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Valve's L4D2 Is Faster On Linux Than Windows

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  • Originally posted by Scali View Post
    New games like HL2EP3 or such may have somewhat of an impact... but porting games like L4D2, P2, TF2, which have been on the market for years already, I don't think so.
    Maybe. Hell, if you don't mind the anecdotal evidence, I just shelled out the $6 to download the new L4D2 DLC on my XBox a few minutes ago, even though I already have it for free on my dev box and laptop. People are still very much interested in playing these games.

    The mistakes of the Linux porting companies isn't that they ported old games. It was that they charged brand-new prices for old games. If I didn't already have it and if I cared to return to Linux as a non-server OS, I'd happily pay $20 for L4D2 or HL2 on Linux.

    The purpose of Valve in this endeavor is also not exactly "make more monies by selling to the vast 1% of the market that is Linux." The project is partly just Gabe being very very interested in Linux and, being rich and having an entire company of his own that makes games, he can damn well port his stuff to Linux if he wants to. And he does. So he is.

    Just like most of you keep using Linux despite its statistical unpopularity and yet still consider the OS fantastic, it's quite possible that Valve will consider Linux ports a success simply because they exist, even if sales are low. Ideology and profits rarely have anything to do with each other.

    Also in terms of repurchasing power, keep in mind that some companies with a fanatical following do very successfully manage to peddle the same crap over and over again. There are big titles that make a splash and disappear a few months later (remember Diablo 3? me neither) and then there are titles that the gaming community just never stops being in love with (why hello there, Starcraft).

    Don't get me wrong; new titles are where the money is at in general, and if you care about sales you need to be releasing new content. It's not at all necessary to push a new a platform or technology, though. With the right product, you can keep on peddling the same fossil over and over again and be successful.

    p.s. Yes, it is fucking retarded that you have to pay for DLC on the XBox that is free on Steam, which is entirely due to the ridiculous fees Microsoft charges developers for updates and DLC. It's all Microsoft's Live team being a bunch of douchebags. Don't even get me started on Games for Windows Live. That entire department needs to combust, now, without any warning to the people who work there.

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    • I agree with earlier comments, that I personally, would be happy to just have near parity in performance. Anything else is a bonus.

      I'm so used to trying the Source games with Wine and getting HALF the performance, if that, even with my NVIDIA card. This isn't true for everyone of course, but for me it was enough to play TF2 on Windows if I didn't want the 2fort bridge area to bring my FPS to it's knees

      Strangely though, not exactly related to graphics performance, I did seem to get better ping in TF2 in Linux than I did under Windows. Not a huge amount, maybe 10-15ms at best but enough to notice and it seemed more consistent. Background connections in Windows or something? I'm not sure, but I usually run Arch Linux so there would be very few processes or connections going on.

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      • Originally posted by Scali View Post
        It would be more interesting if a full DX11+ whizzbang engine/game (Crysis 3 and Battlefield 4 being metaphors of that, note that these are imaginary future game titles, not current games) were ported to linux (not for me, don't get me wrong. I'm not even a gamer... but those are the kind of games surrounded with the most hype, and those generally get sold on their technical merits, even when they're not actually all that fun to play. They'd give linux gaming more of a boost).
        Well, Croteam is porting Serious Sam 3 to Linux as well, if that counts for anything, and I think they're targetting the launch day of when Valve ports steam. Serious Sam 3 has a seriously (lol) high end engine from what I've played, although I think it's most CPU bottlenecked but I'm not sure.

        I think it's still a DX9-level engine though, but it's still quite a powerful engine.

        Originally posted by johnc View Post
        Could you imagine the sheetstorm that would ensue?

        The MS fanboys would be in raving hysterics.
        It's not like they have to buy a new console to play their game. Is installing a free linux distro (with a windows-based installer) so hard to do?

        (I'm half-serious here, I realize that it's not going to end well if Valve did that lol)

        Originally posted by Hamish Wilson View Post
        But surely that is comparing Apples and Oranges there isin't it? You can compare Direct3D to OpenGL, but for the rest it is SDL that provides a similar or even arguably better feature set to DirectX (at the very least on Linux but also on other systems as well).
        Yes, but my point was that with DirectX, everything is in one nice little package. With OpenGL you'd have to pick and choose different frameworks (SDL, etc.). Sure it gives you choice, but at the same time it's not so clear and straightforward sometimes on how to do things.
        Last edited by 9a3eedi; 08-04-2012, 01:48 AM.

