Running BSDs On The AMD Ryzen 5000 Series - FreeBSD vs. Linux Benchmarks

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 21 December 2020. Page 1 of 4. 32 Comments

Over the past nearly two months we have been running a lot of Linux benchmarks on the AMD Ryzen 5000 series, but what about the BSD operating systems with these Zen 3 desktop CPUs? Recently I got around to trying out a few of the BSDs on a Ryzen 9 5900X desktop as well as running some FreeBSD 12.2 vs. Ubuntu Linux benchmarks, including with Linux on OpenZFS and Clang.

For this initial round of BSD testing it was done with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900X with the ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (X570). With the Ryzen 5000 series not mandating new chipsets and working with existing motherboards, there isn't as much to worry about from the BSD perspective assuming the motherboard is known to work fine with the BSDs. Generally with FreeBSD 12 and FreeBSD-based distributions, I've found them to generally work fine on modern AMD 500 series chipsets and generally no major headaches to deal with particularly for FreeBSD 12. Indeed, the Ryzen 9 5900X + ASUS CROSSHAIR VIII HERO was working fine when tested in FreeBSD 12.2 and FreeBSD-based GhostBSD 20.11.28 and MidnightBSD 2.0.1.

Unfortunately, DragonFlyBSD didn't pan out and had troubles booting it with the CROSSHAIR VIII HERO (and CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi) motherboards for months. Trying DragonFlyBSD 5.8.3 stable as well as the nightly image download of DragonFlyBSD (what will be DragonFlyBSD 6.0 soon) was unable to boot on the system due to the motherboard troubles, but there are other motherboards out there that do work fine for AMD usage on DragonFlyBSD.

NetBSD 9.1 also failed to boot on this system.

OpenBSD 6.8 meanwhile did boot and install fine on this system with all core functionality working out fine.

For the purposes of some initial AMD Ryzen 9 5900X BSD vs. Linux benchmarks, it was focused in on FreeBSD 12.2 against Ubuntu 20.10. FreeBSD 12.2 was tested with ZFS and Clang 11.0.1 as the default components. Ubuntu 20.10 was tested with its default (EXT4 file-system and GCC 10.2). Ubuntu 20.10 was then re-installed atop the root ZFS file-system using its integrated OpenZFS support. After that initial Ubuntu 20.10 ZFS run was also a third run when using Ubuntu 20.10 with ZFS from Clang 11.0 as the latest Clang release and what is currently offered on Ubuntu 20.10.

Ryzen 9 5900X FreeBSD 12 vs. Ubuntu 20.10 Benchmarks

Via the Phoronix Test Suite a wide assortment of BSD/Linux benchmarks were carried out. Phoronix Test Suite 10.2 brings further BSD improvements and more test profiles being compatible with the BSDs.

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