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.
Thread beginning with comment 529399
To view parent comment, click here.
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
RE[4]: Not too fast
by lucas_maximus on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 19:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Not too fast"
Member since:

Read the link, it explains why.

It about pre-emptive multi-tasking is better in Windows Vista and 7 with the new Direct X versions than Windows XP and Direct X 9.0.

This is a departure from Windows XP, where the hardware could decide to switch threads on its own, as the OS had limited control about what the GPU could do.

Also it states

* Multithreaded rendering — to render to the same Direct3D device object from different threads for multi core CPUs

* which exposes the shader pipeline for non-graphical tasks such as stream processing and physics acceleration, similar in spirit to what OpenCL, Nvidia CUDA, ATI Stream achieves, and HLSL Shader Model 5 among others.

* Texture arrays enable swapping of textures in GPU without CPU intervention.

* New state object to enable (mostly) the CPU to change states efficiently.

* Predicated Rendering allows drawing calls to be ignored based on some other conditions. This enables rapid occlusion culling, which prevents objects from being rendered if it is not visible or too far to be visible.

* Instancing 2.0 support, allowing multiple instances of similar meshes, such as armies, or grass or trees, to be rendered in a single draw call, reducing the processing time needed for multiple similar objects to that of a single one.

Considering the Framerates were soo high (almost 300 FPS), the process was most likely CPU limited not GPU limited. (This is true also of Quake 3 which is now as much of a CPU benchmark than anything else, Quake 3 engine unless running at silly resolutions can't really use more than 64mb of video ram).

Since a lot of these improvements appear to take load from the CPU, I would argue that it would be different if it was the same game using Direct X 11 vs OpenGL.

Edited 2012-08-02 19:31 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[5]: Not too fast
by Alfman on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 20:53 in reply to "RE[4]: Not too fast"
Alfman Member since:


I appreciate the response. But I was hoping for actual benchmarks, not just a theoretical hypothesis.

I know they added more features in DX10 & 11, which if used will help offload the CPU, but a comparison between the SAME features of OpenGL and DirectX wouldn't necessarily be affected by that. An apples to apples comparison between DX10 and OpenGL could still produce OpenGL as a winner. No solid evidence has been produced either way.

It's unlikely to affect in game playability to any noticeable degree, it's mostly about bragging rights.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Not too fast
by lucas_maximus on Thu 2nd Aug 2012 20:58 in reply to "RE[5]: Not too fast"
lucas_maximus Member since:

But saying Linux is faster because of kernel and driver improvements when they compared code written against an API that is 8 years old to the latest API code is not a fair comparison.

Especially when the newest API has specific improvements that may invalidate the FPS difference.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[6]: Not too fast
by Wafflez on Fri 3rd Aug 2012 18:35 in reply to "RE[5]: Not too fast"
Wafflez Member since:

Oh please, it's a known fact that Direct-X 11 is faster than 9.

Just download World of Warcraft trial and try for yourself....

With nVidia cards it's 30% increased performance, lol.

Poor Valve with their out dated engine. ;)

Edited 2012-08-03 18:36 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1