Outlast Gets ~10%+ Performance Boost From Mesa GL Threading

Written by Michael Larabel in Mesa on 30 September 2017 at 12:08 AM EDT. 4 Comments
For fans of the Outlast first-person survival horror game that was released in 2013 and brought to Linux in 2015, you may get better performance now if using the Mesa drivers thanks to the OpenGL threading being flipped on.

Outlast is the latest game where it's being enabled-by-default for Mesa OpenGL threading, a.k.a. mesa_glthread, with the latest Git code. This work is in Mesa 17.3-dev for whitelisting the binary's name as safe for turning on this threading feature.

The user reporting the game found to get a 10~20% boost in performance with RadeonSI powering a Radeon R9 270 paired with a Core i5 Haswell processor.

If you play Outlast but don't want to upgrade to Mesa Git right now, mesa_glthread=true as an environment variable is another way to run the game with Mesa's OpenGL threading enabled.

For reference, the game's SteamOS/Linux requirements state a minimum of a GeForce 9800GTX or Radeon HD 3000 series but recommended is a GeForce GTX 460 / Radeon HD 6850 or better. This is among the few Unreal Engine 3 powered games available on Linux. The game on Steam currently retails for $19.99 USD if looking for a horror survival game this weekend.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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