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A Low-Latency Kernel For Linux Gaming

Michael Larabel

Published on 22 June 2012
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 1 of 4 - 37 Comments

Within the Phoronix Forums and elsewhere it has been brought up that using a low-latency kernel can improve the Linux gaming performance, but is this really the case? In this article are some simple benchmarks comparing the stock Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "generic" Linux kernel compared to Ubuntu's low-latency flavor of Linux.

In this article are some simple benchmarks comparing different native Linux games using OpenGL when running the Linux 3.2 kernel as found in the Precise repository using the "-generic" version as found by default and then installing the "-lowlatency" kernel found in Ubuntu. This testing comes as the result of some Phoronix readers and other Linux gamers claiming better performance out of the low-latency Linux kernel.

This testing was done from the Intel Core i7 3770K "Ivy Bridge" test system with a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460 "Fermi" graphics card installed and using the proprietary NVIDIA graphics driver. These low-latency tests are from a single system, but I have tried out a few other GPUs and drivers with a sub-set of the OpenGL benchmarks used here and the results were shown to be largely the same.

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