Windows 11 vs. Ubuntu Linux Performance Is Very Close On The AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 12 October 2022 at 05:00 PM EDT.

One of the leading test requests at Phoronix around my AMD Zen 4 Linux benchmarking has been some side-by-side comparisons against Microsoft Windows 11. While older, high core count AMD systems have particularly performed very well under Linux against Windows, with new hardware there is sometimes hiccups and various limitations with the at-launch support especially on the open-source Linux side. So for your viewing pleasure today are some initial AMD Ryzen 9 7950X benchmarks under Microsoft Windows 11 22H2 up against Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS and a near-final development snapshot of the upcoming Ubuntu 22.10.

This round of testing was with the following operating system configurations:

- A clean install of Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 22H2 with all available system updates as of early October.

- Ubuntu 22.04.1 LTS with all available updates as of early October.

- An Ubuntu 22.10 "Kinetic Kudu" development snapshot using its daily state as of early October with Linux 5.19 and other finalized versions ahead of the Ubuntu 22.10 stable release later this month.

- That same Ubuntu 22.10 installation but via the Ubuntu Mainline Kernel PPA having moved to the Linux 6.0 kernel. Linux 6.0 was recently declared stable but is too late in the 22.10 cycle for that to be picked up and hence the Linux 5.19 default. Nevertheless, Linux 6.0 can be easily upgraded to for those wanting to and as such was done as a separate run to see if it's worthwhile for Zen 4 desktop users to move to that very latest version.

- The above Ubuntu 22.10 + Linux 6.0 combination but switching over to the amd-pstate performance governor. By default Ubuntu 22.10 is using the amd-pstate schedutil driver on Zen 4 (and Zen 3/2) processors while this run is if opting for that more aggressive CPU frequency scaling governor for maximizing the performance potential. See my 7950X P-State / CPUFreq governor comparison benchmarks from earlier this week for more details on the P-State/CPUFreq impact.

Windows 11 vs. Ubuntu Linux - AMD Ryzen 9 7950X

All of these tests were done on the same system featuring the AMD Ryzen 9 7950X running at its stock speeds (the clock difference on the system table just comes down to reporting differences between OS interfaces), the ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR X670E HERO motherboard with the latest 0703 BIOS, 2 x 16GB DDR5-6000 EXPO memory, Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics, and a 1TB Sabrent Rocket 4.0 Plus NVMe SSD.

Dozens of different workloads with software of similar quality and native builds for both Windows and Linux were used for this initial evaluation of the Ryzen 9 7950X on Windows vs. Linux. Gaming was left out for this comparison to focus on the CPU/system performance rather than with games where the results are highly contingent upon the graphics driver stack.

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