Windows 10 WSL vs. VirtualBox Ubuntu Performance On An Intel Core i9 7900X

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 5 July 2017 at 12:08 PM EDT. Page 1 of 4. 41 Comments.

Going beyond last week's Intel Core i9 7900X Skylake-X Linux distribution comparison, here are some complementary tests when trying out the latest Windows 10 Insider Build with its Bash/Windows Subsystem for Linux featuring Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Additionally, some comparison results when running Windows 10 with VirtualBox and then an Ubuntu 16.04 LTS guest, all from this i9-7900X high-end desktop.

The intent of this testing today is for some fresh Windows 10 WSL performance results, especially in being curious how well it works on powerful system like the Core i9 7900X as well as how its current performance compares to running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS in turn from Oracle VM VirtualBox.

Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview Build 16232 was used for this Windows testing on the i9-7900X box for both the Windows Subsystem for Linux benchmarking as well as the VirtualBox testing with the Ubuntu LTS guest. During the VirtualBox testing, the VM was configured to have access to all 20 CPU threads and 12GB of the 16GB of RAM as well as a 40GB fixed virtual hard disk (with WSL's design, there aren't such tunables to mention for that).

For comparing the Windows 10 WSL and VirtualBox performance with Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, the numbers were compared to Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS running bare metal on the system. Other bare metal tested results included Ubuntu 17.04 for the latest (non-LTS) experience as well as openSUSE Tumbleweed and Clear Linux 16160 for some of the most performant Linux results we encountered during the Linux distribution comparison on the i9-7900X for showing more of the system's true Linux performance potential.

The same system with the same settings was used throughout the entire testing process with the Intel Core i9 7900X running at its stock speeds, the MSI X299 SLI PLUS motherboard, 4 x 4GB DDR4-3200MHz Corsair memory, and 240GB Corsair FORCE MP500 NVMe solid-state drive. Each OS was tested with its stock / out-of-the-box settings, all in an automated manner via the Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

Related Articles