Valve Finds that Games Run Better On Linux Than Windows

After not much optimization, the Valve Linux team found the Linux version of Left 4 Dead 2 outperformed its Windows version by 16.7%, which translates to an extra 45 frames per second on their Core i7 test PC.

Interestingly, the first Linux build of Left 4 Dead 2 ran at a meager 6 FPS (frames per second). The team then spent a few months optimizing the game for Linux Kernel and OpenGL. The results were impressive as the game ran flawlessly at 315 FPS.

On the same test PC that comprises an Intel Core i7 3930k CPU and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 GPU, the Windows 7 version of the game ran at 270 FPS only in DirectX mode.

"Why does an OpenGL version of our game run faster than Direct3D on Windows 7? It appears that it's not related to multitasking overhead," Valve's Linux team wrote on their official blog. "We have been doing some fairly close analysis and it comes down to a few additional microseconds overhead per batch in Direct3D which does not affect OpenGL on Windows. Now that we know the hardware is capable of more performance, we will go back and figure out how to mitigate this effect under Direct3D."

The team ported some of the Linux OpenGL optimizations to their Windows version of the game, boosting its frame rate to 303.4 FPS in OpenGL mode.

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You're a pimp. Pimps don't commit suicide.

I can just amagin have to get the largest hardrives you can afford, fill up your sata ports also fill up your pcix with sata3 cards fill them up with the largest harddrive you can afford get all the games you can offord and the is not enough space for you movies music gameisos how do you know with the most amount of hardive space dedecated for game and were they able to afford it let alone the games..sure im certain the cpu and the sli setup can run them all two haha.. You're a pimp. Pimps don't commit suicide. “Microsoft Windows: A sixty four bit graphic cover up to a thirty-two bit extension and graphical shell to a sixteen-bit patch to an eight-bit operating system originally coded for a four-bit CPU which was written by a two-bit company that can't stand a one bit of competition .”

Windows fanboys, I enjoyed

Windows fanboys, I enjoyed collecting your tears in a bottle throughout the comments. Really though, if you don't switch to linux you'll have to endure the pain of using windows 8 eventually.. Microsoft isn't innovating with that operating system, they're just making it an easier way to turn a profit from computer illiterate people. Right now I'm using windows xp, as it was the last good operating system Microsoft shat out and it's compatible with most games. As soon as most developers develop for linux and windows, Microsoft can suck my balls, to put it kindly.

Windows fanboys, I enjoyed

just to let you know Boy windows 7 is out and is IMO much beter then xp with i had after upgrading from 98se and befor the infomis windows 95 look at the smoke effects and lighting effect you cant see though i see you point about win8 maby the devs should stay off the boose. William gates the secret to getting your workers to create the perfect windows 9 is a three skinna every three hours nothing too skunky dont want them nooding of to early eh? and feed them new zealand meat ONLY the are GE free

long ago

I remember when you could choose to use d3d or opengl or glide. Opengl was always the fastest and best looking alternative. i dont think d3ds advantages have never been in its performance.

But hey! those guys used three months to optimize. If d3d version was optimized for additional three month, it would catch the linux version rather probably.

Direct 3D vs OpenGL

Jesus guys... Direct 3D has always been miles behind OpenGL on any videocard. It is pointless to compare Linux OpenGL to Windows Direct 3D. OpenGL is smoother and way better looking than Direct 3D. OpenGL has always been hardware accelerated, whereas Direct3D is vastly outperformed.

My problem with this "news" is the fact that you CANNOT compare two different APIs regarding performance on 2 different platforms.

The idea isn't so much about

The idea isn't so much about developing for OpenGL than it is about developing against against it. Even so your argument it sound, the question is why don't developers build games that work for both GL and DX. The answer is intellectual property rights, simply put the white collar corporations don't want to waste time developing for free operating systems that don't support DRM. Funny thing is thought Linux might be getting DRM upgrade real soon and it might change the landscape altogether. Sad really!

Well I remember the old games

Well I remember the old games, you had to choose from opengl, directx, direct draw (i think it was called) and the voodoo one sfx or something. But i guess for the games now days, with complex graphics, its just too expensive or/and time consuming to develop for both directx and opnegl. Its funny how most of the games use directx, which works only on windows, when opengl works on all OS and platforms...

You don't have to say more,

You don't have to say more, everyone knows that you are a pathetic moron with huge complex about your own intellect. Calling Valve idiots after reading this is quite remarkable. Just because you weren't able to install Linux on your mom's computer which you claim to own doesn't mean anyone who wants an OS with a freedom aspect is necessary poor. Linux is actually made FOR people and not FOR the sole interest of a mega corporation that wants you to depends of it. But how could a moron like you understand such a simple evidence.. you are the reason why the world is owned by *****.


So their 10+ years old engine can be optimized to run well on Linux ? And that is reason for people develop for it ? To get an unsupported OS that they have no idea how to operate to run old stuff ?

Give me a break. Their engine have problems running multicore to this date. Is single core optimized. Can Linux run Pacman faster than Windows 8 ? That matters ?

