The Core i9-11900K is Faster On Windows 10 Than Linux

Intel CPU stock image Rocket Lake-S
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Courtesy of Phoronix; It appears that the latest build of Windows 10 is the most optimal operating system to use for Intel's new Core i9-11900K Rocket Lake CPU. Tests show the i9 wining more benchmarks in a Windows 10 environment compared to Linux Ubuntu.

For the test bench, Phoronix ran a core i9-119000K with 32GB of 3200MHz RAM, with 1TB of SSD storage. on a Maximus XIII Hero.

As for the operating systems, Phoronix used the latest build of Windows 10 Pro, version 19042, and the latest version of Ubuntu, version 20.10, and version 5.12 of Linux.

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Performance Chart Windows 10 vs Ubuntu
Test:Ubuntu ScoreWindows 10 Score
WebP Image Encode 1.1: Encode Time15.2113.37
Zstd Compression 1.4.9: Decompression Speed4784.24422.9
Crafty 25.2: Nodes Per Seccond997603811303083
Blender 2.92: BMW: Render Time132.49155.59
NeatBench 5: FPS17.418.2
IndigoBench 4.44.7374.911
Selenium: StyleBench Chrome: Runs Per Minute46.0250.25
Selenium: Speedometer Chrome: Runs Per minute186.8174.7

The benchmarks posted above are just a few of the tests Phoronix conducted on both Windows 10 (see how to get Windows 10 for free) and Ubuntu. Overall, however, comparing all of Phoronix's tests shows that Windows 10 Pro wins 61.5% of the overall tests compared to Ubuntu which netted a score of just 38.5%.

Phoronix also tested the 11900K's integrated Xe graphics on both operating systems, and Windows 10 came out with an even higher win rate. In the eight graphics tests conducted, Ubuntu Linux managed only a single win, though in either case the integrated GPU it's nowhere close to matching the best graphics cards

This is unusual behavior coming from Intel's processors; due to Linux's superior resource management, we normally see Linux operating systems take the win compared to Windows 10. But with Rocket Lake, it appears the opposite is now true.

We don't know why the tests came out this way, but presumably, Microsoft has added some extra optimizations to Windows 10 we don't know about. We will have to do our own research into the matter to see what is really going on.

In our tests, the Core i9-11900K is faster for gaming than most of the best CPUs, but is outpaced by the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X. When we compared the AMD Ryzen 9 5900X vs the Core i9-11900K in a seven-round face-off, the Ryzen took five rounds.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • JfromNucleon
    It's likely because Ubuntu doesn't have the latest kernel with optimisation for 11th gen. Same for the iGPU
  • VforV
    So it's a sh1ty CPU in Windows and an even sh1t1er one in Linux. Got it.
  • Marvin Martian
    Linux 5.12 hasn't been released yet.