Left 4 Dead 2 faster on Linux than Windows, says Valve

Valve runs Left 4 Dead 2 at 315 frames per second on Linux; claims to have "improved graphic driver performance" under the OS.

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Valve's Source Engine, which powers games such as Left 4 Dead 2 and Portal 2, runs up to 20 percent faster under Linux and OpenGL than under Windows and DirectX/Direct 3D, says the famed Half-Life developer. According to a post on the official blog, Left 4 Dead 2 ran at 315 frames per second on the developer's Ubuntu Linux machine, versus 270 frames per second on a Windows PC with comparable power.

Newell: not a Windows 8 fan.

The results are surprising, given Valve has put substantial effort into developing for Windows platforms over the past 10 years. It attributes the speed-up to the "underlying efficiency of the [Linux] kernel and OpenGL", as well as "a few additional microseconds overhead in Direct3D, which does not affect OpenGL on Windows".

Most interesting for Linux users is Valve's claim to have "improved graphic driver performance" under the operating system by working directly with hardware manufacturers such as NVIDIA, AMD, and Intel--companies that have traditionally not gone out of their way to support the platform.

At a recent presentation, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, called NVIDIA the "single worst company" that Linux developers have worked with. He concluded his speech by saying "Nvidia, f**k you", and presenting his middle finger to the camera.

Valve's foray into Linux development follows comments from company head Gabe Newell, who recently told All Things D that Windows 8 "is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space", referring to the locked-down nature of the operating system. "Valve wouldn’t exist today without the PC, or Epic, or Zynga, or Google. They all wouldn’t have existed without the openness of the platform".

Valve recently announced it was working on a version of Steam and Left 4 Dead 2 for Linux, though there's still no release date for either.

Discussion

0 comments
q-bert39
q-bert39

Also why the fuck does gabe have an exercise ball in his office.

q-bert39
q-bert39

This just in: Shitty Old Game runs faster on Shitty Useless Operating System than Windows, says Valve. Shitty Useless OS runs Shitty Old Game at 301245231 fps, as opposed to Windows, which runs Shitty Old Game at a hilariously measly disgustingly shit 301245230 fps.

santinegrete
santinegrete

 @tweezzzy You mean there's a near future where we can play 2k and Activision games on Linux? That would be lovely -no sarcasm- 

The_Gump
The_Gump

I don't notice any improvements in frame rate beyond 60fps.  Enjoy your screen tearing.

lindallison
lindallison

Gabe with knives in hand about to gobble an intern.

GamerOuTLaWz
GamerOuTLaWz

a 2 years old game. already running at highest FPS on windows7 . seriously whats the point of this new?

ChaosUndivided
ChaosUndivided

An episode of simpsons is at 30 fps. So would your eyes even notice 300 fps.

thedigitals
thedigitals

I see Windows 8 being the new Vista, I don't see mass adoption by PC users. They'll force it on tablet owners, but then again you could just buy an ipad

Alpha-Gibbon
Alpha-Gibbon

Gabby is upset because of  the Win 8 marketplace - period.  Even if the marketplace is a bad as, say, Origin it still has the potential to put a big hurt on Valve/Steam because it will be on every single Win 8 computer, something Steam is obviously not.  Also, Microsoft has a bit of a history of gimping competing software through "patching"; they did this all the time with Novell client which made Novell a real pain to support.  Microsoft wins.  These reasons are why Valve is panicking.  Many gamers are already using Win 8.  Let's be clear: it's not a disaster for gaming, it's a disaster for Valve.  Gabe is creating FUD and Mr. Walton is spreading it.  Shame on both of you.

 

I don't love M$ and I have 142 retail games on Steam.  No agenda here other than to offer a reason to chill if you're worried about Win 8 "ruining PC gaming."

 

*** Part the 2nd - Linux ***

@andrew_ribbons : hilarious. 

@AshTrai thanks for pointing out that the difference is OpenGL, not Linux.

@Geon106  I wish you were right but this is just not going to happen.  I've been playing with Linux distro's since the early '90s.  People were saying the same thing back then.  Windows 95 was the "end of Microsoft gaming" because of backward compatibility with DOS games.  Windows XP was a mess at launch, cost $200-$300, and few machines had enough RAM to run it.  It's going to take more than transition issues and FUD to make Windows go away.

Juguard
Juguard

Newell probably optimized L4D2 like crazy for Linux, and OpenGL, which naturally will be faster on Linux.  The fact is, that Newell needs win7, and if Win8 succeeds, its a huge plus , in order for him to make the big bucks.  I'm 100% sure if he optimized L4D2 on Win7, it will get the same framerates.

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

 @ihateds2 "You know, the only thing keeping me from getting Linux(even as a second OS on my PC) is the fact that every single Linux user I've met was a massive tool."

 

Yes, so absolutely true.   I know 3 and they're all absolute nerd-a-tronic losers :/  The same guy who touts Ubuntu as the future of the PC, also at the same time, owns a Toyota Prius.  Say no more...

