Intel Core i9 11900K: Five Linux Distros Show Sizable Lead Over Windows 11

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 26 October 2021. Page 1 of 5. 30 Comments

Now that Windows 11 has been out as stable and the initial round of updates coming out, I've been running fresh Windows 11 vs. Linux benchmarks for seeing how Microsoft's latest operating system release compares to the fresh batch of Linux distributions. First up is the fresh look at the Windows 11 vs. Linux performance on an Intel Core i9 11900K Rocket Lake system.

Microsoft Windows 11 Pro with all stable updates as of 18 October was used for this round of benchmarking on Intel Rocket Lake. The Windows 11 performance was being compared to all of the latest prominent Linux distributions, including:

- Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS
- Ubuntu 21.10
- Arch Linux (latest rolling)
- Fedora Workstation 35
- Clear Linux 35150

All the testing was done on the same Intel Core i9 11900K test system at stock speeds (any frequency differences reported in the system table come down to how the information is exposed by the OS, i.e. base or turbo reporting) with 2 x 16GB DDR4-3200 memory, 2TB Corsair Force MP600 NVMe solid-state drive, and an AMD Radeon VII graphics card.

Each operating system was cleanly installed and then run at its OS default settings for seeing how the out-of-the-box OS performance compares for these five Linux distributions to Microsoft Windows 11 Pro.

But for the TLDR version...

Intel Core i9 11900K Windows 11 vs. Linux Benchmarks

Out of 44 tests run across all six operating systems, Windows 11 had just three wins on this Core i9 11900K system. Meanwhile Intel's own Clear Linux platform easily dominated with coming in first place 75% of the time followed by Fedora Workstation 35 in second place with first place finishes 9% of the time.

Intel Core i9 11900K Windows 11 vs. Linux Benchmarks

The geometric mean for all 44 tests showed Linux clearly in front of Windows 11 for this current-generation Intel platform. Ubuntu / Arch / Fedora were about 11% faster overall than Windows 11 Pro on this system. Meanwhile, Clear Linux was about 18% faster than Windows 11 and enjoyed about 5% better performance overall than the other Linux distributions.

Intel Core i9 11900K Windows 11 vs. Linux Benchmarks

Let's look at some of those individual results now.

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