Too many stupid people in the

Too many stupid people in the world and not enough sane people armed with guns to take it back. So I will sit tight and quietly support the great addition to a far superior OS. And hope this is followed up with even more driver support and more 3rd party software. Even tho i don't know what allot of people are complaining about. Seems like "Im a fan boy who is afraid of change and does not understand a good thing when i see it even if it is a FREE alternative.", key word here people is 'alternative', nobody is going to force you to change or take your POS windows OS away from you lol. Now go back to you room and troll on Xbox 360.

what a joke

Gabe Newell obviously has a bone to pick with Windows and is acting out like a butthurt little emo kid...sorry but this is stupid. I don't care if L4d2 gets 350 frames and windows gets 270....not exactly a stress test, the engine is ancient.

It's free and come is many

It's free and come is many flavors. You can easily install around 60,000 packages, most are free, and they range from games to office programs. It wont break down in record time like windows, won't catch as many viruses(if any), is much harder to hack. Did i mention it's free? Try, please, to make a little more sense on the internet. "non-consumer friendly OS" more accurately describes Windows. It's come bundled out of the store bogged down with crap software that you need to purchase sooner or later, and for most consumers that do not know how to properly maintain or repair their computers software it's the worst choice. There is no more point in going on and on about what if obvious. If Linux get more game there will be little point in gamin on windows. Linux is just all around better except for platform specific software like games, and a few high end programs for audio and video editing. And that will eventually change.

3rd party software support is

3rd party software support is limited than Windows, yes there are some free alternatives there but no can match the quality of 3rd party support in Windows do you think they will even plan supporting Linux in the future? I bet Linux doesn't even have a proper Drivers support for the PC hardwares LOL

******* hate pc gamers

do you guys not understand what this means? its runs better in Linux 99% of people use windows pc and the free OS linux is better serious guys see the bigger picture why is it so bad Valve want to port there games over to Linux? don't be a ****** look at the science of things

most people have an i7 socket

most people have an i7 socket 2011 , nvidia 680 gtx 2gb , 16 gb of ddr3 ram and quad core which overclocks auto on asus mobos and others , and if you optimise or overclock ya pc even more , why would 45 fps be a difference , lol , 270 fps is shitloads as it is, valve are only doing this now as microsoft is doing its own valve like store soon so , **** you valve and **** linux windows out performs linux on overall games and products, windows will never die, valve only want to put people of windows as i say because of their new digital store coming online soon , windows for me is amazing and its cheap if you pre order deal it on amazon, which i got for 90 quid , not everyone in life is a pauper lol

most people have an i7 socket

most people have an i7 socket 2011 , nvidia 680 gtx 2gb , 16 gb. No, only a fat virgin like you invest into 16gb of useless RAM. And if you think a little further than 45fps more in LfD, you will realize that they (Valve) meant that they would probably be able to have more performance in most games as well, no only in this one so Yes, this means something. Now return to Skyrim (which runs fine on my 110$ 3d card) and shove it fat virgin.

You don't get it, do you?

"most people have an i7 socket 2011 , nvidia 680 gtx 2gb , 16 gb of ddr3 ram and quad core which overclocks auto on asus mobos and others" That was sarcasm... Valve optimized a game with an old engine for that specific machine on linux, why didn't they worked on a Pentium 4, a Dual Core, a Core 2 Duo or their equivalents on AMD? Because their programmers are lazy... Why not Portal 2? or another recent game engine?

They didnt optimize the

They didnt optimize the engine for that specific machine. They optimized the openGL code which, like directx, allows developers to code the graphics pipeline without having to develop code for each model of GPU. So you are wrong in many levels, first this is all about GPU, stop mentioning CPUs. Second, we are long past the days of assembly programming so a piece of code is no longer optimized for a single hardware component, its optimized for most of them. Third, left4dead2 uses the same engine as portal2, valves proprietary source engine. And there you have it, another kid schooled.

Probably because Portal 2 and

Probably because Portal 2 and L4D2 use the exact same engine? If one of the games gets a performance bump, all of Valves Source Engine games tend to get a performance bump. HL2 and CS Source wasn't always multi-threaded you know. Besides, Valve obviously has no intention of making a completely new engine in quite a while, instead they upgrade and optimize the Source engine as they have done for almost a decade now.

They aren't working on old processors because they want to optimize their code for modern hardware. For instance, number of CPU cores isn't going to decrease, it's going to increase, so it makes sense to make your engine scale for more cores rather than less right? In this case we're talking about DX and OpenGL optimizations which everyone is going to benefit from, possibly even other game developers now that valve has shown that there's a bottleneck in DX that might be possible to bypass.

So proud!

all i can say is that finally somebody with an ounce of intellect got on and responded for true hardcore gamer's!

p.s. who know and use linux!!!

if you are running on a

if you are running on a pentium D 3.0 with a tnt2 nvidia video card with 1 gb of ram....yes.....45 frames is the difference between being able to play a game and not being able to. not everyone has an i7 with a GTX 670 and 16gb of ram. nice try.

No your point is not valid.

No your point is not valid. 16.7% is a nice bonus but it is not the difference between playable and unplayable, at best it may prevent a minor slowdown when a lot of stuff is going on in whatever game you're playing. If your performance sucks constantly however, it'll still suck after a 16.7% performance increase. When you upgrade your PC you're always going for at least a 50% performance increase for a reason.

While i do enjoy the fact

While i do enjoy the fact that openGL seems to be making a comeback i have to point out you're still wrong. Since we're talking about percentage 16.7% on a faster comp means a lot more than 16.7% on a slow comp. Example: 16.7% of 100 is 16.7 while 16.7% of 200 is 33.4. So if a slow comp gets 30 fps this boost would give you 5 extra fps.


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