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FreeBSD 12 Runs Refreshingly Easy On AMD Ryzen 9 3900X - Benchmarks Against Ubuntu 18.04 LTS
While newer Linux distributions have run into problems on the new AMD Zen 2 desktop CPUs (fixed by a systemd patch or fundamentally by a BIOS update) and DragonFlyBSD needed a separate boot fix, FreeBSD 12.0 installed out-of-the-box fine on the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X test system with ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi motherboard.
I was curious about the FreeBSD support for AMD Zen 2 CPUs and new X570 motherboards, so this weekend I tried out FreeBSD 12.0. Fortunately, the experience was great! This current FreeBSD 12.0 AMD64 image installed effortlessly -- no boot problems, networking did work out-of-the-box with this ASUS X570 motherboard, and there were no other issues at least as core functionality is concerned. So in no time I was off to the races in running FreeBSD 12.0 benchmarks on the Ryzen 9 3900X 12-core / 24-thread CPU.
DragonflyBSD latest daily code still appears to have some issues with Zen 2. pic.twitter.com/dFA3DerqFk— Michael Larabel (@michaellarabel) July 13, 2019
I also attempted to try DragonFlyBSD with its latest daily ISO/IMG following the Zen 2 fix this week by Matthew Dillon. Unfortunately, even with the latest daily ISO I ran into a panic at boot time. So as a result, today are just some FreeBSD 12.0 vs. Ubuntu 18.04 benchmarks for reference. Matthew Dillon did have some interesting comments in our forums about his (great) experiences with these new CPUs, some limitations, and about the original DragonFlyBSD issue.
This system test configuration was the Ryzen 9 3900X at stock speeds, 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory, ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO motherboard, and 2TB Corsair Force MP600 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS was benchmarked against FreeBSD 12.0 with its default LLVM Clang 6.0 compiler and then again when switching to the GCC 8.3 compiler.
Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS wins most of the benchmarks, but FreeBSD 12.0 was able to hold its ground fairly well in many of the benchmarks. Switching over to the GCC compiler did help address the difference in some of these benchmarks. All of these tests were carried out via the Phoronix Test Suite on Linux and BSD. Let's check out some of those interesting numbers.