Benchmarks Of Arch Linux's Zen Kernel Flavor
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD on 17 January 2020 at 01:09 AM EST. 16 Comments
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Following the recent Linux kernel tests of Liquorix and other scheduler discussions (and more), some requests from premium supporters rolled in for seeing the performance of Arch Linux's Zen kernel package against the generic kernel. Here are those benchmark results.

These are some benchmarks I recently did on the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X while running EndeavourOS. Tests were done with its default Linux 5.4.8-arch1 kernel compared to the same kernel revision but using Arch's Zen kernel flavor. That is Arch's spin of the Zen-kernel patches (not to be confused with AMD Zen).

The only change during testing was swapping out the kernels used from the Arch-based EndeavourOS environment.

There are some big swings particularly for I/O and network performance. For most real-world workloads not heavy on I/O, the difference is within a couple percentage points.

The Zen kernel does win a majority of the tests...

But if looking at the geometric mean of the 118 benchmarks carried out, the end result is a neck-and-neck race.

See this result file for all the details and benchmarks in full.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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