Windows vs. Linux Benchmarks For AMD Ryzen Server Performance

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 24 March 2022 at 03:00 PM EDT.

As a follow-up to last week's article looking at how AMD is making an interesting case for budget-friendly Ryzen dedicated servers and not only in Europe but throughout the world more hosting providers are offering cost-conscious AMD Ryzen powered dedicated server options, here is a look at how various Linux distributions run on an ASRock Rack based AMD Ryzen server up against Microsoft Windows.

While having the ASRock Rack 1U4LW-X570/2L2T barebones server platform in the lab, I ran a number of benchmarks across different Linux distributions plus Windows to see how these operating systems competed and also to verify all of the OSes under test were behaving fine on the AMD Ryzen server. There were no compatibility issues to note with any of the tested software platforms - all was good there. However, that really wasn't surprising given the age of the AMD X570 chipset and having found the AMD Ryzen 5000 series working well on Linux going back to launch-day.

The ASRock Rack 1U4LW-X570/2L2T server that was provided to me by AMD was this 1U server platform loaded up with an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, 4 x 32GB ECC DDR4-3200 memory, and a 960GB P80 3TE6 NVMe solid-state drive. The operating systems I tested with this Ryzen 1U server included:

- AlmaLinux 8.5
- CentOS Stream 9
- Clear Linux 35810
- Fedora Server 35
- Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
- Ubuntu 22.04 development snapshot
- openSUSE Leap 15.3
- Windows 11 Pro

All operating systems had all their latest stable release updates as of when the testing happened in February. All of the operating systems were tested with clean installs on this same ASRock Rack Ryzen server in their out-of-the-box configuration. Worth mentioning with the Linux distribution list is AMD recently began backing AlmaLinux for those looking at a CentOS 8 alternative.

As for Microsoft Windows 11 Pro being used on this Ryzen "server" rather than Windows Server, that is the configuration commonly used by data centers offering Ryzen dedicated servers. With dedicated hosting providers offering Ryzen for its cost effectiveness and lower-tiered options compared to EPYC, they tend to be using Windows 10 or Windows 11 with the Ryzen processors to reduce license costs. Additionally, many of those getting Windows on Ryzen servers are for running Windows game servers or the like. Ryzen servers with Windows also appear popular for creative workloads like renderers and other asset creation tasks, which in turn is a dominant focus with today's benchmarks.

Ryzen 9 5950X Windows vs. Linux Distros

So for those curious about the Ryzen Windows vs. Linux performance, here is some fresh data.

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