Valve's Source Engine Runs Better on Linux Than Windows

rustybroomhandle

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Jun 21, 2011
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NKRevan said:
Doesn't anyone else think it is a little suspicious that Valve is trumpeting Linux?

I mean here we have a platform that, so far, has been completely free. You had basically no native applications that cost you anything.

Enter Steam...the first Linux-native application which makes you spend money. How convenient for Steam, isn't it?

I could just be jaded, but I am certain that there is a lot more financial reasoning behind the sudden appreciation of Linux and the bashing of Windows.

Other than that, I honestly don't care which OS I use, as long as I don't have to have a multitude of them. I mean, multiple download services are fine and dandy, but multiple OS? No thanks.
Not sure what you mean by suspicious. And Steam wouldn't be the first. Desura has been on Linux for a while now, and the Ubuntu Software Center also has some paid-for applications, and it even sells music.

I do think Valve have other plans though. They're not stupid, and certainly would not be betting the farm on a platform with such little market share, unless the long-term plan is to actually release the oft-denied "Steam Box".
 

alj

Master of Unlocking
Nov 20, 2009
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Hmm why test on that bloated mess? 315 FPS, I wonder how much higher you could get that if you did not use that crappy desktop environment and used something like DWM or i3 without GDM.

I want to see it run on arch or gentoo.
 

tetron

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Dec 9, 2009
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Games run better on Linux ? Outrageous ! What will they think of next, running servers on Linux ?! /sarcasm
 

TheKaduflyerSystem

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I won't care AT ALL until I see some actual evidence because this is just word of mouth to me at the moment, They SAY it works well, but no video evidence. Hmm...

To be clear, I'm all for Steam on Linux, I'm just not completely sure that we're being told everything; this may have been tweaked with a little BS.
 

Hitchmeister

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Nov 24, 2009
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This is certainly interesting. But I don't think it's quite as exciting as some people want it to be. We're not quite at the stage of rush out to switch to Linux for your gaming rig just yet. This is one game they've gotten to run well on one particular high-end hardware set, with considerable optimization help from the hardware manufacturers. When you can buy an off-the-shelf low to mid price computer running Linux, download steam, and it self installs properly running games with little to no tweaking, and not just Valve Source engine games, but a significant number of third party games, THEN I'll get really excited.

That said, that day feels likely in the not too distant future, and this is a good first step.

Edited to add:

Right now a lot of companies aren't bothering to make Linux ports of games, because they don't see enough potential sales to make it worthwhile. Steam running under Linux and the entire Valve catalog running native Linux might attract enough users to make the difference.
 

WhiteTigerShiro

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Bigeyez said:
rustybroomhandle said:
Bigeyez said:
Yes this is awesome because the last time I was playing a game I said to myself "you know what would make this better! If it ran at 315 FPS instead of 270 FPS!!"..... /rolls eyes.

Sorry but I'm just not buying any of these "look at how great linux is!" stories that have been cropping up recently until linux actually does something for it's potential customer base besides yell "look we are open!!!! so much better then windows!!!!!11!!11!!!one!!1". Linux will get absolutely nowhere as long as it remains a niche OS for the hardcore computerphile.
It's not really the point of this comparison to be a pissing contest. The thing take from this is that this completely tramples over the opinion that Linux sucks for gaming. It can game just fine - just needs more games.
They just need to change so much more about Linux before it can even become the widely known in the mainstream market. If they need an example of how to make open software successful, look at Android. Just about any common joe sixpack knows what Android is, or at least what it's used for. Ask someone who isn't into technology what Linux is and they'll likely respond with "what?".

And realistically until it gets a much larger user base you won't see publishers or devs putting games on Linux. Besides the oddity like Valve (which to me this whole thing just REEKS of the type of PR they love to do to keep themselves looking like dalrings to certain people) which publisher or dev is realistically going to put games out on Linux for sale?

So Linux has many more problems to solve besides just being able to run games. OS X can run games but how many devs and pubs design games for it?
See, the problem is that you're too busy comparing apples and oranges.

