Linux beats Windows 11 with Alder Lake-S: We see why

Free software lovers are already clear that Linux beats Windows 11 in some aspects, but the truth is that it is surprising to see that one of them is performance with Intel Alder Lake-S processors, and it is understandable, since Microsoft developed said operating system focusing, specifically, in giving good support to the new hybrid architecture used by Core Gen12 processors.

In case someone is lost, I remind you that the twelfth generation Core processors use, in most cases, a hybrid design based on joining two core blocks, one high-performance and one high-efficiency. In order to take full advantage of the benefits of both core blocks, it is necessary that the distribution of the different workloads be carried out precisely and in the shortest possible time.

Thus, high-efficiency cores should handle only the least demanding workloads, and only when this is “the best option,” while high-performance cores should be preferred in most cases, handling always the most demanding tasks. An error in the distribution of those loads, or a delay in the sameit can cause a significant performance loss, since the difference in performance between both types of kernels is very large.

However, there are also Intel Alder Lake-S processors that lack high-efficiency cores and therefore do not have to be subject to efficient workload distribution, since only use high performance cores. The Intel Core i5-12600 is one of the best exponents, as it only has 6 high-performance cores and 12 threads. The same goes for the Core i3 Gen 12, which has 4 high-performance cores and 8 threads.

Linux for Windows 11 with Alder Lake-S

Why does Linux beat Windows 11 when using Intel Alder Lake-S processors?

I have already given you the key at the beginning of the article. Linux beats Windows 11 with the new Intel processors because, with the introduction of Kernel 5.16, it is greatly improved the management and distribution of workloadsthereby improving the performance of Intel Alder Lake-S processors that feature high-performance cores and high-efficiency cores.

Phoronix has made an extensive comparison using a processor Intel Core i9-12900K, Windows 11 ProUbuntu 22.04 with the 5.16 kernel and also with the Linux 5.17-rc3 kernel and with Intel Clear Linux 35810. The results they have obtained speak for themselves, and confirm what we have said, that Linux beats Windows 11 with that Core i9 -12900K, and it does nothing more and nothing less than 63.5% of the total, as we can see in the first attached graph, where the first positions achieved by each operating system in the Phoronix tests are collected.

In the second graph we see precisely the opposite, that is, the number of last positions of each operating system in the tests. Intel Clear Linux 35810 achieves the best result again, as it only came last in 1.9% of the tests, while Ubuntu 22.04 Daily was the worst off at 53.8%. It is followed by Windows 11, with 37.5%.

There is no doubt that the results are very positive, and say a lot about how well the Linux kernel has been optimized to take advantage of the possibilities of this new hybrid architecture from Intel. On the other hand, we must remember that it is very likely that, with the arrival of future versions of said Kernel, keep improving performance with those processors. We will see how it evolves in future tests.