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  • Running The SteamOS Kernel On Ubuntu Linux

    Phoronix: Running The SteamOS Kernel On Ubuntu Linux

    It is possible to install Valve's SteamOS modified Linux kernel onto an Ubuntu Linux installation, but I would recommend against doing so, at least for now...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTU0NDA

  • #2
    well it's also about latency, for example Xonotic feels a lot better with a low-latency kernel on my sys.
    despite having about the same framerate!

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    • #3
      Does P-State apply to AMD gear?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by stiiixy View Post
        Does P-State apply to AMD gear?
        Yes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance...ower_Interface

        On AMD it's known as PowerNow! or Cool'n'Quiet.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by phoronix View Post
          Phoronix: Running The SteamOS Kernel On Ubuntu Linux

          It is possible to install Valve's SteamOS modified Linux kernel onto an Ubuntu Linux installation, but I would recommend against doing so, at least for now...

          http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTU0NDA
          Straight FPS numbers don't tell the story. There is a certain minimum frame rate requirement, but beyond that the latency and responsiveness is far more important.

          How cool would it be if phoronix were to somehow measure and report those important factors? There are such benchmarks out there, and it would seem logical to use them any time we're discussing gaming/multimedia applications which have latency and responsiveness requirements.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ninez View Post
            Yes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advance...ower_Interface

            On AMD it's known as PowerNow! or Cool'n'Quiet.
            I always disable Cool'n'Quiet and that kind of stuff in the BIOS.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by david_lynch View Post
              Straight FPS numbers don't tell the story. There is a certain minimum frame rate requirement, but beyond that the latency and responsiveness is far more important.

              How cool would it be if phoronix were to somehow measure and report those important factors? There are such benchmarks out there, and it would seem logical to use them any time we're discussing gaming/multimedia applications which have latency and responsiveness requirements.
              Yes, this would be very useful. Input latency is very important factor in gaming. I will happily sacrifice some FPS for lower input latency. Most likely Valve have used real time patches to lower audio and input latency.

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              • #8
                Would've been useful to benchmark Source engine titles, and a slew of the latest and greatest titles available for linux on Steam (like Metro Last Light). I'm sure they're tweaking the kernel for latency and for games available on Steam; so none of the titles benchmarked here.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by hjhamala View Post
                  Yes, this would be very useful. Input latency is very important factor in gaming. I will happily sacrifice some FPS for lower input latency. Most likely Valve have used real time patches to lower audio and input latency.
                  I agree. This should be tested in some way, but I suposse it's quite more difficult and maybe it requires special hardware.

                  What about the same tests with the same kernel and P-state enables? And 3.13 with equivalent patches and P-state enabled too?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by molecule-eye View Post
                    Would've been useful to benchmark Source engine titles, and a slew of the latest and greatest titles available for linux on Steam (like Metro Last Light). I'm sure they're tweaking the kernel for latency and for games available on Steam; so none of the titles benchmarked here.
                    See: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTUyNTU
                    Michael Larabel
                    http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by hjhamala View Post
                      Yes, this would be very useful. Input latency is very important factor in gaming. I will happily sacrifice some FPS for lower input latency. Most likely Valve have used real time patches to lower audio and input latency.
                      probably...and i am sure they want to be able to have granular control of the rtprios of IRQs, kthreads, etc.

                      It's also no secret to anyone who is familiar with patching nvidia for -rt, that Nvidia (finally circa 325xx+ driver) included the spinlock code into their driver (from old nvidia-rt/compat patches) AND added the IGNORE_PREEMPT_RT_PRESENCE=1 flag into their driver ~ to allow PREEMPT_RT_FULL kernels to compile/use nvidia, where previously it would fail. ~ I had previously thought they were just improving nvidia for -rt (because it is used professionally in some areas, like flight simulation, for example).. But now, it's very obvious (to me anyway) that this work has been done for Valve/SteamOS.

                      So this is about more than just input/audio latency - this is probably about getting the best deterministic behavior and performance out of the nvidia driver, itself - ie: they probably don't want nvidia being interrupted by certain OS level operations and/or user space stuff. (same goes for input handling, audio device's IRQ, etc)...

                      PS: they are also packages jack2 (1.9.8) in their repos, which i thought was interesting.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by timofonic View Post
                        I agree. This should be tested in some way, but I suposse it's quite more difficult and maybe it requires special hardware.

                        What about the same tests with the same kernel and P-state enables? And 3.13 with equivalent patches and P-state enabled too?
                        Eurogamers Digital Foundry did some tests few years ago:
                        http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/di...factor-article

                        It is definitely doable but automation would be pretty hard.

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                        • #13
                          This is likely due to the P-State driver not being used on the SteamOS kernel
                          You could have proved it by running both tests under the "performance" governor. In fact, you should add that to your testing setup: a way to test things under different CPU governors, although it obviously would make tests longer.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by asdfblah View Post
                            You could have proved it by running both tests under the "performance" governor. In fact, you should add that to your testing setup: a way to test things under different CPU governors, although it obviously would make tests longer.
                            PTS already detects and report governor information and you can run whatever test you want in any situation.
                            Michael Larabel
                            http://www.michaellarabel.com/

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                            • #15
                              I would like to test the current SteamOS Kernel in Ubuntu. Could someone please explain me the process or hint me to resources that help understand what I have to do?

                              Also, is someone actually using this combination and what are more recent impressions?

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