Linux 5.2/5.3 Kernel Performance On The AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 27 July 2019 at 07:00 AM EDT. 12 Comments
With yesterday's Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Linux benchmarks for the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, some suggested that the Linux performance could have been better if using a Linux 5.x kernel. Well, here are some benchmarks comparing the performance of Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS with its Linux 4.18 kernel compared to Linux 5.2 stable as well as the brand new Linux 5.3 development kernel.

On the same Ryzen 9 3900X system, these three kernel releases (Ubuntu 18.04's stock 4.18 kernel, Linux 5.2 stable, Linux 5.3 Git) were compared across a variety of workloads.
Linux Kernel Benchmarks AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Sans graphics and I/O for any areas explicitly improved upon in recent kernel releases, the CPU performance itself went pretty much unchanged.
Linux Kernel Benchmarks AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Obviously if you are using the open-source Intel/Radeon graphics in particular, I certainly recommend the newest kernel as possible for the updated drivers, but in terms of Zen 2 desktop CPU performance it was largely the same using the stock Ubuntu 18.04 LTS kernel.
Linux Kernel Benchmarks AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

Those wanting to look through the dozens of benchmarks individually, they are available via 1907278-HV-3900XLINU13 on

Looking ahead to Linux 5.4 late in 2019, that's where there is the possibility of Zen 2 performance changes due to AMD's new CPPC CPUFreq driver as one performance-sensitive change pending, but we'll see what else comes about and other optimizations now that more Linux developers are getting their hands on these impressive processors.
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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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