Windows 11 beats Linux on Alder Lake CPU 2022

 A Phoronix report shows that compared to Linux-based operating systems, Intel's Alder Lake CPU performs much better in the Windows 11 environment. The problem is related to the Linux cluster scheduler, which is not optimized for Alder Lake's hybrid architecture. This means that Alder Lake is now the new best gaming CPU, more suitable for Windows 11 than Linux. Given that Linux is generally better than all versions of Windows, this is a bit surprising.

Windows 11

Phoronix uses Core i9-12900K and Windows 11 Pro, Ubuntu 21.10 plus Linux 5.16 git, Ubuntu 21.10, Ubuntu 21.1.0 plus Linux 5.15, Clear Linux 35250 and Fedora Workstation 35 taking the test. Phoronix used a series of different operating systems for benchmark tests, including browser benchmark tests, video encoding, image encoding, mixers, etc.

Among the six operating systems, Windows 11 Pro won 45% of the tests, making it the best operating system for the Alder Lake system.

The victory of Windows 11 was due to issues with the Linux scheduler and its interaction with the Alder Lake CPU. As a reminder, the Alder Lake chip consists of two different types of cores: a large and fast performance core (P core) paired with a small number of small but powerful efficiency cores (E core), which handle background processes in surprising ways speed.

This Linux scheduler is designed to control multiple core clusters, but it is not designed to distinguish between different types of cores, such as Alder Lake's P core and E core. Unfortunately, this means that the scheduler is not aware of the performance differences between the cores, as we see in Windows 10. Therefore, the scheduler will send the workload to the E core, which should be sent to the faster P core, and vice versa.

As you can see in our Core i9-12900K review, the same types of performance issues exist in Windows 10, and for similar reasons: eventually, Linux and Windows 10 will have to adopt a way to compete with Intel’s Thread Director For interaction, the latter provides real-time telemetry data to the operating system, so it can better schedule threads to the correct type of kernel to extract the best performance.

According to Phoronix, there is currently no solution to this problem for Linux (except for completely disabling the E kernel). Hope that Linux 5.16 will introduce better compatibility with Alder Lake, but there is no guarantee when or whether these changes will come.

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