According to a review by Phoronix, AMD’s new Ryzen 7 7800X3D (one of the best CPUs for gaming) is 7% faster on average in Linux Ubuntu 23.04 compared to Windows 11 Pro. The Linux OS also outperformed its Windows counterpart 72.5% of the time, in a suite of 80 applications Phoronix tested. While 7% isn’t massive, it’s nice to know that Linux users won’t suffer a performance penalty compared to Microsoft’s more mainstream Windows operating system.
Testing included a plethora of applications including OpenJDK Java, Image encoding, chess benchmarks, LuxCore, Video Encoding, Intel oneAPI, ASTC encoding, blender, Indigo Renderer, Appleseed, V-Ray, Geekbench, and Google Chrome browser benchmarks.
A few noteworthy wins for Linux include a 50% performance advantage in DaCapo Benchmark 9.12-MR1, 21% in Blender 3.5, 22% in OSPRay, and 32% in JPEG XL libjxl 0.7. Meanwhile, some noteworthy wins for Windows 11 Pro include: 22% faster performance in Blender 3.5’s BMW27 benchmark, 17.3% in Blender 3.5’s Barbershop benchmark, and 30% in Selenium PSPDFKit WASM benchmark.
But to re-iterate, the 7800X3D was faster in 72.5% of the tests overall with Linux compared to Windows 11, averaging 7% greater performance. (So most of the tests were almost neck and neck.)
Phoronix doesn’t explain exactly how or why Linux is outperforming Windows 11, but it’s no secret that AMD is actively adding CPU optimizations to Linux, in the form of the AMD P-State EPP driver. This driver, which was implemented in the Linux Kernel 6.0 not too long ago, adds additional CPU optimizations to improve the power consumption and performance of Zen 2, Zen 3, and Zen 4 chips. The new driver allows Ryzen CPUs to boost further than the vanilla ACPI CPUFreq driver, by scheduling tasks to the correct cores (i.e. tasking appropriate workloads to the cores with the highest clock speed potential).
This is probably at least partially the for AMD’s 7% average performance advantage with Ubuntu. Phoronix has already seen a 6% performance improvement with this same driver on the Ryzen 9 7950X, so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume the same would apply to the Ryzen 7 7800X3D.