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Open Benchmark Confirms Mindcraft’s Earlier Study Showing Windows NT Server 4.0 Outperforms Linux


PC Week audited the Open Benchmark with Mindcraft, Red Hat, and Microsoft participating

Los Gatos, California, July 1, 1999: Today, Mindcraft released the results of a PC Week-audited Open Benchmark that confirmed the conclusion of its earlier benchmark that Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 is significantly faster than Red Hat Linux. The full benchmark report is on Mindcraft’s Web site at http://www.mindcraft.com/whitepapers/openbench1.html.

Mindcraft issued the Open Benchmark invitation on May 4, 1999 to members of the Linux community and Microsoft to:

  1. To confirm that Mindcraft's previous testing was unbiased and representative of Linux's performance.
  2. To address concerns raised by the Linux community over Mindcraft’s first and second Windows NT/Linux benchmark.
  3. To compare the performance of the latest Linux software tuned by Linux Experts to Windows NT Server 4.0 in an open environment on the same computer.

John Taschek of PC Week offered to host the Open Benchmark at the Ziff-Davis Labs in Foster City, California and to have PC Week oversee it. Microsoft and Red Hat accepted the invitation and sent technical specialists to participate. Taschek said, "This was an important event from all standpoints. Mindcraft was able to convince members of the Linux community and Microsoft's engineers to shed any differences and undertake this critical performance test. We at PC Week were extremely happy with the outcome and were amazed at the level of professionalism displayed by all the parties. This was no small feat."

In Phase 1 of the Open Benchmark, Mindcraft tuned the Dell PowerEdge 6300/400 server for Linux and Windows NT Server 4.0 just as it did in its second benchmark. In Phase 2, Red Hat engineers tuned Linux, Apache, and Samba to the best of their ability using software that was available at the time of Mindcraft’s second Linux benchmark. The Linux results for the four-processor server for Phases 1 and 2 confirmed that Mindcraft tuned Linux to achieve its peak performance:

  • NetBench (file server test) results: 127.2 Mbits/second throughput for Mindcraft’s tuning and 127.7 Mbits/second for Red Hat’s tuning.
  • WebBench (Web server test) results: 1618 requests/second for Mindcraft’s tuning and 1614 requests/second for Red Hat’s tuning.

In Phase 1, Windows NT Server 4.0 demonstrated 2.4 times the file-server performance of Linux/Samba and 2.6 times the Web-server performance of Linux/Apache.

Phase 3 of the Open Benchmark showed that Windows NT Server 4.0 significantly outperformed the latest version of Linux on both one- and four-processor servers. On a one-processor server, Windows NT Server 4.0 was 1.5 times faster as a file server and 1.4 times faster as a Web server. On a four-processor file server, Windows NT Server 4.0 was 2.7 times faster than Linux for Windows 95-based clients and 1.9 times faster for Windows NT-based clients. On a four-processor Web server, Windows NT Server 4.0 was 2.2 times faster than Linux.

"Hopefully, this Open Benchmark will put to rest the unfounded claims of bias in Mindcraft’s testing," said Mindcraft’s president, Bruce Weiner. "Mindcraft’s clients and others can continue to rely on the fairness and accuracy of our reports. We participated in the Open Benchmark at our own expense. We’ve demonstrated in an open environment with tests audited by an independent party that our second benchmark of Linux and Windows NT Server 4.0 was accurate and that we can tune Linux for peak performance. In addition, we’ve shown that Linux fails to deliver the same level of performance as Windows NT Server 4.0 on a system without resource constraints," Weiner said.


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