Windows 11 boosts performance of hybrid CPUs


If you keep abreast with the developments in the computing hardware space, you may be aware of hybrids CPUs that are now the norm in the mobile space.

This is a kind of architectural design famously known as big.LITTLE, whereby a chip is comprised of two different types of cores — one meant for processing intensive tasks to do the heavy lifting, and another for lighter workloads.

ARM pioneered this concept for smartphones and tablets. But this is a key feature of the upcoming Alder Lake CPUs from Intel that house these two radically different cores working in tandem. Even the next generation Ryzen processors from AMD are expected to make use of such an architecture.

For a while, the computing world wondered what use these hybrid processors would have in the desktop space, which is all about raw processing power.

Curiously, the leaked build of Windows 11 might hold some answers.

It appears that Microsoft has packed in a punch for these types of processors in Windows 11. Tests carried out by Hot Hardware indicate definite improvements in performance of these CPUs, depending on the workload.

Since Alder Lake is not out yet, A Galaxy Book S with the Lakefield Core i7-L16G7 was used for benchmarking. This processor makes full use of this new big.LITTLE architecture.

The leaked copy of Windows 11, that being build 21996.1 was compared against the 21H1 update for Windows 10 to check whether the new OS offered any performance differences in a variety of different workloads.

Lo and behold, it did offer some substantial improvements.

Most notable speedups were observed in the browser usage. Geekbench, with its range of short burst tests also saw moderate gains in the multithreaded test, with smaller gains in the single threaded one. While PCMark 10 that simulates a real usage scenario on PCs, offered mixed results.

Cinebench saw modest gains when all cores were full loaded, but improvements were more pronounced in the single threaded workloads as they are more affected by scheduler input.

And finally, we have the graphics workloads in the form of the Night Raid test in 3DMark, which is a light DirectX 12 benchmark. It was the only test that saw performance regression in Windows 11.

Even though these are the earliest of days, these results show promising signs. This is clearly the way direction the world of processors is heading towards now. And it is nice to see Microsoft making improvements to the Windows 11 scheduler and enabling it to keep up to speed with this new change.