back to article Valve: Games run FASTER on Linux than Windows

Not only has Valve Software successfully ported the first-person shooter game Left 4 Dead 2 to Linux, but it actually runs faster on the open source OS than on Windows. Using high-end hardware, a version of the game running on Ubuntu 12.04 renders at 315fps, Valve's Linux team reports. That's a 16 per cent improvement over the …

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  1. Robert Heffernan
    Pint

    Gabe!

    For an ex Microsoftie, Gabe Newell has some serious stones. Not only is he vocal in the fact that Windows 8 may be a complete and utter disaster but he has the resources at his disposal to move his entire business over to Linux in a way that benefits gamers, the game developers and the linux community at large.

    The bug fixes and optimization in the graphics stack helps everyone in the community with better performing apps and UI. When profiling the performance of games it can help find places in the linux kernel that are not as fast as they need to be so Valve can write kernel patches to speed up the games, meaning once those patches are put into the kernel tree the whole community benefits from a faster kernel.

    The game developers win because through Steam, they can finally release games under Linux with a DRM stack that has worked out to be acceptable to both the developers and gamers, historically these types of DRM under Linux has been met with disdain from the linux community and their "open source" everything mantra. I appreciate the ideal of Open Source and I work with it a lot and have even released my code under the GPL in the past but some things need to remain closed. The great thing with games though is some of the better shops (iD software being the poster child here) GPL their game engines once they are no longer current and all the licensees of the technology no longer have active titles based on that engine. So the community does get access to the source just not right away.

    Gamers win because they won't have to deal with the abomination that is Windows 8, they get access to a faster, less bloated OS that doesn't have to support large amounts of legacy cruft, the OS is free to use, and all those other Linux ideals that everyone holds to their hearts.

    Steam on Linux may just push Linux over the edge into finally making some headway in the desktop space.

    1. Volvic

      Re: Gabe!

      I love all things gaben, but don't kid yourself - the real winner will be Valve, because they'll continue to take a cut from every Steam sale that doesn't get made via Microsoft's app store.

    2. David Hicks
      Stop

      Re: Gabe!

      It's not so much that I *need* Open Source everything on my system, but I am going to be deeply suspicious of any and all DRM schemes that come to Linux.

      I don't mind things checking for licenses, but if there's any messing around with the system I'm going to be upset.

      1. M Gale

        Re: Gabe!

        Things talking to a third party server across the Internet in order to prove you're not a pirate is a central component of DRM. Steam is a particularly virulent variety that demands you create an account in order to be buttraped effectively.

        At least all Doom 3 did was contact some authentication server, and even then the worst that could happen was multiplayer got disabled if your copy didn't pass. Steam? No ta, I like to avoid malware.

        1. hurtlebum

          Re: Gabe!

          "Steam is a particularly virulent variety that demands you create an account in order to be buttraped effectively."

          What utter tosh. If I have to have DRM on my games then Steam is by far the least intrusive and most user friendly I have ever come across. The "buttraping" is done by the like of Ubisoft who demand an internet connection to play (say goodbye to playing while on holiday, or on a plane or...) or the morons who insist on a 3 or 5 install limit. AND THEN PUT IT ON TOP OF STEAM!!! Steam is good enough on its own, it doesn't need extra DRM.

          I know the companies who make the games don't care a squat about my one sale, but games like Batman AA etc are off my list to buy until the extra DRM is removed. Even for the cheap prices Steam sales sell them at, I won't do it.

      2. John Bailey
        Linux

        Re: Gabe!

        Well.. Then they have a problem..

        You can always quarantine it in it's own user account, or even a separate Linux install. Which makes the idea of inserting all the Windows world DRM enforcing crap kind of utterly pointless. Tot he point of counter productivity. Especially if they are trying to attract Linux users. And from what I read,Valve seem to be amassing enough clued in people to not make such elementary corporate mindset mistakes.

        Remember.. One of the good things about Linux.. You are in charge.

        Not the distro maker.

        Not the companies and individuals who make it, or the programs used..

        YOU!!!

        The administrator of the box in question.

        You can install more than one Linux, or install it beside Windows/OSX. So even if valve did something monumentally stupid, and tried to take over the computer, you can frustrate their agenda, by not allowing it..

    3. h4rm0ny

      Re: Gabe!

