Windows 10 vs. Linux 4.15 + Mesa 17.4-dev Radeon Gaming Performance
As we end out November, here is a fresh look at the current Windows 10 Pro Fall Creator's Update versus Ubuntu 17.10 with the latest Linux 4.15 kernel and Mesa 17.4-dev Radeon graphics driver stack as we see how various games compete under Windows 10 and Linux with these latest AMD drivers on the Radeon RX 580 and RX Vega 64 graphics cards.
Using an Intel Core i7 8700K Coffee Lake test system with the ASUS PRIME Z370-A motherboard, Samsung 950 PRO 256GB NVMe SSD, and 16GB DDR4-3200 I ran fresh Windows vs. Linux gaming benchmarks with the newest AMD Radeon drivers.
On the Windows 10 side was the new Fall Creator's Update with all available system updates as of test time. The latest driver as of test time was used: Radeon Software Crimson ReLive 17.11.3. On the Linux side was using an Ubuntu 17.10 base installation but manually switching to a Linux 4.15 Git kernel for having RX Vega display support. The user-space graphics driver components were provided by the Padoka PPA to yield Mesa 17.4-dev built against the LLVM 6.0 SVN AMDGPU back-end.
The RX 580 Polaris and RX Vega 64 graphics cards were tested on both operating systems for getting a broad look at how the Windows and Linux Radeon performance is currently competing. A variety of games were used for testing -- both games known to have similar performance potential under both operating systems and then some of the more recent Linux game ports like F1 2017, GRID Autosport, Shadow of Mordor, etc. Where available the tests were run via the Phoronix Test Suite but also some manual testing where using a game's built-in benchmark mode but is not exposed in a friendly matter for scripting/automation.