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News Valve hits Left 4 Dead 2 performance high - on Linux

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 2 Aug 2012.

  1. ferret141

    ferret141 Well-Known Member

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    This has me thinking about the Raspberry Pi. L4D2 won't run on an ARM core will it?
     
  2. GoodBytes

    GoodBytes How many wifi's does it have?

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    I would like to note for everyone... that Valve got some help directly from Nvidia. Nvidia has a special assembly level tools and knowledge of their chip, so they help Valve like no tomorrow to get the performance. PLUS, possibly new drivers from Nvidia that does some optimization for this game... and as it's preaty much the only game, or engine for Linux... it's quiet easy to do optimization for, as you don't need to concern about breaking or dropping performance from other games.

    When Left for Dead 2 was developer for Windows, they didn't have that kind of special support. So in others words, Valve was able to push to extremes OpenGL under Linux. And what did they get? Not even 4% increase. That's seriously not impressive.
     
  3. Star*Dagger

    Star*Dagger New Member

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    I did not believe all that End of the World bunk around 2012 until now!

    Linux Gaming!

    The Fall of Wintel is Nigh!

    Yours in End Times Plasma,
    Star*Dagger
     
  4. azrael-

    azrael- I'm special...

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    And by "not even 4% increase" you actually mean about 16%, because you really should compare the Windows/D3D frame rate with the Linux/OGL frame rate. I'm sure if the article had concerned Microsoft's efforts optimizing Windows 8, or any Windows version for that matter, there'd be no end of you talking this up.

    I also love how you pretty much give nVidia all the credit, such as you deem it, for this achievement. I'm sure they've been helpful, as has AMD probably, but that doesn't mean that Valve should be deprived of its credit for this.

    I, for one, believe what Valve is doing here is remarkable and laudable, even though I use Windows on a daily basis both at work and at home. Actually, I have hardly used any sort of *NIX since my college days, which was a fair few years ago. I also do not use Mac OSX and actually have an intense dislike for Apple, but I still applaud Valve for getting STEAM to the Mac. The reason? I love choice. And there's really no downside in Valve's efforts on the Linux front.
     
  5. Star*Dagger

    Star*Dagger New Member

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    I long for that most resplendent day, foretold in the books of the Messengers, whereupon we will be delivered up from the bondage of Redmond. All True Gamers will raise their voices in 7.1 surround sound Trumpets and yell in one voice, "Free at last, Free at last, thank Torvalds, we are free at last!"

    Praise be to the Newell and the Torvalds!

    Yours in Exodus from Redmond Plasma,
    Star*Dagger
     
  6. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    3% is a big enough amount. Anyone who disagrees is welcome to give me 3% of their wages.
    That said if it was 3% worse than the windows frame rate would anyone be slating it, or would you be impressed at the fact they achieved it.
    Competition is great, it encourages innovation. The rise of linux, the rise of ARM, hell even the rise of apple (even though I hate them) can only be good for consumers. Now if only AMD can pull something awesome out the bag we could be in for an interesting 2013.
     
  7. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    It would be pretty ironic if we were freed from "the bondage of Redmond" by Valve, a company whose headquarters is just a short bus ride away from Microsoft. :D
     
  8. thogil

    thogil New Member

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    Valve need to learn how to implement instancing.
     
  9. XXAOSICXX

    XXAOSICXX Member

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    Why? If you were trying to compare performance with any hope of deriving meaningful data you would need only one variable - in this instance the host OS. Windows/OGL vs Linux/OGL is a useful comparison (except that it's actually not, since they didn't use 64-bit OS's for both anyway).

    By way of an analogy, if you had two F1 cars you wished to compare you'd use the same driver AND the same track.

    Changing either the driver or the track and then comparing the two cars would give you unreliable data.

    The same applies here.
     
  10. azrael-

    azrael- I'm special...

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    As far as I know L4D2 was made for D3D on Windows. OGL only came as an option later. Probably when it was ported for OSX, but I'm not at all sure here. Truth be told I didn't even know you could use anything but D3D on Windows and I wouldn't be surprised if that is also true for the majority of users. Given that, I believe it is more fair to compare the "common" rendering path on Windows with the "common" (read: only) rendering path on Linux. Yet even when comparing the same rendering path on both Windows and Linux OGL comes out on top. Even it it's just about 4%.

    But what I really wanted to say with my post is that Valve's accomplishment isn't something that should be dissed.
     
  11. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    The problem with that is you're changing what's being looked at. Great, Linux runs the same thing 3% faster than Windows. I'm sure that'll go down in OS flamewar history. What you're losing is DirectX: possibly the biggest factor keeping gaming tied to Windows.

