Windows 11 vs. Windows 10: AMD Ryzen Edition

Today we take a look at how Windows 11 performs compared to Windows 10 with AMD Ryzen processors. Recently, we did the same with the 10th and 11th gen Intel Core processors, but refrained from testing AMD parts due to the known L3 cache latency issue.

While we were editing this piece, Microsoft and AMD released the patch, consisting of an update to Windows 11 along with a new chipset driver. Many of you have been waiting to see more performance around Ryzen processors, so here we are using the Ryzen 5 3600 and Ryzen 9 5950X.

Both processors were tested installed on the Asus ROG Crosshair VIII Dark Hero motherboard using BIOS version 3801. For memory, we used a Crucial Ballistix DDR4-3200 CL16 kit and an MSI GeForce RTX 3090 Gaming X Trio graphics card. . On the storage side, we used TeamGroup’s 8TB NVMe MP34Q SSDs which are very fast, and we’ll include some SSD results towards the end of the article.

There are 5 test setups in total, three with the 5950X and two with the 3600. The Ryzen 5 3600 compares the performance of Windows 10 against Windows 11 with the L3 cache latency fix. Next, with the 5950X, we compare Windows 10 to two Windows 11 setups, one with the L3 patch and one without.

We’ll take a look at the performance of apps, games, storage, and load times. All results are based on an average of 3 runs and in some cases we have powered off the entire system between runs to avoid caching. Now on to the graphics …

Application performance

From the AIDA64 cache and memory results, we don’t see a real difference between the different configurations when comparing DRAM latency, L1 cache latency, and L2 cache latency. However, you can see here how bad the L3 latency was before the patch with the 5950X’s L3 latency pushed to 36ns, which is about 3 times what it should be.

Fortunately, AMD and Microsoft have now fixed this issue and therefore Windows 10 and Windows 11 should be comparable in this regard.

Moving on to Cinebench, we find some pretty boring results, but not entirely unexpected. Basically, no matter what version of Windows you are using, the performance will be about the same and this was true even before the L3 cache latency fix.

The same goes for the Blender Open Data benchmark, especially when looking at the Ryzen 9 5950X which sees a gap of less than 1% in performance. The R5 3600 was also similar, although we saw a 3% improvement with Windows 11, which in my opinion is quite insignificant.

Moving on to the results of 7-Zip, we see for the decompression job that there is little difference between the two operating systems. That said, the compression results are interesting as the Ryzen 9 5950X suffered a 7% performance loss due to the L3 bug, which of course has now been fixed and with the patch Windows 11 and 10 are the same.

Testing with Adobe Photoshop 2021 sees a 5% performance improvement for the R5 3600 when using Windows 11, which was interesting to see, especially since there was no improvement in performance. performance with the 5950X.

Then with Adobe After Effects 2021 we are looking at a 2% improvement with Windows 11 for both CPU configurations while the L3 bug reduced performance by 4% so not a big impact although it was consistently slower in our tests.

The last app benchmark we ran was Adobe Premiere Pro 2021 and this time the Ryzen 5 3600 delivered virtually identical results with either operating system while the 5950X scored 4% higher with Windows 10.

Game references

Let’s move on to some gaming benchmarks. F1 2021 saw the same performance in all configurations tested with the 5950X, even the L3 cache bug did not cause performance to drop. The R5 3600 was on average 3% faster under Windows 11, but that’s a negligible difference.

Now these results are really interesting …

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege was repeatedly faster when using Windows 11 with one of the two processors, although it was more pronounced with Zen 3. Interestingly, the L3 bug saw the performance of Windows 11 is similar to Windows 10, but with the bug fixed, Windows 11 is now consistently offering 5% more performance.

We saw a smaller 3% improvement with the R5 3600, but again Windows 11 was still faster with a small margin.

The Ryzen 9 5950X was also found to be faster when running Windows 11, again boosting performance by 5%. The R5 3600 was also faster with the new operating system, although here the margin was only 2%.

Cyberpunk 2077 results are similar to Rainbow Six Siege and Watch Dogs Legion. Windows 11 offers a 5% performance increase with the 5950X and a smaller 2% increase in performance with the R5 3600.

When it comes to game load times – or rather level load times – as we’ve seen with Intel processors, Windows 11 isn’t doing anything to reduce them.

The Ryzen 5 3600 took 11 seconds to load Windows regardless of the version used. The 5950X was a bit faster with Windows 10, taking 10 seconds to reach the desktop from the boot selection menu in the BIOS. Meanwhile, Windows 11 took 12 seconds as it seemed to take longer to pass the loading screen. These results are consistent with what we found when testing with Intel processors.

Storage performance

Finally, we have CrystalDiskMark storage results and when it comes to sequential throughput, Windows 11 does not offer any performance advantage over Windows 10. However, just as we found out when testing Intel processors, Windows It appears to improve random read and write performance considerably.

With the 5950X, we envision an almost 70% increase in write performance and a more than 20% increase in read throughput. Again, this matches what we’ve seen before when testing Intel Core processors.

Big gains were also seen when using the Ryzen 5 3600, as write performance was improved by 44% and read performance by 30%. I was not convinced that the gains seen when testing Intel processors were accurate, but having seen the same thing on a completely different platform with different installations of the two operating systems, I am now confident that this data are correct.

What we have learned

These results were only a little more interesting than what we found when testing 10th and 11th generation Intel Core processors, which for the most part saw no performance difference between Windows 11 and 10 for applications. and games.

The same is true with Ryzen, especially when it comes to app performance. For games this can vary from zero delta as seen in F1 2021, to a small increase of around 2-5% with Windows 11. The Ryzen 9 5950X was often around 5% faster with the newer. operating system and while this is an insignificant difference for gamers, it is less trivial for product reviews.

Initially, we planned to go the practical route for our next Intel Alder Lake processor reviews, and that was to reuse Windows 10 data that we had already collected for Ryzen and Intel processors. After all, we only have a short time to prepare this content and the idea of ​​cramming the 12th gen base tests in a week with all the other processors was no fun.

But with Windows 11 consistently delivering better gaming performance for Ryzen, even if only in the range of 2% to 5% for the games we tested, the more we were left with the dilemma of what do, and so the more it became clear that we had better throw away all existing data and start over.

And so, something to look forward to in a few more days … all of our Alder Lake content and processors will be tested using the latest version of Windows 11, with all updates applied and VBS disabled. All motherboard BIOS will also be updated with the latest revisions and we have gone from the RTX 2080 Ti for application testing and the RTX 3090 for gaming testing, to the Radeon RX 6900 XT which was used. exclusively for all tests.

There’s still plenty of benchmarking left before we see our first Alder Lake processor review and there will be an avalanche of content to follow. Stay tuned.

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Steven L. Nielsen

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