OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 Is Performing Very Well On AMD EPYC

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 29 May 2019 at 10:00 AM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 5 Comments.

OpenSUSE/SUSE has always tended to perform well on AMD hardware given the close collaboration between the two companies for many years on numerous fronts going back to the original Linux AMD64 kernel upbringing to the RadeonHD driver days, compiler collaboration, and numerous other activities between SUSE and AMD. With last week's release of openSUSE Leap 15.1, the performance on AMD EPYC servers is even more competitive thanks to various upgrades.

OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 was released last week and based off the sources of SUSE Linux Enterprise 15 SP1. Leap 15.1 updates its Linux 4.12 kernel with more back-ports/upgrades, updates various components from systemd to other packages, minor improvements to its GCC7 compiler (also offering a GCC8 option though not tested as part of this article), Java OpenJDK 11 by default, and other upgrades.

Back during the openSUSE Leap 15.1 Beta days is when we initially noticed AMD EPYC performance improvements for this Leap upgrade and now with the official 15.1 release on our most powerful EPYC 7601 2P server with 512GB of RAM, the performance benefits are quite noticeable over Leap 15.0 and compared to other Linux distributions as well.

All the Linux distribution tests were done with each OS out-of-the-box on the Dell PowerEdge R7425 2U server with 2 x AMD EPYC 7601 processors, 512GB of RAM, and Samsung 850 SATA SSD storage. In addition to benchmarking openSUSE Leap 15.0 and 15.1, openSUSE Tumbleweed in its latest state was also tested. For additional reference are also numbers from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.6, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8.0, Clear Linux, Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS, and Ubuntu 19.04.

In cutting to the geometric mean after running dozens of benchmark results, openSUSE Leap 15.1 is about 32% faster than Leap 15.0 on this AMD EPYC 2P server with the benchmarks run. The Leap 15.1 performance is understandably slower than openSUSE Tumbleweed with its bleeding edge packages, but not too far behind and much more competitive than it was with the 15.0 performance. OpenSUSE Leap 15.0 performed similarly to Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS but now with 15.1 has edged past RHEL 8.0 and is only behind Tumbleweed and 19.04. OpenSUSE Leap 15.1 also shot past Intel's Clear Linux, which does work on AMD hardware and generally performs quite well, but with this latest round of enterprise Linux distributions the performance is more competitive on EPYC especially with Clear just tailoring towards optimizing for the latest Intel CPU architecture features. Now let's dig into the individual metrics.

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