Hardware: Thinkpad T40, 40GB Harddrive (really slow, ~25MB/s), 500MB RAM, 1.5GHz Pentium-M (single core).
OS: Xubuntu 12.04
Before: Ext4, 98% full, extremely slow, not much fun working with this laptop anymore. I made a complete backup of all partitions using tar onto an external drive (took 2 hours)
There are many benchmarks of file systems around using specialized tools but I thought all I am interested in is whether this will actually make any *noticable* difference when actually *using* it. So I just tried it myself.
### Test 1 (ext4):
boot live distribution from usb drive and change the partition layout (I wanted to do this anyways, so this was the opportunity to finally do it):
sda1: 500MB swap (at beginning of disk, the outermost cylinders where it it is fastest)
sda2: 500MB ext2 (/boot near beginning because old BIOS)
sda3: 38GB ext4 (/)
then I restored the backup, edited fstab, updated grub, rebooted.
* boot took 35 seconds (instead of 55)
* drop caches and start eclipse¹: 1:58
* drop caches and start chromium²: 1:19
¹) eclipse with 3 java projects open, waited until entire workspace was rebuilt after start.
²) started with no open tab, only the speed dial, waited until all thumbnails appeared and HD activity stopped.
### Test 2 (btrfs):
boot live distribution from usb, delete sda3, create it newly as btrfs and formatted with default options.
* remount sda3 with compress option (this is not the default!) before beginning restore, restore same backup of / from previous test (took twice as long as restoring to ext4), edited fstab (don't forget compress option), updated grub, messed up grub configuration badly, finally able to repair it, reboot.
* boot took 55 seconds again (?)
* drop caches and start eclipse: 1:15 (instead of 1.58)
* drop caches and start chromium: 0:36 (instead of 1.19)
* / is now 67% used (instead of 98%)
* It almost feels like an entire new laptop now
Now I just hope it won't do any bad things to my data because it is still said to be "beta". I guess I'm going to make backups more regularly now (which is always a good idea anyways).