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Linux Gaming: Native vs. Wine vs. Windows 7 Performance

Michael Larabel

Published on 20 December 2010
Written by Michael Larabel
Page 4 of 4 - 54 Comments

The Unigine Tropics performance results were also a facsimile of each other.

With Unigine Heaven, the most demanding tech demo from Unigine now, the results began to sway compared to the Tropics and Sanctuary results. The frame-rates between Ubuntu, Windows 7, and Wine were close at 800 x 600 and 1024 x 768, but as the resolution kept going higher, Microsoft Windows 7 x64 was able to command a noticeable lead when using the OpenGL renderer. The Unigine Heaven Wine performance though was at least able to stay nearly on par with the native Linux binary as its performance faltered.

From this first round of 2010 Wine vs. Ubuntu vs. Windows 7 testing it is tough to draw any conclusions. About the only conclusion to draw would be that you cannot draw any definitive conclusions about the Wine performance compared to the native performance on either Linux or Windows. With some of the least-demanding OpenGL games is where the performance under Wine took the biggest hit compared to Ubuntu 10.10 and Windows 7.

In other free software tests, the Windows 7 performance pulled ahead of Linux while the Wine performance was at the same speed of Ubuntu Maverick. In other tests, like Nexuiz, the Ubuntu 10.10 native performance won handedly at most resolutions.

With Unigine Sanctuary and Unigine Tropics, the results were identical between Ubuntu, Windows 7, and Wine 1.2.1/1.3.9. With Unigine Heaven, however, Microsoft Windows 7 Professional pulled ahead.

Stay tuned for our expanded Wine testing and to see how the Linux performance compares with some more popular Windows-only Direct3D-rendered games.

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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