      "Not only is he vocal in the fact that Windows 8 may be a complete and utter disaster "

      I think his main concern is that it might be a disaster for him. By introducing the Windows Marketplace, Microsoft have potentially (probably) rendered Steam unnecessary. Hence his previous attack where he claimed that Windows 8 would be a disaster for gaming and now this. Not that the OpenGL comparison is invalid. It's a great thing for Linux and some good press for OpenGL. And ultimately a good thing for all gamers because it opens up more competition in possible platforms.

      But this guy is definitely in a fury with MS for making his business model redundant by introducing their own method for anyone and everyone to easily sell their software in a secure way. There's no doubt about his motivation here - he has to try and build up the presence on Linux for Steam and to lash out and attack Windows 8.

      So good stuff and I fully approve of using a non-proprietary graphics library for games. It's about bloody time. I'm concerned that some of the more fanpeople-ish Linux supporters might injure themselves having to so suddenly reverse previous opposition to DRM in order to approve of this, but for the rest of us, good stuff.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Gabe!

        I doubt Windows Marketplace will affect Steam much.

        Yesterday I bought a game that used "Games for Windows LIVE". This was a terrible, terrible mistake. DO NOT DO THIS.

        After it downloaded and apparently fully installed, it took over an hour just to 'create' an account so I could play my game (despite already having a Windows LIVE account), it adds about a minute to the game startup and actually kicks me back to the main menu after it logs in - I click "Play single player game", it moves on to Load/Resume/Options, sit there for a minute while GFWL logs in and then have to click OK to get kicked back to the main menu and I have to click Play Single Player again.

        It's totally destroyed my appreciation for the game, because it slaps "GFWL!!!!!" in my face like a wet herring every time I play and I'm never going to forget spending a completely frustrated hour pissing about with this unnecessary crap.

        Steam on the other hand - it took me about a minute to sign up, and almost every game I've bought through it worked fine with no messing about. I barely even register its existence when I want to play, and it does let me play offline with no internet conection - which GFWL does not.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Gabe!

          Well I've not used either as I'm more interested in the programming side of games than playing them, but I do remember endless howls of fury here and elsewhere about Steam when it first made its debut and for some time after that. Games for Windows Live is in that phase right now, I guess. But based on the Windows Marketplace, it's going to match Steam soon, I'd guess. So GFWL might not affect Steam much right now, but it's going to. Certainly Gabe Newell has reacted badly to it.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Gabe!

            Different situations - Steam worked from day one, the initial annoyances were down to needing an internet connection to initially register back when broadband was less common and more expensive.

            When Steam first launched (9 or 10 years ago? I feel old!), I did find it annoying to have to take my laptop to an internet cafe for a couple of hours to download updates for Half-Life 2 after installing it. The box did say that I needed a connection to 'register' the game and the downloads were clearly marked as updates and I could just click "Go ahead" and let it run while I did other stuff (emails home etc). Once done I could play whenever I wanted without a connection, and these days that download would have taken five minutes and I may not have even noticed.

            Heck, I didn't have to wait long for *everything* to get downloaded and install on my new PC last year - all I neeedd to do was install Steam, type in my username/password once and click "download all my stuff". A win for Steam as I didn't need to bother finding my disks.

            Everyone I know who has tried Steam has found that it works pretty well and doesn't distract from the game - the complaints about it for the last five years or more are merely about DRM as a concept, rather than Steam's implementation.

            None of that applied to GFWL. I had to keep clicking through loads of things, retype my details many times and I could not leave it going while doing something else. It simply doesn't work, and it's now pissed off enough people that nobody who has heard of it is going to want anything to do with it or its successors.

            Basically, this kind of system is only accepted if it's seamless and almost invisible.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Gabe!

              "Different situations - Steam worked from day one, the initial annoyances were down to needing an internet connection to initially register back when broadband was less common and more expensive."

              I'm pretty sure that's not true. I remember a lot of complaints from people who were having trouble with Steam, registering games, being able to play games they'd paid for, etc. that weren't to do with not having an Internet connection.

              1. DJ Smiley

                Re: Gabe!

                I was helping run a internet cafe aroudn the time steam launched; There was one day where it died completely due to a launch of some large game (CS 1.5 maybe?); Other than that 99% of the time it was fine other than when a game update was published and would screw up the game....

                1. Lord Voldemortgage

                  Re: Gabe!

                  "Steam on Linux may just push Linux over the edge into finally making some headway in the desktop space."

                  Certainly in the home market. I only have Windows at home in order to play games - once they all work on Linux the next PC I buy will not have Windows.