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        • Just Gabe mentioning that Half-Life 3 will be available for Linux, Mac...and Windows. Instead of Windows,Mac and Linux would be enough for me to giggle like a little schoolgirl lol.

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          • Originally posted by 9a3eedi View Post
            Yes, but my point was that with DirectX, everything is in one nice little package. With OpenGL you'd have to pick and choose different frameworks (SDL, etc.). Sure it gives you choice, but at the same time it's not so clear and straightforward sometimes on how to do things.
            DirectX doesn't actually solve the same set of problems as those frameworks. DX doesn't handle window management, doesn't handle certain parts of input, doesn't handle file I/O, networking, etc.

            Granted, as DX games aren't meant to port to non-Win32 platforms, the vast majority of them just directly use the Win32 API for all that stuff.

            The good engines, of course, still abstract everything, and can use D3D9, D3D11, OpenGL, GL|ES, and several console rendering APIs all in addition to being ported to the various other non-graphics platform-specific APIs out there.

            It would still be so much nicer if someone would just publish a replacement API for OpenGL that worked more like any other API designed in the last 15 years. And did so without tethering it to the clusterfuck that is Khronos. And spent time integrating Mesa's software renderer into a steppable shader debugger. Linux with Gallium is the perfect place for this since you can write a new API and get direct hardware acceleration without needing to wait for any hardware vendors to get on board. Just sayin'. Nudge nudge.

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            • Originally posted by elanthis View Post
              The purpose of Valve in this endeavor is also not exactly "make more monies by selling to the vast 1% of the market that is Linux." The project is partly just Gabe being very very interested in Linux and, being rich and having an entire company of his own that makes games, he can damn well port his stuff to Linux if he wants to. And he does. So he is.
              That was not the point I was responding to however.
              Let's face it, it's obvious that linux is a complete dead end for any commercial company at this point. That does not need to be discussed.
              I responded to someone using the words "huge impact".
              Now what you're saying about Gabe feeling that the Valve linux project is a success just because the games exist... Fine, but that doesn't give the gaming world a 'huge impact'.
              It would just mean that there are more (versions of) games that are ignored by the majority of gamers. Just like Valve's OS X ports have made 0 impact on the Windows gaming world. Or has there been a mass exodus from Windows to OS X since Steam and various Source games appeared for OS X in the past 2 years that I somehow missed? On the contrary. I have seen on Steam forums that even OS X users still prefer to use Bootcamp to run the Windows versions of the games: http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=1710069
              (So please excuse me for being skeptic about Valve's publication of linux performance figures... Valve couldn't even get their code to perform well in 64-bit Windows either: http://techgage.com/article/half-lif..._get_excited/2 The 64-bit version just silently disappeared from Steam at some point...)
              Last edited by Scali; 08-04-2012, 06:32 AM.

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              • Originally posted by Scali View Post
                That was not the point I was responding to however.
                Let's face it, it's obvious that linux is a complete dead end for any commercial company at this point. That does not need to be discussed.
                I responded to someone using the words "huge impact".
                Now what you're saying about Gabe feeling that the Valve linux project is a success just because the games exist... Fine, but that doesn't give the gaming world a 'huge impact'.
                It would just mean that there are more (versions of) games that are ignored by the majority of gamers. Just like Valve's OS X ports have made 0 impact on the Windows gaming world. Or has there been a mass exodus from Windows to OS X since Steam and various Source games appeared for OS X in the past 2 years that I somehow missed? On the contrary. I have seen on Steam forums that even OS X users still prefer to use Bootcamp to run the Windows versions of the games: http://forums.steampowered.com/forum....php?t=1710069
                (So please excuse me for being skeptic about Valve's publication of linux performance figures...)
                I think the bootcamp question was more about of the poor ogl performance of osx, worse graphic quality ( blame to apple poor ogl implementation ). Linux will not have these problems, a priori. But I'm not so naive to think that will be a huge migration, but it can make a trend towards a more big marketshare among young people.

