Linux 5.10.17 Backports CPUFreq Patches From 5.11 - Benchmarks

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 18 February 2021 at 07:27 AM EST. 7 Comments
Released yesterday was the Linux 5.10.17 LTS kernel and what makes this point release a bit more notable than usual is that it backports the CPUFreq patches from 5.11 that were used for addressing the earlier AMD performance regression on Linux 5.11 and often leading to net improvements as well over prior kernel series. The CPUFreq patches were back-ported while the AMD frequency invariance support was not, so what does the performance look like for the Linux 5.10 LTS kernel? Here are some benchmarks.

The newly-released Linux 5.10.17 kernel back-ported "cpufreq: ACPI: Extend frequency tables to cover boost frequencies" and "cpufreq: ACPI: Update arch scale-invariance max perf ratio if CPPC is not there". See this prior article for additional context but long story short these were the two patches to address the performance issue on Linux 5.11 when AMD frequency invariance was introduced for Zen 2 / Zen 3 and used when using the likes of the Schedutil governor.
Linux 5.10 LTS Point Release

Curious if these CPUFreq patches meant any AMD performance change now on Linux 5.10 without frequency invariance support, I ran some benchmarks of Linux 5.10.16 vs. 5.10.17 vs. 5.11.0 while using the default Schedutil governor throughout. Tests were done on the Ryzen 9 5900X system that previously exhibited the performance drop during 5.11 development.
Linux 5.10 LTS Point Release

But for most workloads, the Linux 5.10.17 performance was the same as the 5.10.16 kernel. The Linux 5.11 kernel remains performing much faster than Linux 5.10 LTS series on AMD Zen 2/3.
Linux 5.10 LTS Point Release

Out of 46 tests carried out since yesterday on this Ryzen 9 5900X, the Linux 5.11 kernel was leading in the majority of them, as expected...
Linux 5.10 LTS Point Release

Taking the geometric mean of those 46 results, with those tests Linux 5.11 is about 4~5% faster than Linux 5.10 LTS even with this new point release.

All the benchmarks for those interested over on this page. Meanwhile I'm already working on benchmarks looking at the flow of new patches heading into Linux 5.12... Stay tuned!
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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