Windows Subsystem For Linux / WSL2 Performance With The AMD Ryzen 9 5900X

Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 16 December 2020 at 12:10 PM EST. Page 1 of 6. 24 Comments.

Last week we looked at the Windows vs. Linux performance on the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X where there was some very friendly competition and much closer results than we are used to seeing for modern, high-end x86_64 processors between the two operating systems. As a follow-up to that testing, here are results of Windows 10 October 2020 Update with Windows Subsystem for Linux (both WSL1 and WSL2) compared to the performance in turn off bare metal Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS and Ubuntu 20.10 on the same system.

This happens to be our first time looking at the WSL/WSL2 performance atop the Windows 10 October 2020 Update where there are more refinements to this support. For today's tests Ubuntu 20.04 LTS was running on WSL/WSL2. Similar to prior Windows 10 releases, WSL2 continues offering much better I/O performance than the original WSL that was one of the main limitations. But overall it was very interesting to see the speed at which WSL/WSL2 now runs on an AMD Ryzen desktop.

After testing Ubuntu 20.04 LTS on WSL1 and WSL2 under Windows 10 October 2020 (and all other stable release updates as of testing), Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS and Ubuntu 20.10 (with all stable release updates) were tested bare metal on the same system as well for looking at the performance potential of Ubuntu outside of Microsoft's confines. The Ubuntu 20.10 run is intended to give a more bleeding-edge look at the Linux performance outside of the Long Term Support state.

Ryzen 9 5900X WSL Ubuntu Linux Tests

The test system used throughout was the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X at stock speeds, 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory, Sabrenet Rocket 4.0 1TB NVMe SSD, ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO, and Radeon RX 6800 XT graphics (albeit no graphics tests in this article given the still maturing state of WSL2 graphics capabilities).

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