 

That and i just don't care for the Linux OS environment.  It feels horrible and cheap, and nasty.  Like own-brand Coke rip offs, yes just like that XPI tried Feisty Fawn Ubuntu and it was not a smooth experience.  I had to install it 4 times before i got a stable install, the drivers were messy on my PC's hardware and some of my peripheral hardware was not supported AT ALL.  Really not tempted to move away from Windows 7 for that nonsense and the quite frankly NASTY install system.

 

I'm sticking with Windows 7, it's smooth, fast, clean and really lovely to use.  Windows 8 will be okay for tablets, but i wouldn't be surprised if something else comes along which suits PCs/Laptops better from MS's Windows team later on.  For now Windows 7 is all the DirectX 11 loveliness for gaming i need!

 

Also that Linus guy is just pure ass.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

that great for the 1% of people who use Linux....awesome 

C810
C810

Has no one looked at the picture? Half Life 3 written on Gabe's monitor. What a troll

jameston027dec
jameston027dec

I love valve. I love linux. I love better perfotmance. its a win win

megakick
megakick

If it wasn't they wouldn't have said anything :/

AshTrai
AshTrai

L4D2:

windows 7 + Direct3D = 270.6 FPS

windows 7 + OpenGL = 303.4 FPS

Ubuntu 12.04 + OpenGL = 315 FPS

 

The biggest improvement they made was just changing from Direct3D to OpenGL rather than windows to linux.

Dr_Corndog
Dr_Corndog

Nice to know that we Linux users have such a mature representative in Torvalds. /sarcasm

ihateds2
ihateds2

You know, the only thing keeping me from getting Linux(even as a second OS on my PC) is the fact that every single Linux user I've met was a massive tool.

Jebril
Jebril

Just so people understand yes, at these frames it is irrelevant for actual gaming. But when you look at these performances it basically means that they can put maybe one more zombie or another building or w/e on the screen than they can on the Windows version while running at 60FPS. Also important to note that this is more of a comparison of OpenGL to Direct3D than anything. Linux being 'lighter' is just going to be icing on the cake for end users. Which is why I'm such a Linux fanboy, because honestly right now if you're not playing the latest games and are computer literate, there is almost no excuse not to use Linux at this point. The driver support is there for most things out there by companies like Logitech, laptop cameras, graphics cards, etc. They may not be the best but they all work to perfectly and your computer will be a ton snappier and more functionality will come with your experience. 

adam1808
adam1808

Cool Valve, but I'm not a bird so I have enough trouble distinguishing between 60 and 80 so when you start talking in the hundreds my interest flatlines. I get Valve don't want to have to deal with the compatibility issues with windows 8 and the possibility of a competing store built into every OS but Linux is for crazy people.

Taoninja
Taoninja

Linux uses less resource so it only makes sense that it would run games better... It is something I always wanted to see... Genuine games running on Linux without using wine... Lets see how it shapes up for the future of Linux gaming!

 

WillyChong
WillyChong

Linux is a lot more stable than Window 7, I still got tons of bugs and glitches such as missing icons, taskbar volume disappeared in the middle of my working stage. And it store tons and tons of garbage which lag my 3d rig. 

 

Why the hell Steam is still no where available in Apple, tell me I'm wrong, please!!!! No Bootcamp, no proxy server, no parented program, pure MAC based Steam!

ChaosUndivided
ChaosUndivided

The games graphics aren't even good enough to notice the difference. Unless you are running it on an 8 year old PC.

djpetitte
djpetitte

"At a recent presentation, Linus Torvalds, the creator of the Linux kernel, called NVIDIA the "single worst company" that Linux developers have worked with. He concluded his speech by saying "Nvidia, f**k you", and presenting his middle finger to the camera."

 

I enjoyed reading that...and of course linux is a crap load better then windows!

javalino
javalino

The old openGL VS DirectX  S**T from 12 years ago all over again. OpenGL is faster than DX in most scenarios,  is not a Windows/linux . But image quality need to be evaluated since the rendering could be different.

osxgp
osxgp

Heres a thought...try working on L4D3 or Half-Life 3. All this time has passed and no new Source engine? No new games? Come on Valve.

rann89
rann89

Everything's faster on Linux.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

Who cares everyone will never agree on one System/OS/Driver or anything else for that matter... So gonna have to keep developing for the open systems as well the money grabbing ones.

mossiprose
mossiprose

Really, I dont see any issue with using linux instead of windows for gaming.  I mean if it really did mean better performance, and really, the only thing linux is sorely lacking is games.  I mean, why not have two operating systems that you can use.  I have a multi boot system, running linux, window 7 and 8, and I hardly use 8 at all.

 

And without a touchscreen, windows 8 is garbage.  I like the idea, and could even get used to it, if it was actually designed with a mouse instead of touchscreen, or maybe options for both.  Going all touchscreeny is a bad idea, I mean, who is selling tablets?  Really, apple.  no one else has even tapped into that market enough to make a difference.  Windows 8 wont be bad on a tablet, but I dont know if it will offer what I need.  

