Metro Redux Is The New Favorite OpenGL 4.x Linux Game Benchmark
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 11 January 2015 at 11:00 AM EST. 20 Comments
LINUX GAMING --
I've now managed to get Metro 2033 Redux and Metro Last Light Redux working well for Linux graphics benchmarking!

Unrelated to yesterday's article about Running Benchmarks On Newer, Popular AAA Linux Games, the Metro Redux tests are running well in a fully-automated manner.

Back in December is when the two Metro Redux games launched natively for Linux on Steam. Shortly thereafter I began exploring the prospects of Metro Redux benchmarking on Linux now that they provided the necessary features to run automated tests from start to finish. I outlined the initial experiences in Metro Redux Linux GPU/Driver Tests Are Coming. The process was automated, but Metro Last Light Redux and Metro 2033 were -- and still are -- shipping with a broken -output_file argument that supposedly is implemented in the game for dumping the performance results.

The Metro bug was reported last month but so far the issue has yet to be fixed, even though it should be relatively straightforward bug. 4A Games should be aware of the issue and I've also relayed it through my Valve contacts. However, in the meantime I've been working with Lauri Kasanen to get libframetime working for these games.


Libframetime is a preloadable library for dumping frame times of OpenGL applications on Linux with any Linux graphics driver. Finally this past week with this commit, libframetime is working in conjunction with the Metro games and I'm able to then use it to workaround Metro's broken output_file argument.

With that said, on Saturday I committed the new metroll-redux and metro2033-redux test profiles. By simply installing the Phoronix Test Suite and running phoronix-test-suite benchmark metroll-redux metro2033-redux you can benchmark these demanding OpenGL 4.x games -- assuming Steam is at least installed and you own rights to the two games. The Metro benchmarks work much nicer than the other Steam Linux game benchmarks as I'm able to run the Metro binary directly with the necessary benchmark arguments and it just works -- without having to mess around with a bunch of library/path environment variables and other headaches usually associated with Steam automated testing.

From there you get the auto-generated results with this OpenBenchmarking.org result file as an example. For each game the results include the average FPS along with the minimum and maximum results along with the real-time frame latency graphs, courtesy of libframetime. The only slight issue is that libframetime does measure the frame times of the initial loading screen that is quite brief, but I'm able to get rid of most of that data by having the Phoronix Test Suite scrape out the outliers. With the metro2033-redux and metroll-redux test profiles, things are running well.


Users also need the latest Phoronix Test Suite Git code as of this commit for supporting the easy parsing of libframetime's output in a universal manner. As shown by the raw test profile output, it's quite easy and straightforward setting up the Metro Redux games up for Linux benchmarking thanks to the game's -benchmark, -bench_runs, and -close_on_finish arguments and making use of libframetime for the broken -output_file result dumping option.


Now that these demanding Linux AAA games are running well for automated benchmarks, I'm working on a big AMD + NVIDIA graphics card comparison... The testing is already well underway and using the proprietary AMD and NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers (but the Catalyst Linux performance seems awful so far). Open-source graphics tests will come once enough of OpenGL 4.x is implemented in Mesa where the game can start without problems on the Radeon/Intel/Nouveau Mesa/Gallium3D drivers. This big comparison will be published in the next few days and beyond the raw results, thanks to the Phoronix Test Suite, are also system power consumption results, performance-per-Watt metrics, and the GPU temperatures.


The graphics cards tested so far for this weekend for the upcoming Metro Redux Linux comparison... Stay tuned for this big OpenGL 4.x Linux game performance comparison.

If you appreciate this new Linux game benchmark support and the forthcoming comparison with 20+ graphics cards, please consider subscribing to Phoronix Premium or sending a PayPal tip to help support these efforts. If you didn't see Saturday's article, also be sure to check it out about Running Benchmarks On Newer, Popular AAA Linux Games.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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