Windows 10 vs. Linux OpenGL Performance On Kabylake - Summer 2017
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 14 June 2017. Page 1 of 4. 16 Comments

With last week having posted some fresh macOS Sierra vs. Linux OpenGL benchmarks, here are some more interesting tests to compare the Intel OpenGL driver on Windows 10 Pro x64 to the open-source Intel OpenGL driver used by Linux. Linux beating macOS wasn't too much surprise considering that Apple has been neglecting OpenGL for years, but the Linux vs. Windows OpenGL comparison is a much tougher battle.

This isn't a macOS vs. Windows vs. Linux comparison due to not having a newer Mac with Intel graphics for benchmarking, and the Haswell Mac Mini being used for last week's comparison is rather old. Thus for this Windows vs. Linux testing I used the Intel Core i7 7700K "Kabylake" system for some bleeding-edge benchmarks.

Due to Intel HD Graphics 630 not being the fastest to begin with, this is a fairly basic comparison and limited to just comparing the OpenGL performance for cross-platform games/benchmarks of similar quality, rather than diving into Direct3D vs. OpenGL where many of the Linux-ported games tend to not offer Intel graphics support. A Windows vs. Linux Intel Vulkan comparison may come later.

The operating system configurations tested were:

- Windows 10 Pro x64 Creator's Update with the Intel driver release as the latest as of testing.

- Intel's own Clear Linux distribution. Build 15870 is using the Linux 4.11 kernel, GNOME desktop, X.Org Server 1.19.3, and Mesa 17.2-dev as the important components to note for this testing.

- Fedora 25 with the Linux 4.11 kernel, Mesa 17.0.5, and its default GNOME Shell environment on Wayland.

- A secondary Fedora 25 run but switching to use the GNOME session on the X.Org Server rather than Wayland.

- Ubuntu 17.04 with the Linux 4.10 kernel and Mesa 17.0.3 and Unity 7.

- Ubuntu 17.04 then upgraded to the Linux 4.12 Git kernel as well as Mesa 17.2-dev via the Padoka PPA.

Throughout all of these OS tests, the same Intel Core i7 7700K system was used for benchmarking with its HD Graphics 630 (Kabylake GT2). Each OS was tested with its out-of-the-box configuration unless otherwise noted. All benchmarks facilitated via the Phoronix Test Suite.

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