Despite Alder Lake optimization, Windows 11 struggles to stay ahead of Ubuntu / Linux

Tux with Ubuntu logo on his chest vs Windows 11

Back at its Architecture Day 2021 event, when Intel shared the core design details of its Alder Lake CPU architecture, the firm stated that Windows 11 was optimized in a way to best take advantage of the Alder Lake's Performance Hybrid architecture and the new Thread Director technology that helps Windows 11 task scheduling.

A comparison test in November last year indeed showed that the Intel 12th Gen chips were a bit ahead of Ubuntu and the Linux 5.15 kernel. With the succeeding Linux 5.16 too, the performance of Alder Lake was not as consistent as on Windows 11.

However, come the recent Ubuntu 22.04 LTS with Linux kernel version 5.18, things haven't been as easy for Windows 11. Despite having the Thread Director optimization, the Microsoft OS faced defeat in the recent July test.

Today, Phoronix took an Alder Lake-P Core i7-1280P on a test run to see how the mobile Big-Bigger architecture fares in Windows 11 against Clear Linux and Ubuntu. The test bed consisted of the following components:

MSI MS-14C6 Prestige 14 Evo

  • Core i7-1280P
  • 16GB of RAM
  • 1TB Micron 3400 NVMe SSD
  • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS with Linux 5.18
  • Clear Linux 36580 (Linux kernel v5.18)

Overall, it's a mixed bag of performance. We start off with ParaView and in this case, Windows 11 does far better than both Clear Linux and Ubuntu.

Windows 11 vs Ubuntu vs Clear Linux
Windows 11 vs Ubuntu vs Clear Linux

Up next in Java 2D rendering benchmarks however, both Ubuntu 22.04 and Clear Linux enjoy very significant performance leads over Windows 11.

Windows 11 vs Ubuntu vs Clear Linux
Windows 11 vs Ubuntu vs Clear Linux

In the Selenium Google Chrome browser CanvasMark benchmark, Ubuntu is nearly twice as fast as Windows 11 while Clear Linux is even faster.

Windows 11 vs Ubuntu vs Clear Linux

The combined geometric mean of all the test results shows Windows 11 is only 1.5% faster than Ubuntu 22.04 which is a good indicator of the fact that the new Linux kernel is starting to incorporate Alder Lake optimizations. This also bodes well for upcoming Raptor Lake too.

Windows 11 vs Ubuntu vs Clear Linux

You can find the full test results with more details on Phoronix's website here.

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