    For gaming, the graphics API is more important. Proving that OpenGL is equal or superior to DirectX is what shows developers that they aren't bound to Windows to get the best performance. We can already see that Windows/OpenGL (303FPS) is faster than Windows/DirectX (270FPS), adding the Linux/OpenGL is further proof that OS/API combinations other than the standard can provide better performance.
     
  12. Guinevere

    Guinevere Mega Mom

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    I very much doubt you'd be willing to pay to upgrade your CPU or GPU for a 3% speed improvement.

    Surely changing ones OS is a fairly significant thing to do. I would imagine many would need more than a 3% improvement in games to consider it - there would have to be other advantages.
     
  13. Sloth

    Sloth #yolo #swag

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    An extention of my post above: this is why the Windows/DirectX to Linux/OpenGL comparison is important.

    If you popped in for a quick game of L4D2 on Windows it would be using DirectX by default. I'm ready to be corrected, but I don't believe there's even an in game option for OpenGL. If you suddenly switched to Linux you would be seeing the 16% frame per second increase explained in the thread already.

    Additionally, if there is an OpenGL option, or assuming one was implemented, you could gain a 12% FPS increase while staying on Windows. The 3% is if you went from this situation to Linux.

    Based on that you can see that the real excitement is OpenGL, not Linux versus Windows. This is great because OpenGL benefits apply to Windows, Linux and Macs. It's success is great for all of PC gaming. It just happens to be even better for Linux (and Mac) gaming because they can't use DirectX which has been a large part of games not supporting them.
     
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  14. Roskoken

    Roskoken New Member

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    I can understand why this is happening on account of the travesty that will be windows 8, but this is hardly in keeping with the ethos of linux and could be a slippery slope with regards to the open and free nature of the OS in the future. All that needs to happen is EA will support it and were ****ed.

    However I probably would consider now building a micro "steam box" with linux as the dedicated OS.
     
  15. Byron C

    Byron C Over-reacting and over-analysing since 1982

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    There are already proprietary Nvidia drivers on Linux, as well as plenty of commercial proprietary software. I don't see how having a Steam client would be a detriment; quite the contrary, it would be a massive boost. The OS will remain open source, but the same doesn't necessarily have to be said of the applications. Sure it would be nice, but there are real world practicalities to consider.

    EDIT:

    Even if it did, it probably wouldn't be supported by the Pi's older-generation ARM core and 700MHz clock speed :).

    Chances are that if Steam/Source Engine games ever emerge on Linux, they will be x86/amd64 only.
     
  16. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    To your first point, True.
    To your second, kind of true. But if you run linux and windows then it is good news. And the analogy of paying for a 3% boost when linux is largely free is kind of irrelevant. Would you take a new cpu if it offered between 3 and 15% improvement and it was free?
    I see what you're saying, honestly, I do. But we are pioneers here on bit, we are not your average user, we all have friends and family who listen to our advice. Linux is not quite ready for the mainstream yet in my opinion, when it is I will let my dad loose on it, this is a leap in the right direction though.
     
  17. Roskoken

    Roskoken New Member

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  18. azrael-

    azrael- I'm special...

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  19. Aracos

    Aracos New Member

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    I hate to be negative towards him but his comments are pretty silly. Linux will remain the open source platform that it is and will still represent freedom even if Valve bring DRM to the system in the form of Steam. There are many closed source programmes available for Linux but they don't pollute the system by changing its message. In an ideal world everything would be open source and no DRM would exist but this is the real world full of fearful developers. I'd like to see the rise of Linux as a gaming platform and if Valve wants to lead that charge then they may.

    On topic: I think the most interesting aspect of this is that OpenGL drivers are typically much slower for consumer graphics cards and this move might prompt Nvidia and AMD to put more effort into their Linux and OpenGL drivers if the platform gets more popular with developers. More performance can only be a good thing.
     
  20. fluxtatic

    fluxtatic New Member

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    Richard Stallman can eat me. Dude had twenty years to make a kernel for the GNU project and failed. The a while back he wouldn't shut up about how it's "GNU/Linux", since essentially everything other than the kernel was part of the GNU project. Sorry, didn't realize getting credit was more important the spreading of the software itself.

    Not saying he didn't contribute (hugely) to computing, but he needs to shut up now. His whining about ethics and morals is more irritating than your average religious zealot, because at least Fred Phelps and the rest are so ridiculous, they're entertaining. Stallman's morals and ethics aren't necessarily mine, and I'm tired of him trying to shove them down my (and everyone else's) throat.

    On topic, though, I like this. I like it a lot. I don't much give a crap about how the Source engine performs on Linux. What I like is that those improvements may translate into improvements back in the Windows world. As people who aren't zealous fanbois recognize, competition benefits us all :)
     

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