 

Got off topic there a bit.  Linux is lighweight, supports all major file formats, is cheaper, and again, if my games run faster, then hell why not?  Install Ubuntu and give it a try, then picture your steam library, and you will see, its not that bad.  

deathstream
deathstream

This is just Newell (whose company hasn't released a new engine or game in YEARS) trying to badmouth Windows 8 because the Windows Store (similar to Apple's App Store) included in WIndows 8 will be direct competition for Steam.   The truth is that Steam is more bloated than Windows these days and gets worse with every update.

 

Go make Half-Life 3, Gabe.  Until then, please shut the [pick your own expletive] up!

 

 

baq99
baq99

If all the games on steam are made to work on Linux then I'd be more than happy to swap.  Windows isn't worth the fuss!

Tevi
Tevi

I WANT IT ON PS3 GABE IS A IDIOT PS 3 NEEDS LEFT FOR DEAD

Pexalottle9
Pexalottle9

Well, this is good news for Linux gamers.... all 2 of them.

q-bert39
q-bert39

 @ChaosUndivided Eyes can detect a change in anything under about 24 frames per second. A lot of bro's and general tards tend to believe that their eyes can see any changes under 30 fps, and some "hardcore gamers" aka strong retards believe they can notice under 60 fps. The real reason for a higher than needed fps is to account for framerate drops, which keeps them above the 24 fps line.

PhilMastro
PhilMastro

 @andrew_ribbons I won't comment on the personality traits of Linux users, but I've just installed Ubuntu on a PC 2 days ago, and it went really smoothly. It took all of 20 minutes, and was completely hassle free, and without an internet connection too.

 

Apart from that, I'm really not that surprised that stuff runs (could run) faster on a Linux system. More bang for your buck - or more bang for less buck rather - sounds pretty good to me.

Geon106
Geon106

 @Jestersmiles Watch this space, Linux is growing at an alarming rate. With Windows 8 being a closed platform I can see developers moving to Linux and personally, if they increase game support on Linux i'll use Linux more than Windows as it is a far superior OS. Plus as @jamesh-42  said, Linux is in more places than you think. Android being one which if you don't use, have used in the past at one point or another. Don't underestimate the underdog.

jamesh-42
jamesh-42

 @Jestersmiles There is a good chance you're already using Linux somewhere (possibly in your phone, your wifi router, your television set, etc).  So supporting Linux on the desktop doesn't seem that crazy an idea.

 

And it isn't as if it is necessarily going to cost you anything to take advantage of their work: Ubuntu is free, and you can dual boot it with your existing OS.  You can also ignore their work if you choose and you're no worse off than you were to start with.

y3ivan
y3ivan

 @AshTraiAlso that Valve source engine is designed for OpenGL when it was initially launched.

 

Geon106
Geon106

 @AshTrai Although changing to Linux DID have an improvement over OpenGL on Windows. Plus that wouldn't solve the original problem of Windows 8 being a closed platform so regardless it doesn't help much after Windows 7

Geon106
Geon106

 @Jebril I agree. Linux still has its flaws but has improved so much over the past 5 years. It is a great OS. I'd use it as my main OS if more games were supported on it. It is more stable, faster, easier and much more of a logically thought out OS. Linux kind of reminds me of a cross between AmigaOS and Mac OSX, true the latter is also based on Unix but I mean more for the feel rather than technical reasons.

Geon106
Geon106

 @WillyChong Steam is on Mac. But Mac is a closed platform also. Furthermore Steve Jobs said a few years back when someone commented on lack of game support "The Mac will always be for the professional and not for the gamer" or something along those lines

Ladiesman17
Ladiesman17

 @osxgp 

 

since when Valve creating "NEW" Games??

The only "authentic" games they had is just Half-life, other than that is just popular MOD created by Community (which was then acquired by Valve.)

 

Probably they will release New Engine along with new Half Life.

 

-_-

Jebril
Jebril

 @Pexalottle9 I guess I'm 3, plus the 10 more I know that run Linux, including my Gf and sister...yea it's such a 'hardcore' distro.

q-bert39
q-bert39

 @PhilMastro Linux is to programmable calculator as Windows is to iphone. Windows >>>>>>>>>>>>>> Linux for almost every situation, except retarded shit that the general computer using population doesnt even know/care about.

 

There is no reason to use anything but windows, as it is the dominant OS, its obviously great, and everything is made for it.

q-bert39
q-bert39

 @Geon106 No one will move to linux because no one uses linux. There is no incentive to make shit for an OS that no one likes/uses, its fucking stupid and it needs to die out already. Windows should be the only OS, everything should run it.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

 @Geon106 that great an all but the fact of the matter is that very few games support Linux if any at all. So having steam on Linus will be just for the Valve game, no thnx.

JimmeyBurrows
JimmeyBurrows

 @snaketus Lol, I love that 2 people then complain about the joke... just makes it so much better.

Geon106
Geon106

 @Jestersmiles I think Valve wants to get most if not all of the Steam library running under Linux. If you look at the market share Linux has grown a considerable amount over the last 5 years. I don't think it will ever take over from OSX/Windows, but I do think it will become more mainstream. @q-bert39  oh dear. That reply doesn't even warrant me spending time explaining why Windows doesn't fulfill everyone's requirements.