Windows 11 no longer the fastest OS for Alder Lake: Linux 5.16 on Core i9-12900K emerges winner in most benchmarks
Intel Alder Lake is generally touted to run best under Windows 11 given the scheduling improvements in the new OS and the new Intel Thread Director technology that helps assign corresponding tasks to the P-cores and E-cores. However, now it looks like Linux could be the better OS of choice to extract the maximum performance from processors such as the Core i9-12900K.
Since launch, Windows 11 was considered necessary for optimal performance of the Core i9-12900K. That changes now with the advent of Linux kernel 5.16 which brings better hybrid handling and other improvements. The Linux kernel 5.16 also comes with new FUTEX2 (fast user mutex) syscalls that should help with improved gaming performance, particularly for Windows games running on Wine.
Phoronix has tested the performance of the Core i9-12900K in both Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and Intel's own Clear Linux OSs running the 5.16 stable kernel version. Ubuntu 22.04 LTS with the latest 5.17-rc3 kernel and current LTS version with 5.15 kernel were also used along with Windows 11 Pro x64 updated as of February. The test platform was an Asus ROG Strix Z690-E Gaming Wi-Fi motherboard with 2x 32 GB of DDR5-4400 RAM and GT1 integrated graphics in Alder Lake-S.
In the Phoronix Test Suite, the Linux 5.16 kernel allocated Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome benchmarks to the performant P-cores resulting in higher performance compared to the 5.15 version in which the browsers were tasked to the more efficient E-cores. The browser performance is thus now on par or better than what was observed in Windows 11.
Blender has traditionally performed well in Linux vis-à-vis Windows in CPU-based rendering, and that seems to be the case with Alder Lake CPUs as well. IndigoBench also showed a perceivable performance advantage for Linux over Windows. Intel's Clear Linux seems to be the better choice here given that it has been optimized well in-house to take advantage of Alder Lake's new hybrid core architecture. In H.264 encoding, Windows 11 seemed to have a slight edge but Linux 5.16 and 5.17 were right on its heels.
In a total of 104 tests, Windows 11 had leads only in 13.5% of the tests while Clear Linux 35810 with the 5.16 kernel led the majority (63.5%) of the tests. Ubuntu 22.04 with the 5.15 kernel version lost in 53.8% of the benchmarks indicating that Linux users who wish to make the most of Intel Alder Lake should upgrade to the latest kernel.
It remains to be seen whether kernel 5.16 features will be backported to the current Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release. The current release also does not support Alder Lake's iGPU. While Canonical is most likely to backport these new changes, you may want to manually update the kernel if you are already running Linux on Alder Lake in order to eke out the maximum performance.
Check out the Source link below for charts and performance details in each benchmark.