              2. Don Jefe
                Meh

                Re: Gabe!

                When Steam first came out it sucked. My Internet connection was more than fast & a little bit of occasional lag wasn't a big problem. You couldn't register, key codes for shrink wrapped games I just bought didn't work reliably and sometimes it just quit. They did an OK job getting it all worked out though. I expect the MS rival will work about the same. Rocky at first but improving. Time will tell.

            2. Matt 4

              Re: Gabe!

              "Heck, I didn't have to wait long for *everything* to get downloaded and install on my new PC last year - all I neeedd to do was install Steam, type in my username/password once and click "download all my stuff". A win for Steam as I didn't need to bother finding my disks."

              It's even easier than that, you can just copy all the games to your new pc and double click the downloads in Steam and they double check that they're correct and go. A few games don't but most do.

          2. Simon Fuller
            FAIL

            Re: Gabe!

            Balls - GFWL launched in 2007. No chance in hell one more year is going to make a difference.

          3. William Fleming
            FAIL

            Re: Gabe!

            Windows live gaming platform has been around for a long time they used to charge for it! There is no excuse for it being in its infancy, because its not. It really just is garbage. Windows 8 marketplace and origin have given steam a kick up the arse and some competition. That's good thing, but steam coming to Linux is even better. Cant wait for games to start getting ported over :)

        2. Stewart Cunningham

          Re: DO NOT DO THIS

          Totally agree, similar piss poor experience with Age of Empires. The Live menus are a mess that are completely counter intuitive. Multiplayer setup was totally backwards too, but I guess that's another departments problem. I would have given up trying if the wife wasn't threatening me with reactivating WoW.

          1. Greg J Preece

            Re: DO NOT DO THIS

            I can also concur on GFWL. That was a nasty surprise after I bought Section 8 on Steam.

        3. Chris Harden
          Mushroom

          Re: Gabe!

          Took me days to figure out why Bullet Storm kept crashing out on my PC without an error message - till I turned my xbox off and my live account was no longer logged in from two places!

          GFWL was a really half assed job of ripping off steam.

          1. MJI Silver badge

            Bulletstorm

            I have played this - glad I got it on console, good came but buried by being released on the wrong day. I bought it months later for £10.

            GFWL sounds absolutely terrible, glad I have nothing to do with it.

      2. Avatar of They
        Thumb Down

        Re: Gabe!

        Eh, what? Do you actually play games? Microsoft games LIVE is the same rubbish as XBOX, it isn't a competition, it is just the same Wii warez on the Wii. (and a lot of those apps are now on steam anyway)

        If Steam is 70% of the market then MS can't fight that. If it was possible to win players over then EA would already have a much bigger chunk of the market as the largest software house, but they obviously don't with their origin store, which had to rebrand from the EA downloader etc etc. And they have been plugging at it for years, MS will be the new guy on the block and experience suggests that being a new player in search engines and phones, they lose out.

        If EA can't crack Steam, I very much doubt the appalling MS experience will win players over. Moreover Steam will gain support because it is pushing into Android.

        And of course Steam already supports and allows people to compete across the Apple and Playstation 3 markets. Can you see MS doing that? They don't even accept the other platforms exist.

        All MS can offer is Xbox and PC, which they could have done fo rthe last ten years but haven't, so where is their gaming competition going to come from?

    4. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Gabe!

      Steam - yes I like it, easy to buy games and get them updated, installation was trivial.

      As to a MS market place with games - will it have such games as Half Life saga on it?

      Just look at the top end studios, how many of them use digital distribution? Basically for good games you find 90% of them on Steam (Valve, some EA and others).

      Other major studios are mainly console based, and disc based, so you would never see games from the like of Naughty Dog on MS market place.

      I decided a while ago that if I build another PC for home to use Linux.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Gabe!

      Yeah,,,,, that's what everyone wants to go back to, idiotic command line crap to make something work.

      Dont think so. Me and many others would gladly give our money to Apple instead of dealing with Linux.

      1. Chemist

        Re: Gabe!

        "idiotic command line crap to make something work."

        You really don't know much about Linux - do you ?

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. feanor

        Re: Gabe!

        A statement only an idiot could make, grow up and get out of the 1990s will you?

      4. C 2
        WTF?

        Re: 'idiotic command line crap'

        Funny you should mention that, I have to resort to "idiotic command line crap" an awful lot in windows (Vista or 7) these days, its horrid.

