Some Early Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu Linux Vulkan Tests With NVIDIA Graphics

Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 8 April 2016 at 04:29 PM EDT. 50 Comments
While waiting to test Ubuntu Bash on Windows, I decided to run some (manual) tests of Vulkan on Windows compared to some recent Ubuntu Linux figures with different NVIDIA graphics cards.

For this early comparison were the recent results I did of OpenGL and Vulkan on Ubuntu using The Talos Principle. Those tests were two weeks ago with the NVIDIA 364.12 driver on Ubuntu 16.04 with the Linux 4.4 kernel. The system used for this old and new testing was the same Intel Xeon E3-1280 v5 Skylake box with MSI C236A Workstation motherboard, 16GB of DDR4-2133MHz memory, and 120GB Samsung 850 SSD. With today's Windows 10 Pro x64 tests, the NVIDIA 364.72 driver was at play.

The NVIDIA cards I used for this early, manual testing was the GeForce GTX 950, GTX 970, and GTX 980 Ti. There's a straight-forward Vulkan comparison using the same settings on both Ubuntu and Windows followed by another test when comparing the Direct3D 11 renderer performance on Windows 10 to the OpenGL renderer performance on Linux.

When it comes to that D3D11 on Windows vs. OGL on Linux performance, The Talos Principle on the three tested NVIDIA graphics cards was quite competitive between the competing operating systems. OpenGL/Linux seemed to have the slight upperhand, but will reserve final conclusions until I have updated TTP in the Phoronix Test Suite for running it through a full battery of tests on many different graphics cards. There's also been the difference of the Linux results being from the TTP public beta from two weeks ago, so take these initial results as you wish.

With regard to the Vulkan performance between Windwos 10 and Ubuntu 16.04, while both were using the NVIDIA 364 series driver, the Linux results on all three graphics cards were noticeably faster! Quite interesting considering that usually the NVIDIA graphics performance is close to each other under Windows and Linux, at least from past OpenGL comparisons. But again, this was just some very initial testing done today.

Stay tuned for more Ubuntu vs. Windows 10 benchmarks to come shortly, including for some similar AMD Radeon tests.
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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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