Linux 5.1 Is Offering Up Some Performance Improvements, At Least For Cascade Lake
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 3 April 2019 at 12:00 AM EDT. 4 Comments
It's been busy recently testing Intel's new Xeon Platinum 8280 Cascade Lake processors as well as the in-development Linux 5.1 kernel following the recent closure of its merge window. Interestingly, at least for this combination, Linux 5.1 is running even faster for these new Cascade Lake processors in some workloads.

Due to being swamped with benchmarks, take this latest data dump as some preliminary numbers as I continue investigating whether this performance improvement is Cascade Lake specific or something more general. But long story short, for at least the dual Xeon Platinum 8280 there are some measurable performance improvements with this latest in-development kernel.

As part of the Cascade Lake Linux benchmarking and seeing how the support was on recent kernel releases, I compared the performance of Ubuntu 18.04.2's Linux 4.18 kernel to that of 4.19/5.0/5.1 and in some of the multi-threaded workloads in particular are some nice gains to find with Linux 5.1:

Apologies for being light on details right now, but over the days ahead I should have additional tests wrapped up for seeing if this is something Cascade Lake specific or more general to Intel Xeon or x86_64 in general with Linux 5.1. I don't recall any Cascade Lake specific performance fixes/optimizations during the 5.1 merge window, so it's quite possible the benefits are applicable to a wider range of hardware. There is our Linux 5.1 feature overview for those wondering what else there is to get excited about in this next kernel release that should be released as stable around early May.
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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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