Arch Linux offers a wide range of benefits including; bleeding edge software, access to the AUR (arch user repositories) and much more. Installing base Arch on your system may prove to be challenging or intimidating especially if you’re newer to Linux. Luckily, there is plenty of options out there when it comes to getting an Arch based distribution with an easy installer, plenty of tools, and features to help navigate and manage your system.
With that said, in this article what we’re going to be doing is getting the pure Arch Linux and the 3 most popular Arch based systems. Putting them head to head and in a benchmarking and speed test battle. We will ensure that that it is as fair as possible. Using the same kernel and officially supported desktop environments will be a must.
For these tests we will be using XFCE 4.16. The reason I choice this is all the distribution have an official “offline” installer. Also being the XFCE is a lightweight, reliable, and fast desktop it shouldn’t get in the way of the overall performance of these systems.
We will taking a Look at Arch Linux, Manjaro Linux, Garuda Linux, and EndeavourOS. You can see more details in the screenshots below.
Side by side speed testing!
Watch the video above to see the side by side speed testing including; boot speed, reboot, application launching, files, transfers and video rendering. The video will also include the synthetic bench marking, but if you look below you can get all the same numbers.
One thing were going to notice about these synthetic benchmarks is the results are very close. Even within the margin or error in some cases. This is especially true on task specific tests.
The Geekbench score is where we start to see some larger margins. Geekbench run a variety of quick tests to get you general score to compare single and multi-core performance. Everything is fairly close, but we do see Garuda Linux start to fall behind.
Upgrading the Kernel
A question many people have has to do with Kernel versions. There are often performance optimizations and other updates in new kernel version that may help with overall system benchmarks. To test this what we did was use the Manjaro kernel update tool to upgrade from 5.10 to 5.11. Then we re-ran the synthetic benchmark tests. Below you can see the results compared to pure Arch.
|5.11 Kernel Upgrade||Arch Linux 5.11||Manjaro 5.11||Manjaro 5.10|
|Linux Kernel Compile (seconds)||95.752||98.402||98.032|
|Ram Speed (mb/s)||20305||20317||20358|
|Compress Gzip (seconds)||37.2||37.47||37.2|
|Blender bmw27 (sec) (gpu/cpu)||287/159||294/159||289/158|
|Unigine SuperPosition (high)||4562||4589||4564|