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                • Originally posted by Khudsa View Post
                  Linux will not have these problems, a priori.
                  Why not? This is a DX9-game. Apple's OpenGL may not entirely be up-to-date, but it is well above DX9-level (again, we are talking 10-year old technology here). That is not the issue.
                  I see no reason why it would be any different on linux.
                  I also find Valve's figures highly suspect in light of my own OpenGL code, as well as other benchmarks that are cross-platform and/or cross-API, such as Unigine Heaven.

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                  • Originally posted by Scali View Post
                    Why not? This is a DX9-game. Apple's OpenGL may not entirely be up-to-date, but it is well above DX9-level (again, we are talking 10-year old technology here). That is not the issue.
                    I see no reason why it would be any different on linux.
                    I also find Valve's figures highly suspect in light of my own OpenGL code, as well as other benchmarks that are cross-platform and/or cross-API, such as Unigine Heaven.
                    Valve is targeting right now the binary blobs, these blobs have a common base between windows and linux. I said that 'a priori' it will not have, but obviously I don't know, only with a direct comparison when the game is released we will know.

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                    • Originally posted by Khudsa View Post
                      Valve is targeting right now the binary blobs, these blobs have a common base between windows and linux.
                      And OS X (and FreeBSD, and Solaris)
                      http://developer.download.nvidia.com...r-overview.pdf
                      Originally posted by nVidia
                      The code base for the NVIDIA graphics driver leverages the majority of the source code
                      across all the operating systems we support. Everything that is specific to a particular
                      operating or windowing system is abstracted behind interface layers. In other words, the core
                      OpenGL driver source code is used on Microsoft Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, and
                      Mac OS X. Similarly, most of the code for the NVIDIA kernel module is common across all
                      of those operating systems.

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                      • Originally posted by Scali View Post
                        And OS X (and FreeBSD, and Solaris)
                        http://developer.download.nvidia.com...r-overview.pdf
                        That's something I don't know, that osx have the same codebase.

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                        • Originally posted by Khudsa View Post
                          That's something I don't know, that osx have the same codebase.
                          Common sense, isn't it?
                          Why would nVidia maintain a separate codebase for OS X, when most of it is the same as for the other OSes? (And if anyone thinks that Apple or Microsoft write their own drivers: n00bs)

                          So back to my question: why would linux be any different from OS X, given that they both use the same OpenGL codebase?

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                          • Originally posted by Scali View Post
                            Common sense, isn't it?
                            Why would nVidia maintain a separate codebase for OS X, when most of it is the same as for the other OSes? (And if anyone thinks that Apple or Microsoft write their own drivers: n00bs)

                            So back to my question: why would linux be any different from OS X, given that they both use the same OpenGL codebase?
                            Well, I know that windows and linux have the same codebase but I never heard anything about osx, and going on it's own opengl version and not following that the driver support don't help in that matter. It's common sense that the driver is made by nvidia and maybe apple puts some layer or something like that.

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                            • Originally posted by Khudsa View Post
                              Well, I know that windows and linux have the same codebase but I never heard anything about osx
                              Well, it's right there in nVidia's own docs. In the exact same sentence that also explains that Windows and linux share the same codebase... So how could you (or anyone else) possibly have missed that? Selective reading much?

                              Originally posted by Khudsa View Post
                              and going on it's own opengl version and not following that the driver support don't help in that matter. It's common sense that the driver is made by nvidia and maybe apple puts some layer or something like that.
                              The difference is mainly that afaik only Apple distributes the drivers, instead of just downloading the latest ones directly from nVidia.
                              Aside from that, Apple has some custom extensions (then again, so do X and Windows in the form of GLX and WGL), and Apple wants to keep the OpenGL version the same across all vendors, to avoid compatibility issues. So their OpenGL versioning is lowest-common-denominator pretty much. Even though nVidia and AMD have OpenGL 4.2 support in their codebase, they only expose version 3.2 on OS X (but they do expose their extensions).
                              But again, that's still plenty for a 10-year old DX9 game.

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                              • Originally posted by Scali View Post
                                Common sense, isn't it?
                                So back to my question: why would linux be any different from OS X, given that they both use the same OpenGL codebase?
                                Because OGL implementation is shared between all manufacturers. Check fig. 1-5 https://developer.apple.com/library/...1987-CH208-SW1

                                The common OpenGL framework layer is the software interface to the graphics hardware. This layer contains Apple's implementation of the OpenGL specification.

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