I run Win7 vm. Both use 64-bit Mint as host.
I did search around and hand "tweak" the vmx file (VMware's virtual hardware description) so I get no video and audio lag.
FWIW, I went to CW's web site and watched Smallville in highdef (after installing their custom player) using my XP vm. There were no lags or drop outs.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby randomizer on Tue May 11, 2010 8:02 pm

FedoraRefugee wrote:My CPU usage will rest around 1%-3% but my RAM also sits at 32%??? :?:

Since Vista they use a different memory management technique that caches alot of things before you start them, so that's probably why it's appearing high. If the RAM is needed it will be freed though.

pallabbasu wrote:Mint 8 is definately slower to boot than windows 7 in my HP Dv6214, 64 bit, 3GB ram

I've found Mint 9 RC1 boots in a similar time off my WD Caviar Black as Win 7 does off my OCZ Vertex SSD. But I have a bit of bloat in my Windows installation now (as well as not allowing idle-time Garbage Collection to clean up my SSD); it would certainly beat Mint's boot time if it was fresh. I don't even see the welcome screen on a fresh install. It's still impressive for Mint though considering my HDD isn't lightning fast.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby JonM33 on Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:53 am

acithium wrote:Let me start by saying that I've been using Linux for sometime now. I'm always talking it up to people that I know. I mean, I even have the Debian coffee cup at work (yea, I'm that guy). The problem comes when people use linux for the first time. They always say "it's slower than windows", and their right. Just try it with Firefox. Firefox opens in windows a lot faster than Linux. I've tried a couple of different distros and I find this to be true. I always come back with the common response of "yea, but my system has A LOT more uptime and stability than windows ever will." Most people don't really care about uptime because they shut their computer down (especially if it's a laptop) daily, stability is a big deal to most.

I guess my question is: What is the best way to make linux more responsive through the desktop (I currently use Gnome)?

-Acithium


Actually, people don't shut their laptops down. They generally close the lid which puts the laptop to sleep. :wink:
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby ibm450 on Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:55 am

i found linux to be very slow to come out of hibernation, its like its practically reloading from a cold boot.

w7 on the other hand resumes as fast as linux from suspension mode (almost instant)

ive come to realise and accept that there is no denying that linux in general is most definitely way slower then windows.

i agree that linux boots faster then w7 from cold boot (i mean big woppy doo) but 90% of the time people just close the lid on their laptops (like myself) to either suspend / hibernate and even then w7 resumes much faster then linux from hibernation.

iv never had BSOD from either xp nor w7 so i think majority of people MUST accept that windows is VERY stable indeed.

take the AV, malware and firewall away from w7 and i guarantee w7 is and will be way way way much faster then linux. now if you were to add the same background services to linux (av, malwares etc) i bet your left nut that linux will be even slower then what it is now.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby Acid_1 on Mon Jun 28, 2010 1:51 pm

ibm450 wrote:i found linux to be very slow to come out of hibernation, its like its practically reloading from a cold boot.

w7 on the other hand resumes as fast as linux from suspension mode (almost instant)

ive come to realise and accept that there is no denying that linux in general is most definitely way slower then windows.

i agree that linux boots faster then w7 from cold boot (i mean big woppy doo) but 90% of the time people just close the lid on their laptops (like myself) to either suspend / hibernate and even then w7 resumes much faster then linux from hibernation.

iv never had BSOD from either xp nor w7 so i think majority of people MUST accept that windows is VERY stable indeed.

take the AV, malware and firewall away from w7 and i guarantee w7 is and will be way way way much faster then linux. now if you were to add the same background services to linux (av, malwares etc) i bet your left nut that linux will be even slower then what it is now.


I'm sure if more effort was put into developing code for suspend/hibernate that it wouldn't be as long.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby JonM33 on Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:31 pm

ibm450 wrote:iv never had BSOD from either xp nor w7 so i think majority of people MUST accept that windows is VERY stable indeed.


Windows is stable. BSODs are caused by hardware or driver problems, neither of which is a Microsoft Windows problem.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/27/nvid ... hes-in-20/

I had plenty of BSOD crashes in Windows XP, Windows Vista and even had one in Windows 7. The Windows 7 crash was caused by the Logitech drivers for my webcam. The specific driver was the one that enabled the webcam to filter background noises. It was causing Windows 7 to BSOD every time. I disabled that option in the Logitech software for the webcam and no more BSOD.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby vincent on Mon Jun 28, 2010 11:53 pm

Acid_1 wrote:
ibm450 wrote:i found linux to be very slow to come out of hibernation, its like its practically reloading from a cold boot.

w7 on the other hand resumes as fast as linux from suspension mode (almost instant)

ive come to realise and accept that there is no denying that linux in general is most definitely way slower then windows.

i agree that linux boots faster then w7 from cold boot (i mean big woppy doo) but 90% of the time people just close the lid on their laptops (like myself) to either suspend / hibernate and even then w7 resumes much faster then linux from hibernation.

iv never had BSOD from either xp nor w7 so i think majority of people MUST accept that windows is VERY stable indeed.

take the AV, malware and firewall away from w7 and i guarantee w7 is and will be way way way much faster then linux. now if you were to add the same background services to linux (av, malwares etc) i bet your left nut that linux will be even slower then what it is now.


