Windows 11 vs Windows 10 performance: games and apps
Windows 11 is coming and some of you have tried the leaked ISO, as have several media and YouTubers. We hadn’t planned to evaluate the new operating system yet, at least until its official release or until an official beta was released, but with so many more releasing Windows 11 benchmarks. with very mixed results, we thought we should give it a try and see what the real deal is.
So this is only a preview of Windows 11 and it should be noted that this leaked version is not the final version and therefore performance is subject to change. We downloaded the ISO and made the necessary changes, so that it could be installed on our test system. So far the stability has been excellent, not a single crash and everything has worked. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of the Mac look that Microsoft seems to have gone for, but that’s okay and I’m sure you’ll be able to customize the look to suit your preferences.
We’re not going to dive into all the changes, but we’ll say that Windows 11 is definitely based on the Windows 10 kernel, we would expect a smooth transition, but for the purposes of this article all we’re interested in is performance.
Is Windows 11 faster, slower, or the same as Windows 10? To find out, we tested AMD and Intel platforms. That is, a Core i7-11700 and a Ryzen 7 5800X, both equipped with 16GB of dual-channel DDR4-3200 CL14 memory, a Noctua NH-D15 cooler and a Gigabyte RTX graphics card. 3070 Gaming OC. Let’s get into the graphics …
Right off the bat, I’ll admit, this won’t be the most interesting set of benchmarks I’ve ever released, at least in terms of performance margins. I’ve seen benchmark graphics claiming 5, 10, 15, and even 20% more performance with Windows 11, unfortunately for those of you using the latest AMD and Intel desktop processors, it doesn’t seem like the next Microsoft operating system you all that …
Running Cinebench R23 seems to reveal the exact same level of CPU performance for Rocket Lake and Zen 3 processors. And 7-zip compression is no different. I won’t bother to talk about most of the performance margins as they are insignificant. In the case of 7-zip, we are not looking for more than 1% margin between the two Windows operating systems.
It’s the same story when running the Blender Open Data benchmark, which is very repetitive and extremely accurate. In short, no change in performance.
We see the same with Adobe software, it doesn’t matter if it is Photoshop, After Effects or Premiere Pro, we are looking for the same performance with Windows 10 or Windows 11.
DaVinci Resolve Studio 16 gives us the biggest headroom yet, Windows 11 was 3% slower when using the Core i7-11700, although we didn’t see any change with the Ryzen 7 5800X. Although the data is based on an average of 3 runs, I would still allow a 1% margin of error, which at most means we could consider a 1% difference between the two operating systems. Either way, 3% is still a meaningless margin.
Unfortunately, there is nothing exciting to see here either. Out of the 8 games tested we are not looking for more than 1% variation in performance between the two operating systems, it is remarkable how similar the two are, but ultimately not that surprising.
It’s rare that we see noticeable performance improvements for existing hardware when Microsoft releases a major operating system update. In the past, we’ve seen bogus claims of big performance gains, but they rarely hold up when properly investigated. It’s unclear what changes have been made with Windows 11 that could improve system performance, and if any such changes have been made, we have no idea what hardware configurations they target.
So there you have it, the leaked version of Windows 11 appears to be basically identical to Windows 10 in terms of performance. We are aware of other references claiming performance gains of 5%, 10% and even more with Windows 11, and while this may be true for some hardware configurations, it was not for what we tested.
We’ve heard that Windows 11 is faster due to a new schedule update, but we’ve heard of schedule improvements in the past that were very little. It is possible that super-heavy processors will see an improvement, but we doubt it. We’ve also heard that Windows 11 will bring planning improvements optimized for hybrid processors with small and large cores, which makes a lot of sense. Newly released hardware often requires software updates, but these will come in the future.
Since the development of Windows 11 is believed to have sprung from Windows 10X, a lite version of the operating system, it makes sense that 11 would inherit some of these traits and it appears to be true. But at least for the setups we tested today, that didn’t lead to extra performance. It’s still possible that for low-end systems Windows 11 could provide a bit of a breather and that may be something worth exploring when the operating system is officially released.
There are other performance-related benchmarks that we could have run targeting things like storage and boot times, but for this initial test I wanted to focus on app and game benchmarks. As far as I know Windows 11 is just a new version of Windows 10 and really could have been that. Originally Microsoft intended to stick with Windows 10 and perform incremental updates over time, which they have been doing since its release, after all Windows 10 is quite different in 2021 from what it was in 2015.
But it looks like Microsoft is looking to spice things up a bit and rather than just releasing another major Windows 10 update, they’re making headlines with the unexpected story of Windows 11. Again, consider this as a preview, although I wouldn’t expect the official version to be much different in terms of performance, at least for the configurations tested here. Please rest assured that we will test and follow up on any important information.