Threadripper 3970X Performing Better On Windows Relative To Linux - Thanks To Microsoft Or Zen 2?
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 30 November 2019 at 09:37 AM EST. 11 Comments
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With the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X benchmarks on Windows 10 and Linux, Ubuntu 19.10 and other common distributions were just ~2% faster than the Microsoft OS and Clear Linux was just ~10% faster, based on 80+ benchmarks carried out. Those margins are much closer than we have seen with past iterations of Threadripper, but is that due to the Zen 2 microarchitecture and the improved topology of the new Threadripper CPUs or due to Microsoft's scheduler changes and other software improvements made in Windows 10 November 2019 Update? Here are some benchmarks.


One of the frequent questions that came up following that Windows 10 vs. Linux benchmark article yesterday was whether the relatively close Windows 10 vs. Linux performance was due to AMD Zen 2 / Threadripper 3970X itself or the ongoing software improvements Microsoft has been working on around its scheduler and other areas for dealing with today's HEDT processors.

For answering that question at least in part, I fired up some additional Windows benchmarks on the same system when instead running the Microsoft Windows 10 October 2018 Update as opposed to the latest feature release, Microsoft Windows 10 November 2019 Update. Here's a look at how comparing last year's and the current feature builds panned out:

The demanding SPECjbb 2015 was the biggest benefactor of the new Windows 10 release on Threadripper 3970X with a massive 30% improvement while 7-Zip and Renaissance's Java tests saw 12~18% improvements and other workloads at 8% or less. Shown are just the tests with measurable differences between the Windows 10 releases. With over 80 tests ran, the vast majority of them saw a negligible change in performance. In a few cases, the older Windows 10 build offered slightly better performance.

So while the Windows 10 November 2019 Update did help some workloads on Threadripper 3970X, the vast majority of the tests were within a margin of error to the previous Windows 10 release. Thus for the more competitive Windows 10 performance to Linux on the new Threadripper parts appear to be largely due to hardware improvements as opposed to Microsoft's software optimizations over the past year.

In case you missed it, see the 3970X Windows vs. 5 Linux distribution benchmarks from yesterday. If you enjoy our new and original content 365 days per year and often exclusive Linux hardware testing, consider showing your support this Black Friday / Cyber Monday.
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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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