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Valve cranks up Linux gaming, makes it faster than Windows

valve linux opengl directx performance windows

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#16 HawkMan

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:11

I like some actual evidence of this. as all my experience shows that the linux kernel is not more efficient than the NT kernel(the NT kernel is newer tech with some stuff that the linux kernel should have had but doesn't). and OpenGL I've never on any system see perform better than D3D. I've seen it perform more stable with illegal meshes(basically handling more error before crashing and burning) but not outperforming.


#17 simplezz

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:12

Technically using Linux doesn't make it faster, OpenGL does.
It is good Valve are pushing Steam to Linux but i don't see many developers porting their games over to Linux, unless it is easy and cost effective for them.


It's Linux and the Linux OpenGL implementation that is faster.

#18 fenderMarky

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:12

I guess they changed something like

for(int i=0; i<1000000; i++)

into

for(int i=0; i<100; i++)

Oh it's faster! The system which is going to compete with our market is a sh*t!

#19 Melfster

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:12

Personally I think its waste of money for valve, unless they are building their one console then it would make sense for them to optimize for Linux.

#20 Bubbo

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:13

Technically using Linux doesn't make it faster, OpenGL does.
It is good Valve are pushing Steam to Linux but i don't see many developers porting their games over to Linux, unless it is easy and cost effective for them.


Except the blog post specifically mentions that the Linux version ran faster than the Windows OpenGL version. They then improved the Windows OpenGL code and sped that up as well, but it's still not quite as fast as Linux .

After this work, Left 4 Dead 2 is running at 315 FPS on Linux. That the Linux version runs faster than the Windows version (270.6) seems a little counter-intuitive, given the greater amount of time we have spent on the Windows version. However, it does speak to the underlying efficiency of the kernel and OpenGL. Interestingly, in the process of working with hardware vendors we also sped up the OpenGL implementation on Windows. Left 4 Dead 2 is now running at 303.4 FPS with that configuration



#21 guitmz

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:13

Is the visual quality identical?

I have a sneaky suspicion that for more advanced engines, like Frostbite 2.0, D3D will win. I am all for linux gaming, but right now Windows dominates that.


it's not easy to tell.. i'm pretty sure that the game studio can "choose" in which API the game will be smoother.. depends on the work for each one upon the game dev...


In general, Direct3D is designed to virtualize 3D hardware interfaces. Direct3D frees the game programmer from accommodating the graphics hardware. OpenGL, on the other hand, is designed to be a 3D hardware-accelerated rendering system that may be emulated in software. These two APIs are fundamentally designed under two separate modes of thought.

As such, there are functional differences in how the two APIs work. Direct3D expects the application to manage hardware resources; OpenGL makes the implementation do it. This tradeoff for OpenGL decreases difficulty in developing for the API, while at the same time increasing the complexity of creating an implementation (or driver) that performs well. With Direct3D, the developer must manage hardware resources independently; however, the implementation is simpler, and developers have the flexibility to allocate resources in the most efficient way possible for their application.

Until about 2005, another functional difference between the APIs was the way they handled rendering to textures. The Direct3D method (SetRenderTarget()) is convenient, while prior versions of OpenGL required manipulating pixel buffers (P-buffers). This was cumbersome and risky: if the programmer's codepath was different from that anticipated by the driver maker, the code would have fallen back to software rendering, causing a substantial performance drop. However, widespread support for the "frame buffer objects" extension, which provided an OpenGL equivalent of the Direct3D method, successfully addressed this shortcoming, and the "render target" feature of OpenGL brought OpenGL up to par with Direct3D in this respect.

Outside of a few minor functional differences which have mostly been addressed over the years, the two APIs provide nearly the same level of function. Hardware and software makers generally respond rapidly to changes in DirectX, e.g. pixel processor and shader requirements in DirectX 9 to stream processors in DirectX 10, while new features in OpenGL are mainly implemented first by vendors and afterward retroactively applied to the standard.


http://en.wikipedia....GL_and_Direct3D


#22 The Laughing Man

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:14

One gripe about OpenGL I have is the texture quality in games, they always seem to be more smudgy and unrealistic compared to its DirectX counterpart. Anyone remember the Rage megatexture fiasco. Actually everything from ID software after quake 3 looks horrid.

