Windows vs Linux Benchmarks for AMD Ryzen Server Performance Review

Following up on last week’s article about how AMD is making an interesting pitch for budget Ryzen Dedicated Servers and not just in Europe but around the world, more and more hosting providers are offering options for dedicated server powered by cost-conscious AMD Ryzen, here is an overview of how various Linux distributions run on an ASRock Rack-based AMD Ryzen server compared to Microsoft Windows.

While having the ASRock Rack 1U4LW-X570/2L2T barebones server platform in the lab, I ran a number of tests on different Linux and Windows distributions to see how these operating systems competed and also to verify that all tested operating systems performed well on the AMD Ryzen server. There were no compatibility issues to note with any of the software platforms tested – everything was fine there. However, that really wasn’t surprising given the age of the AMD X570 chipset and the fact that the AMD Ryzen 5000 series had been running well on Linux since launch day.

The ASRock Rack 1U4LW-X570/2L2T server provided to me by AMD was this 1U server rig loaded with an AMD Ryzen 9 5950X, 4 x 32GB DDR4-3200 ECC memory and a P80 3TE6 NVMe SSD 960 GB. The operating systems I tested with this Ryzen 1U server included:

-AlmaLinux 8.5
– CentOS 9 stream
– Erase Linux 35810
– Fedora 35 Server
Ubuntu 20.04 LTS
– Ubuntu 22.04 development snapshot
– openSUSE Leap 15.3
Windows 11 Pro

All operating systems had all their latest stable release updates by the time the testing took place in February. All operating systems have been tested with clean installs on this same ASRock Rack Ryzen server in their out-of-the-box configuration. It’s worth mentioning with the Linux distribution list that AMD recently started supporting AlmaLinux for those looking for a CentOS 8 alternative.

As for Microsoft Windows 11 Pro used on this Ryzen “server” rather than Windows Server, this is the configuration commonly used by data centers offering dedicated Ryzen servers. With dedicated hosting providers offering Ryzen for its cost effectiveness and lower tier options compared to EPYC, they tend to use Windows 10 or Windows 11 with Ryzen processors to reduce licensing costs. Additionally, many who get Windows on Ryzen Servers are meant to run Windows or similar game servers. Ryzen servers with Windows also seem popular for creative workloads such as renderers and other asset creation tasks, which in turn is a dominant focus with today’s benchmarks.

So, for those curious about how Ryzen Windows performs against Linux, here’s some new data.

About Jon Moses

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