Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 16:48 UTC, submitted by aargh
Games From Valve's Linux blog: "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." If it wasn't obvious before, it should be now: Valve has started its marketing campaign for Linux. With the Windows platform in the process of closing itself off, Valve has to look to greener pastures. This is all to motive third parties to get their stuff ready for a possible Linux-powered 'Steambox' - not a console, but a set of generic PC specifications. Remember: the Xbox is the only machine tied to DirectX - OpenGL runs everywhere else, including Windows (the PS3 is an oddball, and has a sort-of Sony-specific FrankenOpenGL). OpenGL simply makes more sense for developers, and now Valve is working very closely with Nvidia, AMD, and Intel to optimise their Linux drivers. Do the math, people.
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OpenGL under Linux needs boost
by wigry on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 16:55 UTC
wigry
Member since:
2008-10-09

I am happy to see that OpenGL under Linux will get some more attention. I am an aviation enthusiast (both simmer and real pilot) and so far the OpenGL performance under Linux has been a problem to run X-Plane at full speed. So far the vendors (NVidia, AMD, Intel) have had not much interest to invest effort into tuning the OpenGL under Linux in their drivers. Valve is a serious force however to highlight the performance issues and hopefully the situation will get much much better. After that, other game producers will probably see a future in Linux as well and DirectX can be started to phase out.

Edited 2012-08-02 16:56 UTC

Reply Score: 3

smashIt Member since:
2005-07-06

Valve is a serious force however to highlight the performance issues and hopefully the situation will get much much better.


valve is a serious force as a distributor, but not in games

let's be honnest: as good as valves games are, they are few and far between

Reply Parent Score: 3

robojerk Member since:
2006-01-10

True, but Valve isn't the only developer making Linux compatible games.
Steam is a very healthy distribution platform, all the games using any of the idTech engines shouldn't require a lot of work to get running on Linux, all the CoD games have heavy roots from idTech3 so if the developer wanted to port their product to Linux it's not a great leap of the imagination.

Reply Parent Score: 6

przemo_li Member since:
2010-06-01

Whatever you say the fact is that as soon as Valve expressed its interest in OSX, its users got better OpenGL drivers. Situation repeats itself when Valve start interesting in Linux.

And if Valve is powerless, than I wish them more of it ;) Its good for Linux users ;)

Reply Parent Score: 9

bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Well duh! They are too busy building Steam to be spending much time with new games, not to mention they are still making money off the old ones like crazy so naturally they are more focused on steam right now.

<p>That said...why is it shocking that Linux runs OpenGL better than Windows? It shouldn't be, nor should it be shocking that directX runs a few frames slower since Windows 7 and 8 use hardware acceleration on the desktop and for the most part Linux doesn't. Not a judgement, just the way it is. If your GPU is doing other things naturally its gonna be a little slower than if it only has a single task, just common sense. Hell who hasn't been playing some hardcore games on Win 7 and after quitting find the "Desktop composition is running slowly, want to use Windows Basic theme?" dialog box?</p>

Finally lets not forget that Valve has ALWAYS been an OpenGL house, heck they were using OpenGL when everyone else was using Glide. Its only natural that their games would have every tweak and trick for max OpenGL performance since their devs have been using it for so long.

Reply Parent Score: 4

KrustyVader Member since:
2006-10-28

Yes, they made only a few games. But those games usually gives me more hours of play (and replay) that most of the companies that made 2 or more games per year.

Other great thing with Valve is that each game have a long life (for example they keep updating L4D) and great costumer support. You spend 50 u$s in a game and 2 years later i keep playing it like if it was the first day.

I stop buying CodeMasters games because they don't fix bugs, the costumer supports isn't good, and cheaters usually ruin their only games and they don't do anything about it. Valve actively fight only cheaters.

Reply Parent Score: 2

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

Source and Unity3D are soon to be Linux friendly.
Also, Valve has HalfLife franchise and quite a lot of their own content.

Reply Parent Score: 3

gilboa Member since:
2005-07-06

I am happy to see that OpenGL under Linux will get some more attention.


Actually, at least in the case of nVidia, OpenGL performance got a lot of attention.
Last time I took the time to compare OGL Windows vs. OGL Linux (Doom3 and Quake 4), Linux is was somewhat faster in both cases (not really surprising given the fact that both more-or-less use the same code base)

Never the less, your issue might be specific to X-plane.
Did you report it in nvnews forum? The nVidia developers tend to be very responsive.

- Gilboa

Edited 2012-08-02 19:11 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 3

wigry Member since:
2008-10-09

It is not so much about nVidia but instead about the fact that X-Plane is develped by a very small number of developers and they cannot influence the hw vendors as much as bigger players can.

NVidia by the way provide much better OpenGL performance both in Windows and in Linux than AMD does. I am not currently ure if that looong lasting HD7970 issue has been fixed. Basically it was impossible to run X-Plane on that particular card with nothing more than medium settings. As soon as you introduced cars and clouds, the FPS would plummet.

Also note that X-Plane is perhaps the best computer benchmark as there is currently no consumer level computer available that can run X-Plane maxed out. Of course if you start to analyse why it is so, it boils down to quite silly decisions to calculate EVERYTHING that can be seen from 10 kilometers and thats a lot. Only lately Austin has started to think about optimization that maybe you do not have to calculate the houses 100km away that precisely as if you would stand next to it. Anyway X-Plane can bring any system to it knees and it is always a research to figure out is your setup CPU or GPU bound.

Reply Parent Score: 2

kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I am happy to see that OpenGL under Linux will get some more attention. I am an aviation enthusiast (both simmer and real pilot) and so far the OpenGL performance under Linux has been a problem to run X-Plane at full speed. So far the vendors (NVidia, AMD, Intel) have had not much interest to invest effort into tuning the OpenGL under Linux in their drivers. Valve is a serious force however to highlight the performance issues and hopefully the situation will get much much better. After that, other game producers will probably see a future in Linux as well and DirectX can be started to phase out.


Unfortunately what you've inadvertently pointed out is the very problem with the current ecosystem - the dependency on vendor specific OpenGL implementations rather than a generic across the board implementation that hooks into Mesa. In all due respects I would sooner the time and effort go into giving Mesa an overhaul in such a way that the likes of nVidia, AMD and Intel can create proprietary drivers that then hook into Mesa rather than requiring the driver vendors themselves to go out and implement the stack. A Mesa library that implements OpenGL all the way to 4.2 plus quality drivers that hook into that stack would be a huge win for Linux on the desktop overall - not just when it comes to games but when it also comes to things such as hardware accelerated compositing etc. The next big thing that needs a kick up the backside is the Wayland server to replace Xorg, all very nice having great drivers and a great OpenGL stack but it is a waste of time if the display technology is archaic.

Reply Parent Score: 2

delta0.delta0 Member since:
2010-06-01

Valve has been asking for user input - maybe email him about Mesa, maybe they will seriously look at it, who knows, but I agree it is the proper way to do it.

Reply Parent Score: 1