Windows 10 Rockets Ahead Of Ubuntu Linux On The Core i9 11900K For Some Workloads
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 14 April 2021. Page 6 of 6. 51 Comments

Normally when running Windows 10 vs. Linux benchmarks we are used to seeing the Linux distributions easily win in a majority of the benchmarks. This time around though with the Core i9 11900K it was a different story... Windows 10 in fact ended up leading in more than 60% of the benchmarks! Even with running many of the same benchmarks we normally do in the cross-operating-system comparisons, Windows 10 was leading this time around. But as to why Windows 10 is running so well is a matter still being investigated whether it's been due to recent general improvements made by Microsoft in Windows 10, some specific Intel tuning in their more recent driver updates, or if it's a lack of Rocket Lake tuning on Linux. One area that comes to mind would be if the power management handling for Rocket Lake is being more optimally handled at this time on Windows out of the box compared to Windows. In any event, I have some additional Windows vs. Linux benchmarks being carried out on some additional systems now to see if the aggressive Windows performance is specific to Rocket Lake or happening more broadly at this stage. In at least the heavy rendering workload tests like Blender, the Linux performance on the Core i9 11900K continued to prove to be superior to Windows.

Even beyond Windows 10 having more outright wins, all of which data can be found over on OpenBenchmarking.org, if taking the geometric mean of all 91 results it was a slight favor to Windows 10 too. On a geo mean result Windows 10 came out about 2% faster than Ubuntu with Linux 5.12. Stay tuned as the investigation continues on this front.

For those wondering about the Xe Graphics performance, below are some preliminary results while a larger comparison looking at the Gen12 desktop graphics is forthcoming. Here both Mesa 20.0.1 and Mesa 21.1-dev were tested for the latest OpenGL and Vulkan driver support options paired with Linux 5.12 Git and all other system hardware/software being the same as with the CPU tests.

For Vulkan compute tests, the Windows Vulkan driver was coming out marginally faster than Intel's open-source Vulkan Linux driver stack.

Though for the VkResample benchmark, Intel's Linux ANV driver did score a win.

When it came to tests like the reliable cross-platform Unigine demos, Windows 10 was leading slightly over Linux with the latest Mesa drivers. More Xe Graphics comparison tests will be coming up in their own comprehensive article in the near future incorporating gaming tests and more once the Windows and Linux drivers have both had a bit more time to mature.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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