Steam Continues Improving Its Shader Pre-Caching Support, Other Beta Improvements
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 22 October 2021 at 12:00 AM EDT. 14 Comments
VALVE --
A new Steam client beta is out with a few Linux enhancements worth noting.

For many months now Valve has been working to improve its shader (pre-)caching support to speed-up game load times and providing a smoother gaming experience for games otherwise compiling shaders on-demand. With the Steam Deck public release quickly approaching, they continue to better that Steam pre-caching support.

With Thursday's Steam client beta update, they have made improvements to the performance and lower disk I/O when updating Mesa caches on Linux. This presumably goes along with recent upstream Mesa improvements around its handling of shader cache files.

Beyond the Mesa-specific performance and disk I/O optimizations, Steam's shader pre-caching in general should see lower memory use while processing these shader caches.

Also notable with tonight's update on the Linux side is the scout and heavy run-times seeing better compatibility with recent Let's Encrypt TLS/SSL certificate chains.

Outside of Linux-specific work, Steam Deck glyphs have been added to the Steam Input API, Steam Input now better handles offline mode, Steam Cloud should see much lower pre/post-game sync times for applications with large numbers of local files under management, and a variety of other fixes.

More details on the Steam client beta update via SteamCommunity.com.
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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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