An Early Look At Linux 4.16 Performance On Five Systems
Written by Michael Larabel in Software on 19 February 2018. Page 1 of 5. 13 Comments

Here are some preliminary benchmarks of the Linux 4.16 development kernel compared to Linux 4.15 stable on five different systems.

Last week I began testing out the Linux 4.16 kernel on a few different boxes and it's been going rather well (sans the ongoing AMD Raven Ridge Linux issues...). For some initial Linux 4.16 kernel benchmarks I have results today to share for a Core i5 6600K, Core i7 6800K, Xeon E3-1280 v5, Core i9 7980XE, and Ryzen 7 1800X as a few of the available boxes for testing. Tests on other hardware and a greater variety of tests will be coming in the days and weeks ahead as Linux 4.16 continues to stabilize.

See our Linux 4.16 feature overview if you are not familiar with all of the big ticket items for Linux 4.16. From a performance perspective, Linux 4.16 brings more work on Spectre and Meltdown mitigation (including now for 64-bit ARM, IBM Z s390, etc. There is also now Spectre Variant One mitigation for Linux x86_64 and other changes. There is also task migration improvements to help the scalability of Linux in some instances, an SMP optimization within the sched/fair code, various file-system improvements and fixes, and other work.

All the systems were running Ubuntu but in slightly different configurations in trying to get a broader sense of the direction of Linux 4.16's performance. This testing is just intended as a disverse range of tests to compare Linux 4.15 stable versus Linux 4.16 on each system and not for comparing the performance between systems.

The set of tests ran for this article is larger than what's run automatically every other day at But those bi-daily tests did notice some performance regressions on some hardware during the Linux 4.16 kernel merge window:

On those systems affected, which tended to be the higher-performing systems, they regressed at the start of February and even with the latest Linux 4.16 Git code remain in a regressed state.

Anyhow, here are some additional Linux 4.16 kernel benchmarks at this still fairly early stage of development with more interesting tests still being worked on. If you have any special requests for Linux 4.16 testing, be sure to let us know, especially if you are a supporter via premium.

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