Dell XPS Ice Lake Taking A Wallop On Ubuntu 20.04
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 4 April 2020 at 08:41 AM EDT. 13 Comments
With our early benchmarking of Ubuntu 20.04 in its current nearing the end of development state, we've been seeing Ubuntu 20.04 boosting Intel Xeon Scalable performance, running well with AMD EPYC Rome, and good AMD Ryzen performance, among other tests. Strangely though the one platform where I've found Ubuntu 20.04 hard regressing so far is with the Dell XPS 7390 Ice Lake.

At least in the current development state of Ubuntu 20.04 as of a few days ago, the Dell XPS with Core i7 1065G7 is regressing hard in relation to Ubuntu 19.10 stable.

It's like really bad almost across the board... Even with the same firmware/microcode, same P-State defaults, etc. The ambient room temperature was also maintained the same throughout testing, obviously.

Across all sorts of workloads and for both CPU and GPU workloads, Ubuntu 20.04 performance is getting whacked on the Ice Lake laptop while generally at least for all the servers and desktops we've been testing with Ubuntu 20.04 the performance has generally been the same or improved. Here's a look at how the current Ubuntu 20.04 state is generally getting beaten by Ubuntu 19.10:

Presumably it's some sort of strange power management behavior regressing hard on Ubuntu 20.04 at the moment and haven't seen this behavior on any other systems so far. This is my only Ice Lake system so I do not know at the moment if the issue is specific to this particular Dell XPS model in particular or the Ice Lake support at large. But at least there still is several weeks to go before the Ubuntu 20.04 stable release so hopefully will be addressed in time or as a zero-day update for those with Ubuntu 20.04 that may be affected.
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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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