I have used Linux for a while, recently switching to Arch, and decided to test frame rates in Arch, Debian, and Windows.

I first installed Windows (just drivers and Firefox, for I wanted to remove the performance hit from using Proton through Steam) on a spare SSD (about the same speed as my main drive) and ran Minecraft to get an average of around 450 FPS.

Next, I installed Debian Stretch w/ Gnome on my main drive, and ran the same test, though I'd installed other apps. The result was around 550 FPS.

Finally, I ran the same test on Arch with i3 which yielded around 880 FPS.

I have looked for an answer but couldn't find one. What I understand is that Arch, especially with i3, is lighter than the other two; Gnome may possibly be lighter than Windows, but is there a reason for the significant performance difference? Is it possibly due to NVIDIA proprietary drivers?

  • @K7AAY you have added a lot of links here - do you know if the OP has made use of any of them?
    – muru
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 0:38
  • Added links are provided a) as a Clue to the OP b) and to others who may find it later, as well as c) a resource to those who may answer.
    – K7AAY
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 12:57
  • @K sure, but many of those links have instructions in them. It may mislead people into thinking OP actually followed those instructions. Please don't do that. If you want to provide hints, use answers or comments.
    – muru
    Commented Jul 12, 2019 at 14:58

1 Answer 1


NVIDIA sells a lot more GPUs to Windows users and OEMs than it sells to Linux users, so I am dubious that NVIDIA would neglect the performance of their Windows drivers, to answer your last question.

Now, Minecraft alone as a test app may work very fast with one particular app and OS combination, but as you will see when you look online, the pros will use multiple apps to test, not just one.

But I am not surprised that Arch running i3 is faster for it is a much lighter distro than GNOME and Debian, and both are significantly lighter than Windows 10.

  • I didn't know gnome was lighter than windows, even using about 4 gigs of memory at idle, but I looked on some forums, of other games I had that ran natively on Linux and with my hardware, the performance is also around 1/3rd higher
    – T. Roche
    Commented Jul 10, 2019 at 18:52

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