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Friday, 03 August 2012 09:22

Valve takes interest in Linux for the source engine


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Valve takes interest in Linux

As of late Valve has been running experiments with their successful source engine on Linux. Although it runs well in a Windows environment a relatively large gain has been seen using Linux. Valve used a system with an i7 3930k CPU, a beefy Nvidia GeForce GTX 680 and a healthy dose of 32gb RAM to top off the test rig. The two operating systems of choice were Windows 7 64 bit (SP 1) against Ubuntu 12.04 32 bit. Valve mentions in their new Linux Blog that although they did use a 32 bit version of Ubuntu they will switch to a 64 bit version for future testing.

Using one of their more popular titles (Left 4 Dead 2) to test the system on Linux Valve noticed a choppy 6 FPS. However, after some adjustments to the game in order to take advantage of the Linux kernel and OpenGL the beast of a test rig came out swinging. The team observed a massive 315 FPS in Linux. Using the same rig Windows only managed a maximum of 270.6 FPS, or approximately 14 percent slower.

Upon seeing the results several eyebrows were raised and the team pondered why OpenGL was outperforming Direct 3D on a technical level. After further research the team found that there were “a few additional microseconds [of] overhead per batch in Direct3D which does not affect OpenGL," which raises suspicions that perhaps Direct3D is not as efficient as Microsoft has been saying it is. The recent experiments are very interesting and it will be great to see what the future has is store for Linux based Steam games. Hopefully we can see further experimentation with other titles soon

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Read 2594 times Last modified on Friday, 03 August 2012 09:32

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