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

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 5 July 2017. Page 2 of 4. 41 Comments

While Microsoft developers have been working on I/O improvements for the Windows Subsystem for Linux, even when benchmarking with the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview build, it remains much slower with SQLite than running Ubuntu with EXT4 natively. Running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on VirtualBox with the fixed virtual hard disk was slower than Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS bare metal, but at least not as bad as WSL.

While in purely CPU-focused workloads, as we've seen in past "Bash for Windows" / "Windows Subsystem for Linux" benchmarks, the performance can be quite close to running bare metal Linux... With Numpy, WSL was faster than using VirtualBox but the overall race was tight.

While the Ubuntu guest with VirtualBox had access to all available CPU cores/threads, its OpenMP performance in John The Ripper was much lower than the other operating systems. The WSL performance was meanwhile very good and on par with the other tested distributions.

The TTSIOD Renderer that is heavily threaded also showed VirtualBox performing very poorly while Ubuntu 16.04 was doing very good and in fact faster than the bare metal 16.04.2 LTS results. What comes perhaps to mind for this explanation is better Turbo Boost Max 3.0 support under Windows?

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