Sunday, January 25, 2009

Linux has better throughput?

The other day, I saw news item at slashdot where people mentioned that Linux seemed to perform better that Windows on network throughput. Some attributed it to the ISP throttling the bandwidth for the first few minutes where as others mentioned that the Linux network drivers seemed to be configured to maximize network performance where as the Windows settings are sub-par.

An indepth article depicting based on actual data is provided which eventually leads to thinking perhaps, you should tweak your windows network settings...

Though people had complained that both the machines tested had slightly different specs and hence the performance results could be skewed, I have been browsing on both a windows PC and a linux box and it does look like (no systematic tests conducted!) the throughput that I get on a Linux PC is much higher than as experienced on the windows PC so far.

The windows PC or laptop has 512MB RAM and is an Intel Centreno Duo 1.66GHz where as the Linux Box is a older AMD Athlon XP @ 2.66GHz with 384 MB of Memory. Both connect via the wireless. The few parameters which may make a difference are:
  • The XP box is laptop which may compromize for space rather than for performance
  • The Desktop has a higher MHz rating
  • Virus scanner on the laptop may bring down the performance. The Linux box has no such apps hogging memory or CPU bandwidth.
  • Network adapter differences - The desktop has a netgear wlan card which may offer better performance
So, based on these parameter differences, it looks like we would have to take the observation with a pinch of salt. On the better side, as more and more news and comparisons of different OSes gain popularity, it is the users who would stand to benefit.

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