        These days under Linux hardly ever, especially Linux Mint, its pretty polished these days. Also you should see how fast it runs on older hardware.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: idiotic command line crap

        you haven't used linux in ten years.

        I use linux every day and never have to use command line to get things done

    6. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Gabe!

      Firstly it's not 16% on the same configuration. It is 3%.

      That is runs about 3% faster on Linux is completely meaningless unless that game code is identical. And it isnt. As the vast majority of peformance benchmarks are better on Windows than Linux, I would suggest the difference is far more likely in the game code.

      Even if Linux was 3% faster its a marginal difference - far eclipsed by the fact that hardly anyone develops in Open GL and Direct X owns the market.

      This was also tested on an old Windows OS in Windows 7 versus a current Linux version. Linux kernel development is constantly trying to catch up to Windows, so not suprising if a several years more recent version might have closed the gap....

      Ubuntu 12.04 was only released a couple of months ago. A more realistic comparison would be to Windows 8 which is now RTM. If the most recent Linux can only just beat an ancient version of Windows by 3% then Windows 8 would absolutely kick Linux's arse:

      http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/07/23/hardware-accelerating-everything-windows-8-graphics.aspx

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    2500 Apps in their app store

    Good. One for each user then.

    1. Neil McAllister
      Meh

      Re: 2500 Apps in their app store

      You're thinking too narrowly. Just because you play games on a Linux machine doesn't mean you have to do your spreadsheets on it also.

      Making games for Linux desktop systems is the focus NOW, because that's what Valve is able to target today. But if Valve can prove that Linux is a viable gaming platform, the kinds of Linux systems most people end up playing games on could look very different than today's Ubuntu desktops.

      Remember, Linux is free software. It runs on a variety of hardware and can scale even to very small embedded devices. Just like you don't care that your bank teller machine is running Windows Embedded today, at some point in the future you won't need to know that your gaming machine is running Linux. All you'll care about is that the machine cost less than the games you play on it.

      The work Valve is doing today will definitely help toward that goal, IMHO.

      1. foo_bar_baz
        Linux

        Re: 2500 Apps in their app store

        I foresee a (dual boot? Live CD/USB?) "Steam Linux" on the horizon. Basically yet another Linux appliance. We already have Linux appliances doing NAS, firewall, routing, VOIP, SMB server etc.

        While Microsoft and Apple and scrambling to push their application stores on their respective operating systems, Steam might be the application store that comes with its own streamlined and customized OS. You won't even know it's Linux.

        Remember how there were magazine cover CDs that booted to play Quake III? Add local storage for downloaded games and a UnionFS/AUFS layer for the odd OS update/config and that's it.

        1. auburnman
          Stop

          Re: 2500 Apps in their app store

          I wouldn't want steam to do a Linux version, we don't need any more fragmentation. What they should do is 'anoint' one Linux flavour as the version they will ensure Steam runs on, and assist the community with what they need to get it running on other versions. Then send some of their extra programming resource to iron out the kinks in Linux.

          Oh, and Half-Life Effing 3 please.

          1. Greg J Preece

            Re: 2500 Apps in their app store

            Oh, and Half-Life Effing 3 please.

            I would normally agree, but you know what? No. This is way more important. Go Gabe, go!

          2. Jordan 1

            Re: 2500 Apps in their app store

            There's no need to "anoint" one distro. Only lazy fuckers like Oracle do that. All the major distros use the same or similar library versions; once compiled it should run "everywhere". A simple script would then pack it into a DEB/RPM/tarball file that should take car of 99% of Linux users right off the bat. Steam would probably have its own libraries anyway, so bundling a copy of the library versions they prefer would make even dependency tracking a non-issue.

        2. A J Stiles
          Thumb Up

          Re: 2500 Apps in their app store

          Now, that would actually be a very sensible way of doing it. You can insert the CD, and boot up into a known software environment. No other apps running; a known kernel version; known library versions, and everything. The truly paranoid can even unplug their HDDs altogether and save state and data to a USB drive, secure in the knowledge that software over which they have no control isn't doing anything behind their backs.

          Also, the presence of proprietary games (100% optional software, lest we forget) out there may encourage development of more Open Source games.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 2500 Apps in their app store

      That's 2495 more users than WP7.

      1. RICHTO Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: 2500 Apps in their app store

        Erm, but Windows Phone sales grew 292% compared to Q2 last year and now has 20% of the sales of the iPhone....

        http://betanews.com/2012/08/03/android-leads-ios-follows-windows-phone-shows-surprising-growth/

        Not bad for a brand new platform.

