Running Some Fresh Windows 10 vs. Linux Graphics/Gaming Benchmarks

Written by Michael Larabel in Proprietary Software on 6 November 2015 at 12:29 PM EST. 21 Comments
My most recent Windows 10 benchmarks compared to Linux were some NVIDIA numbers from early August. With the ever-advancing state of Linux graphics on both the open and closed-source driver fronts, I've started this week with doing another fresh Windows 10 vs. Linux performance comparison for Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA.

The tests are still in their early stages and being done on Windows 10 Pro x64 right now. On the Intel side will be some Skylake HD Graphics 530 results while for AMD and NVIDIA will use a few different Radeon and GeForce cards, respectively. For the Linux testing, I'm likely going to use Ubuntu 15.10 (that could change based upon Phoronix Premium reader requests) and then run the tests of Ubuntu 15.10 with Linux 4.3 + Mesa 11.1-devel + LLVM 3.8 SVN and then with the proprietary AMD/NVIDIA graphics drivers. Again, some of these details could change based upon reader interest over the next few days until I move onto running the Linux numbers. As shown already, there isn't a big performance difference between Steam OS and Ubuntu.

In terms of the tests, it's looking like it will be the usual Unigine, Xonotic, OpenArena, etc type tests as is common for my Windows vs. Linux comparisons. Those tests are known to be of similar quality under Windows and Linux and are fully-automated and reproducible in the same manner thanks to the open-source Phoronix Test Suite.

With this comparison I was looking at adding some of the Linux, automated-friendly Steam tests like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Metro Last Light Redux, and others, but it doesn't look like that will happen. After spending a few hours yesterday on some experiments, it would take much more time to port over these game tests to Windows in a manner that would be comparable to the Linux versions and reliable to the same level as my other Windows/Linux-friendly test scripts via PTS and With some of the games there are differences in how the benchmarks run along with different behavior for the video settings handling, etc. It'd probably take at least two solid days to get the interesting Linux vs. Windows Steam game tests adapted and fully-running under the Phoronix Test Suite. But as it's already hard enough making ends meet due to ad-blockers and the time consumed by running the normal Windows vs. Linux tests themselves, adding the Steam comparison isn't justifiable unless there's a lot of new Phoronix Premium subscribers or tips via PayPal or Bitcoin with people interested in seeing those tests added.

So long story short, in the next few days will be the start of some fresh Windows 10 vs. Linux graphics tests. If you have any feedback or wish to support this testing, please do so and share your thoughts by commenting on this article in the forums.
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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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