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Windows 10 vs. Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Performance On AMD Ryzen 9 3900X

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For those wondering how the performance compares of AMD's new Zen 2 processors between Windows 10 and Linux, here are our initial benchmarks across dozens of benchmarks for the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X on Windows 10 Pro 1903 against Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS.




This is the first of surely several Windows vs. Linux performance comparisons to come of these new AMD Zen 2 processors. In this article is just Windows 10 against Ubuntu 18.04 LTS since the ASUS has yet to ship the new BIOS for the ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi to allow newer (non-patched) Linux distributions to boot without problems due to the systemd/RdRand issue. Once that BIOS update is available for this system to address that Linux boot issue, other Linux distributions will be added to the comparison.


The test system for this first cross-OS comparison was the AMD Ryzen 9 3900X at stock speeds, ASUS ROG CROSSHAIR VIII HERO WiFi, 2 x 8GB DDR4-3600 memory, 2TB Corsair Force MP600 PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD, and Radeon RX 560 graphics (this round of testing isn't focused on gaming performance but strictly CPU related workloads).


Both Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS had all available system updates at the time of testing. Via the Phoronix Test Suite some 66 benchmarks were run on both Windows and Linux for this round of benchmarking.


First up was the BLAKE2 crypto test where Windows 10 had a very slight lead over the performance offered by Ubuntu 18.04.


When it came to the Go programming language performance, Windows 10 was very competitive with Ubuntu Linux except for the build performance where Linux did much better.


When both Windows and Linux were running OpenJDK 11, the performance tended to be comparable between the operating systems on the Ryzen 9 3900X. However, in different workloads would swing between favoring Ubuntu 18.04 or Windows 10.


For chess performance with Crafty, both operating systems yielded similar performance.


Intel's SVT-AV1 video encoder was faster on Linux over Windows.


Though in the case of H.264 video encoding with x264, the performance was similar between operating systems.


The GraphicsMagick OpenMP-threaded image editing continues to favor Linux for the best performance.


With the Ryzen 9 3900X, the 7-Zip performance is close between Windows and Linux unlike Ubuntu's much more significant wins with Zen/Zen+ processors.


In the Stockfish and asmFish chess benchmarks, the results were close.


Compiling LLVM on Ubuntu was much quicker than on Windows 10.


Under a wide array of CPU workloads, Windows 10 1903 was holding its ground well against Ubuntu 18.04 LTS -- much better than in past comparisons. For those that missed it, with Windows 10 1903 when paired with AMD's new chipset driver, there are scheduler fixes/optimizations in place with these new Ryzen 3000 series processors.


FFmpeg was quicker on Windows 10.


V-RAY CPU-based rendering was 6% faster on Ubuntu.


IndigoBench on the Ryzen 9 3900X was also much faster on Linux.


While the Ryzen 9 3900X is performing better on Windows 10 than we've seen in past AMD Windows vs. Linux comparisons, the CPU-based rendering performance continues being much faster on Linux. With the Blender modeling software, Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS won across the board of all the different scenes benchmarked.


Appleseed is another renderer that was recently added to the Phoronix Test Suite / OpenBenchmarking.org. With the exception of one of the three scenes, Ubuntu 18.04 LTS continued offering lower rendering times.


Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS remains much faster for PHP and Python workloads than Windows 10.


Even with the proprietary Geekbench synthetic benchmark, Ubuntu had a small but measurable advantage over Windows 10.


Novabench also reported slightly better memory performance on Linux with this proprietary synthetic test.


A wide variety of web browser benchmarks were carried out with both Chrome and Firefox. Windows picked up a number of wins here but at least the browser performance wasn't so dominative like we have seen in some of our past browser comparisons.


When looking at the geometric mean of all the benchmarks carried out on Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS and Windows 10 1903 with this AMD Ryzen 9 3900X, Ubuntu Linux led by approximately 8%. While the test set is slightly different, overall these results show Windows 10 being slightly more competitive than we have seen out of past Windows vs. Linux AMD benchmark comparisons, likely due to the improvements made in 1903 and AMD's new Zen 2 drivers such as the scheduler fixes/optimizations. But overall it's nice to see Linux is still faster and winning a majority of the tests. Those wanting to dig through more numbers can find them on OpenBenchmarking.org.



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