LuxMark OpenCL Performance On Windows vs. Linux With Radeon/NVIDIA

Written by Michael Larabel in Microsoft on 23 March 2018 at 03:39 AM EDT. 3 Comments
When carrying out this week's Windows vs. Linux gaming tests with AMD Radeon and NVIDIA GeForce GPUs on the latest drivers, I also took the opportunity to run some fresh OpenCL benchmarks on Windows and Linux with the competing GPU vendors.

I was particularly interested in running this test given the maturing state of ROCm on Linux for providing a new and modern compute stack... That coming with Linux 4.17+ will even begin to work from a mainline Linux kernel. Albeit for this round of testing was using AMD/GPUOpen's stock ROCm Ubuntu packages for 16.04 LTS as outlined on their GitHub page.

ROCm still only officially advertises OpenCL 1.2 but with some OpenCL 2.0 functionality. The Radeon Software Adrenalin driver on Windows meanwhile exposes OpenCL 2.1. The NVIDIA 390/391 drivers on Windows and Linux expose OpenCL 1.2 with some OpenCL 2.0 functionality.
Windows vs. Linux OpenCL - AMD vs. NVIDIA

Same system and setup as in the aforementioned gaming OS comparison article. The well known LuxMark OpenCL benchmark was used for this quick OpenCL Windows vs. Linux benchmarking roundabout.
Windows vs. Linux OpenCL - AMD vs. NVIDIA

With LuxMark's hotel scene, the ROCm stack on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS was significantly slower than the Radeon OpenCL driver on Windows. The NVIDIA OpenCL performance remained the same on both platforms, which is understandable since the driver code is largely shared across supported platforms.
Windows vs. Linux OpenCL - AMD vs. NVIDIA

In the microphone scene, ROCm on Linux led to better performance than on Windows. The NVIDIA driver performance remained the same.
Windows vs. Linux OpenCL - AMD vs. NVIDIA

With the Luxball HDR scene, the RX 580 now performed about the same on both platforms while the Vega GPU was slightly faster on Linux. The NVIDIA performance again was about the same.

Still working on adding some more OpenCL GPU compute benchmarks that are cross-platform to the new Phoronix Test Suite Windows support, so stay tuned for more interesting benchmarks.
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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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