Windows 10 WSL CPU Scaling Performance vs. Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 1 August 2017. Page 1 of 4. 18 Comments

Following last week's Linux/BSD CPU core scaling tests when seeing how different operating systems competed with going between one and twenty threads with the Intel Core i9 7900X, my latest benchmarking target of curiosity was seeing how Windows 10 with its Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) would compare on this system against the other Linux distributions.

So for today's comparison we are seeing how 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 cores along with 10 cores plus Hyper Threading (the full potential of the i9-7900X) compare when using Windows 10 WSL to run Ubuntu Linux via this Microsoft layer. The results on the same system standing next to these Windows 10 WSL results are Ubuntu 17.04, Fedora 26, Clear Linux, and CentOS 7.

Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview x64 Build 16241.rs_prerelease.170708-1800 was the latest used for this Windows 10 WSL benchmarking at the time of testing. This means of running Linux user-space applications atop Windows 10 has in the past proven it can be competitive for CPU workloads while right now is rather notoriously slow for I/O operations. Also prompting this latest round of tests is that Windows Subsystem for Linux is leaving beta.

The same system was used throughout all these tests and that included the Intel Core i9 7900X, MSI X299 SLI PLUS, and 240GB Corsair Force NVMe SSD. The core/HT configuration when testing each operating system was controlled via the motherboard's BIOS. Coming in a follow-up article will also be a comparison of different available Linux distributions running atop WSL compared to their native Linux installations. All of these benchmarks were facilitated in a fully-automated and reproducible manner using the open-source Phoronix Test Suite benchmarking software.

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