Clear Linux Squeezes More Performance Out Of Intel's Core i9 7960X, 7980XE

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 28 September 2017. Page 1 of 4. 14 Comments

Earlier this week we published our launch-day benchmarks of the Core i9 7960X and Core i9 7980XE. Those Linux benchmarks were done with Ubuntu, but for those wondering what the maximum performance looks like for these high-end desktop processors, here are some comparison results with Intel's own Clear Linux distribution.

Clear Linux for the uninitiated is a project out of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center designed for delivering a performant x86-64 Linux distribution. While of course designed for Intel's own processors, as our past tests have shown, does work on AMD platforms too. Clear Linux makes use of aggressive default CFLAGS/CXXFLAGS, meticulously builds its packages under Clang or GCC and other tuned libraries on an application-specific basis, makes use of function multi-versioning (FMV) for tuned binaries depending upon the CPU microarchitecture, various kernel patches, and more to deliver a highly-tuned Linux experience.

Ubuntu 17.10 vs. Clear Linux - Core i9 7960X, 7980XE

For this Core i9 7960X / 7980XE comparison tests, the results were plotted alongside the recent Core i9 7900X vs. Threadripper 1950X tests for added value. Ubuntu 17.10 and Clear Linux were benchmarked in their latest state, which is slightly newer than the previous Core X-Series and Threadripper benchmarks, but the primary function of this comparison is to look at the Ubuntu 17.10 vs. Clear Linux performance on each individual system and just a broad look at the cross-system performance. Each system was running at its stock speeds, making use of DDR4-3200 memory at each system's maximum number of memory channels, and using NVMe SSD storage.

Each system was tested out-of-the-box on Ubuntu 17.10 and Clear Linux. All benchmarks facilitated in a fully-automated manner using the Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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