It is often claimed that Arch Linux is faster than Ubuntu. So, the guys over at Phoronix, decided to test if it is really true.
They put Ubuntu 10.04 against Arch Linux 2010.5 using their Phoronix Test Suite. They did a clean installation of Arch 2010.5 and Ubuntu 10.04. They also tested an Ubuntu 10.04 installation upgraded with the Maverick (10.10) packages.
They found out that both are have almost the identical performance. The only test where the performance of Arch Linux is significantly faster than Ubuntu was with the OpenGL test. However this is just because Arch Linux does not use Compiz by default when an accelerated OpenGL driver is available.
[image via Phoronix]
There were also some performance difference in the SQLite and Apache test. However, this is due to the different kernels that the two distros uses.
All in all, this demonstrates that Arch is somewhat faster than Ubuntu but not by much.
You can see the full test result over at Phoronix.