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FreeBSD: A Faster Platform For Linux Gaming Than Linux?

Michael Larabel

Published on 7 September 2011
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 6 of 6 - 102 Comments

World of Padman runs about 9% faster on PC-BSD 8.2 over Ubuntu 11.04.

The 32-bit build of OpenArena was only 4% faster than when it was run on Ubuntu 11.04, but with the 64-bit build the margin expanded to 14%.

With the sample of Linux-native games and real-world OpenGL benchmarks used, PC-BSD 8.2 with its Linux binary compatibility support was faster than Ubuntu 11.04. This was for both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the operating systems. Additionally, both operating systems were using the same NVIDIA GeForce proprietary graphics driver release. On average the performance under PC-BSD/FreeBSD 8.2 was 8~14% on average, but BSD's lead expanded as the tests became more intense.

It would be interesting to see how Debian GNU/kFreeBSD performs in comparison for Linux gaming, since it just has the FreeBSD kernel and with a full Debian GNU user-land. However, at last attempt, the proprietary FreeBSD NVIDIA driver did not like Debian GNU/kFreeBSD due to the user-space differences. When I am back from the annual Oktoberfest pilgrimage, the investigation will continue.

Prost (cheers) to the FreeBSD developers for outperforming Ubuntu at Linux gaming.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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