#23 Blackhearted

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:14

Well, the more support Linux gets, the more support my Macs get. I'll take OpenGL games over DirectX any day! (see Quake 3).



What exactly is wrong with the Source engine out of curiosity? it still looks and performs great!


Of course it performs great. It's something like 8 years old and relatively simplistic on the visuals front(from what i've seen) compared to games of other, more modern engines. It'd be kind of hard for it not to perform well on everything including your toaster.

#24 ViperAFK

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:15

Is the visual quality identical?

I have a sneaky suspicion that for more advanced engines, like Frostbite 2.0, D3D will win. I am all for linux gaming, but right now Windows dominates that.


OpenGL isn't any less powerful than D3D, its just that D3D is easier to develop for.

One gripe about OpenGL I have is the texture quality in games, they always seem to be more smudgy and unrealistic compared to its DirectX counterpart. Anyone remember the Rage megatexture fiasco. Actually everything from ID software after quake 3 looks horrid.


That's just because ID has been a joke lately, not because of opengl :rolleyes:

#25 Rudy

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:18

If companies jump on board with this like Valve is hoping and port their games over, could OS X and Linux really be the next gaming platform? I'll switch when all my games are supported, and Windows 7 is at end of life.

I don't think OSX and Linux will become the "next" gaming OSes, I just think that PC gaming will shift from Windows only to true multi platform (which is good for everyone...except MS)

One gripe about OpenGL I have is the texture quality in games, they always seem to be more smudgy and unrealistic compared to its DirectX counterpart. Anyone remember the Rage megatexture fiasco. Actually everything from ID software after quake 3 looks horrid.

If large companies like Valve get behind OpenGL, development will speed up and OpenGL will become more competitive with DirectX

#26 simplezz

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:19

I like some actual evidence of this. as all my experience shows that the linux kernel is not more efficient than the NT kernel(the NT kernel is newer tech with some stuff that the linux kernel should have had but doesn't).


The fact that everything from supercomputers to your router runs on GNU/Linux is probably good enough evidence.

and OpenGL I've never on any system see perform better than D3D. I've seen it perform more stable with illegal meshes(basically handling more error before crashing and burning) but not outperforming.


I'm pretty sure Microsoft's implementation, which only supports the 1.1 spec, is trash. Not sure about how good Nvidia, AMD, or Intel's Windows implementations are. That could be the reason why you haven't seen good performance from it. Give Linux and Doom3 a try. It runs well on my machine.

#27 guitmz

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:20

yes, that's a good point! the possibilities for OpenGL are endless... way more promissing than for D3D. Direct3D will keep living on Xbox, but OpenGL for PC seems a lot more interesting

#28 Dashel

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:20

There is a reason D3D has been the defacto standard for many, many years. MS (smartly) spends lots of development on this. Just optimizing for OGL isn't the solution, they need a more comprehensive framework.

I'm all for it. I'd like the choice of a non-Windows alternative just in case.

#29 simplezz

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:21

I guess they changed something like

for(int i=0; i<1000000; i++)

into

for(int i=0; i<100; i++)

Oh it's faster! The system which is going to compete with our market is a sh*t!


Read FAIL!

The bottle neck they said, was Direct3D's batch processing, not their own code. Maybe Microsoft needs to do a better job with DX's performance in the future.

#30 ObiWanToby

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Posted 02 August 2012 - 17:22

I know when the source engine first appeared on OS X, visual quality was lacking. I am just suspicious of these results. If the visual quality is exactly the same, then this is impressive. This includes all features including AA AF any other technologies like HBAO.

I remember a time when some games allowed you to choose between OpenGL and D3D. That was early on though.