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Unigine Valley & Unigine Heaven 4.0 Coming Next Week

Michael Larabel

Published on 10 February 2013
Written by Michael Larabel
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After waiting nearly two years, Unigine Valley will be finally made publicly available on Thursday. This is now arguably the most beautiful and most demanding OpenGL tech demo that's natively available for Linux.

Features of Unigine Valley 1.0 include sixty-four square kilometers of extremely detailed terrain, dynamic user-controlled environment (day/night and weather effects), extremely deep distance of visibility, seamless terrain streaming, cinematic lens flares, interactive fly/walk modes in the open world, and similar benchmarking capabilities to Unigine Heaven.

Worth noting for Unigine Heaven 4.0 and Unigine Valley 1.0 for Linux users is that the engine will require the use of the proprietary AMD / NVIDIA graphics drivers for now. Unigine Corp developers have migrating their OpenGL renderer to now using an OpenGL Core profile rather than OpenGL Compatibility. Overall, their improved GL renderer is closer to being in strict compliance with the latest OpenGL specification, but as Unigine Corp wrote in an email to me, "it seems to be not very compatible with open source drivers." Unigine Corp isn't doing anything to make their wonderful OpenGL tech demos and game engine not work with the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers, but right now these drivers just come up short. As Mesa betters it support for OpenGL 3.x/4.x, Unigine should work again, but for now it's only the proprietary AMD and NVIDIA drivers due to these open-source driver shortcomings.

Even with the proprietary AMD Catalyst Linux graphics driver, Unigine Valley is a bit demanding. While Valley is in a pre-release state right now, it does a good job stressing AMD's OpenGL stack. Earlier releases of Heaven were notorious under AMD Catalyst due to the driver's shortcomings and now for Valley it looks that way for now... There are some rendering problems when using AMD Catalyst but NVIDIA's Linux driver works great.

Benchmarks of Unigine Valley 1.0 (and Heaven 4.0) will be published on Phoronix on their respective release dates.

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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