Test shows you'd want Windows 11 over Ubuntu Linux in 2023 when gaming on AMD

Tux with Ubuntu logo on his chest vs Windows 11

As we move to the end of 2022 and into 2023, Phoronix has conducted an interesting test that looks at how the gaming performance of AMD GPUs compares in Windows 11 against Linux. In this test, the latest Windows 11 Pro 22H2 build 22621 was compared against Ubuntu on Linux kernel 6.2. While Ubuntu did quite well, Windows 11 clearly provided a better gaming experience, especially on the new Radeon RX 7900 series GPUs.

Here is the full test system:

  • Intel Core i9-13900K
  • 2x 16GB DDR5-6000 CL36
  • AMD Radeon RX 6800 XT
  • AMD Radeon RX 7900 XTX
  • Solidigm P44 Pro 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD
  • Microsoft Windows 11 Pro 22621
  • Ubuntu 22.10 (Linux kernel version 6.2-rc1)

Here is the list of games and benchmarks used in the test. Overall, it's a mix of new and old benchmarks and titles:

  • Hitman 3
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Portal 2
  • Quake II RTX
  • Strange Brigade
  • X-Plane 12
  • GravityMark 1.72
  • Unigine Heaven 4.0
  • Unigine Superposition 1.0

As mentioned above, the performance gap between Ubuntu and Windows 11 is bigger on the newer AMD 7900 XTX card. In this case, the Windows 11 PC was around 11.1% faster than Linux. Meanwhile, on the 6800 XT PC, Microsoft's OS is roughly 6.27% better. This suggests that perhaps more driver work is needed on Linux side for the new RDNA 3 GPUs.

Windows 11 vs Ubuntu on AMD Radeon hardware

You can view the full test results on Phoronix's website.

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