Intel Alder Lake + Radeon Linux Gaming Performance Holds Steady With 5.17 Kernel
This article is looking at the Linux gaming performance but for other workloads as well so far in my Linux 5.17 testing the i9-12900K has been on-par with what is offered by Linux 5.16, which is a nice boost over Linux 5.15 and prior. Linux 5.16 still seems to be the minimum sweet spot for good Intel Alder Lake performance on Linux, particularly for the CPU models that have a mix of P and E cores. Linux 5.16 is also the kernel that has the Alder Lake S integrated graphics support enabled by default to avoid having to use the i915.force_probe override.
This testing was with the same Core i9 12900K + Radeon RX 6800 XT hardware while looking at the performance of Linux 5.15 vs. 5.16 vs. recent Linux 5.17 Git, which is under development but with the merge window passed and working towards its stable release in March. The 5.15 kernel is what Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is planning to use by default for this Ubuntu release due out in April.
See the Linux 5.17 feature list for a look at all of the changes coming with this next kernel version.
For some games the performance has been flat across recent kernels where not impacted by the P vs. E core handling improvements in v5.16.
While in other areas where Linux 5.16 was beneficial, it still is the case with Linux 5.17 but not seeing any new improvements on the Alder Lake side or major AMDGPU performance changes for RDNA2 this cycle.
The Intel Core i9 12900K (Alder Lake) performance and Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics performance has been in good shape on Linux 5.17 Git with my testing this month. No performance improvements I've yet noticed with this system or other similar hardware and at least no functional or performance regressions seen yet for this kernel debuting as stable in about one month.
These tests also reinforce how gamers/enthusiasts may want to upgrade from Ubuntu 22.04 LTS' default Linux 5.15 kernel to that of Linux 5.16 or later for that upcoming distribution release. Linux 5.15 is the planned default of Ubuntu 22.04 due to the Long Term Support status but there are many optimizations and new features found in 5.16+.