Linux kernel untar and cat times
Its time for some more pedestrian tests now. For example, what is the fastest filesystem when untarring the vanilla Linux 3.0.0 kernel?
Ext4 and btrfs are the leaders here, with xfs slightly behind. Ext3 is on the tail again. Note that pure extract time for xfs is not bad at all: this is a direct results of the vastly improved metadata handling and very good read speed. On the other hand, its sync time is the longer of the group.
What about a pure read test, as catting all the just-extracted files?
In this pure read test xfs score the better result, shortly followed by btrfs. The two ext-based filesystems are noticeably slower.
So, these two very simple, yet very common tasks seem to corroborate the fact that xfs is a very high performing filesystem when dealing with a mostly read-bound task, while its write performance, while good, is not on par with the others.