  3. squilookle
    Linux

    Hmm. I'm a Linux user, I'd like to see Linux succeed and I'd like to see games (and Steam) succeed on Linux. But the suspicious part of me can't help but think there is an agenda here... as if they are pandering to the Linux fanbois to ease their launch onto the platform. Perhaps a warning shot to MS that Steam don't like the MS strategy or something.

    I hope they're serious about all this and I wish them success with it.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Of course they don't like MS right now. Valve has Steam: A successful, popular infrastructure for application marketing, distribution, updating and DRM. Now Microsoft is going to bring in their own marketplace: An infrastructure for application marketing, distribution, updating and DRM. Which will instantly be a huge hit, because it comes bundled with the operating system. That puts Valve in the position once occupied by Netscape, or Winamp: They have a decent product, but Microsoft is about to become their competitor, and no matter how good your product you can't compete with Microsoft and their bundling advantage. For the Steam division, it's a bet-the-company moment: Either try to survive as a niche market beside the incoming Microsoft giant, or try to move into a niche where Microsoft has no interest or advantage. Like linux.

      1. Bob Vistakin
        Linux

        "or try to move into a niche where Microsoft has no interest or advantage. Like linux."

        Or mobile.

      2. dssf

        What are the odds or chances/risks of anti-competition claims against ms?

        Aside from invasive DRM checks, I think this is great that Steam is opening the Valve for possible venting into Linux space. For some of us who held on to ideas for game just out of despondency that no major, persistent player took Linux/ Open Source platforms for the long run (aside from the aiplane sim company and maybe Soldier of Fortune's authors (ages ago?)...), this is a possible chance to approach Steam with some propositions....

        But, please, let's get Linus and others heavily engaged in restricting how much invasive digging/probing Steam r Valve do on the personal property of game pkayers.

  4. Moving Pictures
    Linux

    At Last!

    A reason to finally ditch Windows entirely. If I can set up gaming as easily under Linux as I can with Windows, then there's no reason for me to use Windows anymore!

    HOORAY!!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, Valve might just do alright with this. I know i'll be spending money on their games if only to show there is demand.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does OpenGL support all the fancy DX10 and DX11 card features though when rendering? Like ambient lighting, Tessellation, Volumetric Fog, etc etc ? If not then it might be a bit of an unfair comparison.

    1. RAMChYLD
      Linux

      Re:

      OpenGL 4 does support Tessellation, Ambient Lighting, and yes, Volumetric fog. I won't post links here, but a quick google search will show that this is all possible.

      1. RICHTO Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Re:

        But it doesnt support Multithreaded rendering and object creation or Compute shader - both heavily used requirements in most modern games.

        1. Tim Bates
          FAIL

          Direct3D 10/11 things

          Wait? What? Since when are D3D 10+ "heavily used requirements"? Quick Google search reveals a Wikipedia page listing games that support Direct3D 10, and of that list only 13 seem to require DirectX 10. The other approximately 55 also support DirectX 9.

          So it seems to me that a more correct statement might have been:

          "But it doesnt support Multithreaded rendering and object creation or Compute shader - both heavily used requirements in Battlefield 3".

  7. EvanPyle

    I love that everyone thinks linux will remain unbloated if everyone makes the switch.

    Red hat steam

    > Missing dependency

    1. RAMChYLD
      Boffin

      re:

      Well, again, statically compiled binaries. Like those you can get of OpenOffice, Firefox, etc. Sure, they're quite a bit larger than your average dynamically-linked-at-runtime binaries, but they keep dependencies at minimum if not zero.

      I imagine installing steam would be much like the HLDSUpdateTool script:

      [leecy@ubuntu32 leecy]$ sh ./steamInstaller /home/leecy/steam

      And the script will grab the necessary statically-linked binaries from Valve's server, and finally create a desktop shortcut.

      It could even be easier- the installer could be a Tcl/Tk script instead that presents a pretty frontend to the user. Or a statically-linked binary itself with a GTK+/QT GUI. The possibility are endless.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Nah, it'll be simpler than that.

        It will be "Click this link, type your Steam login details. Now go have a cup of coffee while Magic Happens."

        Partly because it will fail if it isn't - their key target market wants one-or-two-click solutions with the minimum of fuss - but mostly because completely automating that kind of thing is much easier in Linux than Windows.