Firstly, the Mac OS; Yes, it's capable of being a gaming machine, but it also has it's own set of problems that keep it from going mainstream. Some of them with the system itself, and some of them with negative brand name appeal (or what I like to call "Nintendo Syndrome"). Until Apple can find a way to hurdle over their poor name in the gaming industry AND give people the same freedom with hardware as PCs do, then Macs will never really be mainstream.

Then there's your whole "ask a Joe sixpack" thing. See, here's the thing, Joe Sixpack is NOT a gamer; at least not on the same level as you or I. He might be aware of gaming, he might spend long nights playing the latest CoD or maybe even Gears of War, but he has absolutely no awareness of the gaming industry beyond that tiny little bubble that advertisers have done a good job of telling him he needs to be a part of. Heck, by your logic, Steam itself should be an absolute failure. Seriously, go around the streets and ask random people if they've ever heard of "Steam", and you'll get a lot of people saying "Well yeah, it's what happens when water boils." See, the flaw here is that you're comparing something that EVERYONE has (a phone) to something that only some people are going to be into (gaming).

So if we're done talking about apples and oranges, try and keep your comparisons to the PC gaming world to explain why you feel that Linux will never catch on.
 

Don Reba

Bishop and Councilor of War
Jun 2, 2009
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So, they spent some time optimizing the game, and now it runs faster. No one could have seen that coming.
 

Don Reba

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Jun 2, 2009
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TheSniperFan said:
Don Reba said:
So, they spent some time optimizing the game, and now it runs faster. No one could have seen that coming.
You know that they have been optimizing the Windows version for years already?
Yes, and then they optimized it some more. At the end of the article they write that they will now use what they learned to further improve the DirectX version.

The thing is that Microsoft is planning to kill Steam in Windows 8 by forcing all Metro apps, including games, to be sold through its own store, so Valve is hyping up Linux to save some of that juicy revenue stream.
 

Headdrivehardscrew

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Bigeyez said:
I am chill. If you check out my other posts you'll see what I'm trying to say is that the reason games aren't on Linux isn't the OS itself, but that it has such a tiny userbase most devs and pubs will just ignore it. Why spend man hours and money making a port to an OS that most of the mainstream public doesn't even know exists.

Until Linux overcomes that it will be an OS regulated to the niche hardcore pc technophile audience. And hence will only have the rare port every so often by some random indie dev or something like that.
A lot of what we come up with here is pure conjecture and pretty random, individual trains of thought; I'll give you that.

Thing is, with Apple going one (wrong) way with their pussycat shenanigans and Microsoft bringing useless touchy-feely things ("Metro") to the table, Linux becomes the number one sensible choice without doing anything.

My current favourite enjoy-out-of-the-box flavour of Linux is Linux Mint. It's an awesome, sleek and stylish OS, and whatever any sort of (inexperienced) user might need, it's all pretty much a mouse click away. Sure, there's no Windows Installer, and there's no Apple wrapping you up in bubblewrap and Saran, but with the two big names making increasingly poor decisions, Linux will have it as easy as never before.
 

UltraPic

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Dec 5, 2011
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Don Reba said:
The thing is that Microsoft is planning to kill Steam in Windows 8 by forcing all Metro apps, including games, to be sold through its own store, so Valve is hyping up Linux to save some of that juicy revenue stream.
Only if steam is sold through the ms store (the metro name has been dropped). Valve is hyping up linux to exploit that market, the one market that they have always ignored (that's where the ms sucks stuff comes in).
Headdrivehardscrew said:
Linux will have it as easy as never before.
Well it's 2012 and we are still waiting for this revolution, and the $699 license when SCO Novell want there share of the pie.
 

Don Reba

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Jun 2, 2009
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UltraPic said:
Don Reba said:
The thing is that Microsoft is planning to kill Steam in Windows 8 by forcing all Metro apps, including games, to be sold through its own store, so Valve is hyping up Linux to save some of that juicy revenue stream.
Only if steam is sold through the ms store (the metro name has been dropped). Valve is hyping up linux to exploit that market, the one market that they have always ignored (that's where the ms sucks stuff comes in).
Metro apps have restricted access to the operating system. It is likely that Steam would not be able to do what it does under those restrictions. Besides, MS would probably follow Apple's lead in blocking other distribution channels from its store.
 

