The Fastest Linux Distribution For Ryzen: A 10-Way Linux OS Comparison On Ryzen 7 & Threadripper
Written by Michael Larabel in Computers on 25 January 2018. Page 7 of 8. 40 Comments

For the total boot time, Clear Linux booted the fastest on the Ryzen 7 1800X system while on Threadripper 1950X, Solus 3 was the fastest followed by Antergos and then Clear Linux. On both systems, CentOS 7 and openSUSE Tumbleweed were the slowest. Void Linux numbers were not available as it's one of the few distributions not using systemd.

The PyBench results for looking at the Python performance was the fastest on Clear Linux followed immediately by Debian Testing and Ubuntu 17.10. CentOS 7, Solus 3, and Void Linux were among the slowest.

Lastly was PHPBench with Antergos 18.1 and Clear Linux performing for the top spot while CentOS 7 with its PHP5 stack by default being the slowest.

Of all the benchmarks ran, Clear Linux 20500 was the front-runner. On the Ryzen 7 1800X system, Clear Linux won 65% of the time followed by Antergos 18.1 with 15% of the wins and Solus in third. On this Ryzen 7 1800X box, CentOS 7 was the slowest 38% of the time given its older but vetted Enterprise Linux 7 stack.

With the Threadripper 1950X system, Clear Linux was the fastest 57% of the time followed by Solus at 15% and Antergos 18.1 at 7%. CentOS 7 here was the slowest with it coming in last 46% of the time.

So as shown previously in past benchmarks, while Clear Linux is a project out of Intel's Open-Source Technology Center, even when running on modern AMD x86_64 hardware it still packs a mighty performance punch thanks to its aggressive compiler defaults, FDO / LTO / FMV / other compiler performance techniques, various backported patches for performance, and many other smaller optimizations. Hopefully more Linux distributions will take note in 2018 and work on similar performance aspirations, in part to make up for some of the performance losses incurred by the Meltdown and Spectre mitigation techniques. As shown when testing on Intel hardware with KPTI and full Meltdown protection, the fully-patched Clear Linux system can generally still outperform distributions prior to their Spectre/Meltdown penalties. Solus 3 and Antergos also deserve shout-outs for their strong performance on these two AMD Ryzen systems.

For those wondering about the OpenGL graphics performance, there are results on the following page. It wasn't a main focus for this testing since it's not really Ryzen-specific and mostly comes down to a race of who has the most-updated Mesa/kernel. But there are a few OpenGL results for those interested.


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