AMD Ryzen 7 7800X3D Benchmark Battle Pits Windows 11 Against Ubuntu Linux

Windows 11 Hero
Staunch Linux advocates have been saying for some time that the Unix derivative's application performance outstrips that of Windows, assuming all other factors are equal. Valve even proved it back in 2012 by porting Left 4 Dead 2 to Linux as part of its original Steam Machine push.

How gaming performance compares today is still up in the air, but it isn't the only metric of concern. General application and productivity performance has more recently been examined, thanks to some new benchmarks that pit Windows 11 against Ubuntu Linux using the latest hardware and software.

These tests were, of course, performed by Linux-focused technology site Phoronix, who used a Radeon RX 7900 XTX graphics card along with one of AMD's brand-new Ryzen 7 7800X3D 3D V-Cache CPUs. The site paired the CPU with 32GB of DDR5 memory running at the AMD-recommended 6000 MT/s and used a Solidigm P44 Pro SSD as the main storage device.

firstplace phoronix benchmark 7800x3d

Pitting Ubuntu 23.04 against Windows 11 Pro build 22621, the site performed 80 different productivity and browsing benchmarks. Out of those, Ubuntu came out ahead in performance for 58 of the tests, giving it a 72.5% win ratio. The difference wasn't large, but the actual performance differential amounted to 7% in a geometric mean of all of the test results.

selenium phoronix benchmark 7800x3d fixed
This benchmark was Windows' biggest win.

The most notable benchmarks where Windows took home wins were in the Selenium PSPDFKit WASM benchmark, which measures performance at displaying, annotating and editing PDFs, and the dav1d AV1 video encoder. Across most of the rest of the benchmarks, the two operating systems are either neck-and-neck, or Ubuntu comes out ahead—sometimes significantly so.

blender phoronix benchmark 7800x3d
Blender seems to strongly favor Linux, at least on the 7800X3D.

In particular, CPU-only Blender renders were nearly 25% faster on Linux than on Windows 11 Pro, and while the gap was smaller in Chaos V-RAY, it was still significant. WebP image compression, TSCP Chess AI, and OSPRay renderer all heavily favored Ubuntu as well, though none of the gaps were as extreme as that in Blender.

As for why the performance differences in these benchmarks exist, it's difficult to say, but it could simply be down to the fact that Linux, even the relatively heavy Ubuntu, is typically much lighter on the system than Windows, owing to its weaker backward compatibility and fewer bloated features, like Cortana.

The current set of tests didn't include any gaming benchmarks, but that's usually the case for Phoronix. Instead, that site will likely publish separate gaming tests if it does such benchmarks. We're curious to see the state of gaming on Linux with hardware more potent than Valve's Steam Deck, so hopefully that happens.