4RT1LL3RY

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Oct 31, 2008
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yuval152 said:
NLS said:
Bigeyez said:
Yes this is awesome because the last time I was playing a game I said to myself "you know what would make this better! If it ran at 315 FPS instead of 270 FPS!!"..... /rolls eyes.

Sorry but I'm just not buying any of these "look at how great linux is!" stories that have been cropping up recently until linux actually does something for it's potential customer base besides yell "look we are open!!!! so much better then windows!!!!!11!!11!!!one!!1". Linux will get absolutely nowhere as long as it remains a niche OS for the hardcore computerphile.
The machine they used was obviously overkill for a source engine game released in 2009. So an increase from 270 to 315 FPS isn't noticeable for the end user. But if this was a more recent game running on a mid-range computer at around 45FPS, and then shown to run at a stable 60FPS under linux. Then you'll actually notice the difference.

If Valve succeeds in fully porting their games and Steam to Linux, you'll actually see people switching over. Partially because of the mess that is W8, and also because a lot of people have been on the fence about Linux for years, but never done the big switch because of lack of games.
After 30 FPS the human eye can't notice a difference,most people won't even notice it.(ofc some will but the majority counts)

OT:I saw this coming since linux is better at performance.
Oh god not this argument again. Yes the human eye can see more then 30 images in a second.

100fps.com explanation about human sight [http://www.100fps.com/how_many_frames_can_humans_see.htm]

You can tell the difference between 30fps and 60fps as well as 60fps to 120fps no problem. Framerate is what determines various things in games including how noticible lag and latency are.

If you turn your head in an fps at 30 fps and then at 120 fps you will notice a big difference in both your spatial awareness as well as how choppy the scene is. Higher fps is always better in high motion things. Driving games look aweful at 30fps without large amounts of motion blur etc.

This is coming from a person used to playing on a 1600x1200 100hz CRT for the last 6 years.
 

Rainboq

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Nov 19, 2009
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Evil Smurf said:
Rainboq said:
Makes sense, considering just how much more processor efficient Linux is.
I wonder if OSX is as good as linux?
From a pure power standpoint? Almost, but not quite. From interface and UI beyond basics, OSX is a nightmare.
 

Lucem712

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Jul 14, 2011
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Braedan said:
I have to say, all the people saying that Ubuntu is as user friendly as Windows are a little loopy. Having to enter shell commands just to get a program to install is fuckin stupid.

On a side note, I would love a little competition from Linux. I enjoyed my experiences with it.
Having gone straight from Windows to Linux (Ubuntu...10.10, I think) I can verify that Ubuntu (as well as many of it's derivative distros) are very-very user friendly. You don't have to use shell-commands for anything anymore. People (myself included) choose to use them because they are super quick.

Example: 'go to mozilla.org, click 'download firefox', go through various prompts, installed.'[br]
'open terminal, 'sudo apt-get install firefox' 'password (if not running root), installed.'
 

theultimateend

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Nov 1, 2007
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Bigeyez said:
Yes this is awesome because the last time I was playing a game I said to myself "you know what would make this better! If it ran at 315 FPS instead of 270 FPS!!"..... /rolls eyes.

Sorry but I'm just not buying any of these "look at how great linux is!" stories that have been cropping up recently until linux actually does something for it's potential customer base besides yell "look we are open!!!! so much better then windows!!!!!11!!11!!!one!!1". Linux will get absolutely nowhere as long as it remains a niche OS for the hardcore computerphile.
I think the point is that at 315 FPS you could add a lot more before the game dipped under 60 FPS.

Or at least that's how I've always looked at those numbers.
 

Steve the Pocket

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Mar 30, 2009
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Don Reba said:
The thing is that Microsoft is planning to kill Steam in Windows 8 by forcing all Metro apps, including games, to be sold through its own store, so Valve is hyping up Linux to save some of that juicy revenue stream.
Unless this Metro thing is also blocking classic desktop apps from running in fullscreen, the only thing poised to "kill" Steam in Windows 8 is publishers deciding to make only tablet games instead of real ones. Which, if that was going to happen, would have happened already when the iPad came out.