I'm sure if more effort was put into developing code for suspend/hibernate that it wouldn't be as long.


Actually, from what I've heard, there have been improvements with suspending in the 2.6.34 kernel...something to do with suspending stuff in parallel. Don't know how effective it is though...
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby ibm450 on Tue Jun 29, 2010 2:41 am

Actually, from what I've heard, there have been improvements with suspending in the 2.6.34 kernel...something to do with suspending stuff in parallel. Don't know how effective it is though...


oh ok, that sound like good news...how does one upgrade to the latest kernel? atm im running .32-22
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby Acid_1 on Tue Jun 29, 2010 6:09 am

ibm450 wrote:
Actually, from what I've heard, there have been improvements with suspending in the 2.6.34 kernel...something to do with suspending stuff in parallel. Don't know how effective it is though...


oh ok, that sound like good news...how does one upgrade to the latest kernel? atm im running .32-22


You could use kernel-check, but I haven't had any luck with that lately. I have to go to work right now but a quick Google result was this. Haven't had time to read it really but seems thorough.

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=85917
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby vincent on Tue Jun 29, 2010 5:08 pm

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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby blito on Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:20 pm

just to add a little more to the speed vs windows thing -
My partner runs Win XP on her lappie (celeron 1.6Ghz), i use mint 8 on the desktop (p4 2.8Ghz).
We had a "race" from cold booting to see which was faster. XP loaded the gui quicker than mint but took an age to gather its wireless network etc, resulting in mint actually being usable quicker.
In operation there is little to choose between the two. We both prefer mint to XP but "colagirl" uses MSN video conferencing a lot and so needs Windoze :(
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby axel668 on Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:20 am

It's not !!!
My Mint9 LXDE is much faster than XP - Installed faster, boots faster, runs Firefox faster, has faster file operations, and on and on and on and ... heard that sometimes WIN users have more FPS under Windows for gaming, but as I'm not much of a gamer I couldn't care less (FPS in nethack is fine).
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby libssd on Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:32 am

In my experience, each release has been faster; Mint 9/Ubuntu 10.04 are significantly faster than Windows.

Acer D150 Netbook, 32gb OCZ Vertex SSD
Boot <20 seconds (from start of grub to WiFi connect)
Shutdown <5 seconds
Wake up from suspend ~2 seconds
Launch most apps 2-4 seconds

Note, re wakeup comment above, "suspend" and "hibernate" are completely different functions; the latter writes everything to disk, and is much slower to wake up from. Also, with Linux, you need 2gb swap partition for hibernate to work. I never use hibernate, so I set aside only 256mb for swap (which hardly ever gets used).
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby xenobrain on Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:34 am

Well, Linux isn't slower than Windows. It only seems like it. Many benchmarks show processing and IO throughput is similar or better.

So why does it feel more sluggish? Windows has a few tricks that makes it more responsive for desktop use.

The first is that that by default the interface runs at a higher priority than it does on Linux, and will choke the processing of programs not running in the foreground. Linux tries to be more fair to every program wanting CPU time (running at the same priority levels of course).

The second has been mentioned- Prefetching, or loading programs and files into RAM before they are asked for. Windows just wins here, period. I didn't spot any mention of the preload daemon in this thread, which can help a Linux OS with this somewhat, but it's not at the level of Windows Vista's Superfetch and can actually slow down performance in some cases (in my case, actually).

Regarding firefox, the windows version uses PGO or Profile Guided Optimization. This makes for a faster startup and snappier performance in Windows. It's not linux's fault as PGO can be used here too, it's just must distro maintainers don't compile firefox with it.


So how to make Linux feel more responsive. First thing would be to get a kernel with the Con Kolivas patchset, I won't provide a guide here since they are available elsewhere, but I will say it works wonders. It's a very tangible inprovement in responsiveness, as the cost of slightly lower cpu and io throughput. While it has a lot of tricks to achieve this, the main one is the BFS cpu scheduler, which you can read about here.

Second would be to grab a firefox build with PGO. That should bring it to the level of the windows build.

And third, the preload daemon may or may not help, but it's worth a try if application startup time is an issue for you. Be aware it takes a few days to start showing improvements, if it does.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby randomizer on Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:22 am

If you enable a preemptible kernel it should also aid responsiveness at the cost of throughput, without needing to find fancy patched kernels.
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Re: Why is Linux a bit slower than windows

Postby fbobraga on Tue Aug 03, 2010 7:28 am

acithium wrote:(...) The problem comes when people use linux for the first time. They always say "it's slower than windows", and their right. Just try it with Firefox. Firefox opens in windows a lot faster than Linux. I've tried a couple of different distros and I find this to be true. I always come back with the common response of "yea, but my system has A LOT more uptime and stability than windows ever will." Most people don't really care about uptime because they shut their computer down (especially if it's a laptop) daily, stability is a big deal to most. (...)


The responsiveness of the GUI is more visible in some-years-old computers and fullscreen flash movies, in Youtube: my dad's HP laptop (a Pavilion ez2000 - celeron processor with 512MB of RAM) with XP can handle it easily (after the 10 min startup, when it's usable), but in Mint 9 LXDE (dual-booted in the machine) not...
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