        If they manage a good (soft) launch, then a lot of people will start wondering "Why buy Windows for my next computer when the Linux version is easier and runs better?"

        That's clearly Valve's aim, and it will be interesting to see if it comes to pass.

        1. auburnman
          Unhappy

          "Click this link, type your Steam login details"

          "Bollocks, what's my Steam login? I haven't had to type it in six years. Do I even still have that email address?"

        2. nematoad Silver badge
          Linux

          Re: Nah, it'll be simpler than that.

          "their key target market wants one-or-two-click solutions"

          I'm not so sure about that, after all this is Linux you are talking about.

          Linux users are generally pretty savvy when it comes to installing applications. Linux is supposed to be "difficult", it's not, but it does attract people with a deeper interest in the workings of their machines and the skills to use that knowledge.

          But if we are to get the refugees from Windows 8 to move over then I think that anything that makes the move less hard is to be applauded

          1. DJ Smiley
            Meh

            Re: Nah, it'll be simpler than that.

            I wish that was true - I don't mind the CLI but run xfce on all of my desktops as a gentoo user; but ubuntu users who have come directly from windows are generally not sure about the commandline and generally don't even know how to open a terminal without clicking through the menu to access one (ctrl alt t last time I checked in ubuntu).

      2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: re: [static linking]

        Another possibility is to allow for dynamic linking, but include the .so files as part of the steam infrastructure. You can have a totally sandboxed environment for playing the games (ie, only use those libs provided by steam rather than depending on whatever cruft you have installed on your system) by using LD_LIBRARYPATH, or you can pick and mix between the game/distro-supplied libs by using LD_PRELOAD. All this can, of course, be hidden behind a graphical game config screen or launcher with simple toggles to choose between game or OS-supplied libs.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re:

        I imagine installing steam would be much like the HLDSUpdateTool script:

        [leecy@ubuntu32 leecy]$ sh ./steamInstaller /home/leecy/steam

        ---

        I don't want it to be anything like that. If you want real people to use it, it needs to be a single file you download from the steam website, then double click to run an installer that leads you through the install. Not just open in a text editor because it doesn't have execute permissions!

  8. beep54
    Meh

    Re: M$

    Is anyone really surprised by this? It seems virtually everything in Windows from file manager to defragmenter is improved by using third party software because M$ can't get it right in the first place. Windows Explorer has been unstable since Vista.

    1. Suricou Raven

      Re: M$

      Vista destroyed the search functionality, and MS never even admitted it.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: M$

        "Vista destroyed the search functionality, and MS never even admitted it."

        That would be the XP search functionality that involved an animated dog coming out of its kennel? *shudder*

        Windows has *never* had search functionality in the GUI that could compare to a simple 'grep' or 'find'. Even the Search panel in Windows 8 explorer can't match it (though it will probably give you back anything you are missing from XP, sans cartoon dog). Most GUI users simply wouldn't be able to deal with regular expressions, etc.

        Best thing to do if you want to search in Windows is to open PowerShell and use FindStr as a grep equivalent, etc.

        1. Alan Bourke
          Thumb Down

          Re: M$

          Sorry - horseshit. Windows 7 search is perfectly fine and indexed, unlike FindStr.

          Of course most non-expert users wouldn't be able to deal with RegExps ... they're a nigh-on impenetrable pain in the hole even for most expert users unlessthey're stuck with having to use them on a regular basis.

          1. That Steve Guy

            Re: M$

            Actually they fixed it for 7 but it was messed up in Vista.

            For XP they did the same when they introduced the Windows Desktop search addon. (not the dog the other one that put a search box on your task bar),I had to deal with a lot of machines grinding to a halt because of the excessive indexing.

            Microsoft later patched it in version 4.5 or so to be lighter which was about the time 7 hit out.

        2. RICHTO Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: M$

          Or just type what you want to find from the start menu, and get an indexed search....

          1. Tim Bates

            Re: Search

            Windows Vista/7 Search is terrible. I've had multiple occasions where, while looking at a file name, I have typed parts of the name into the search only to be given 0 results (or a list NOT containing said file).

            I trust Windows Search about as much as I trust a man wearing a balaclava and carrying a sack to mind my house keys overnight.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Linux on a stick

    If you're selling games, it helps to have a platform you can control.

    At worst they could provide a bootable Linux.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Linux on a stick

      Interesting idea. Write for linux, plug it into your mac or windows box, reboot and play. Also comes with a browser, video player, music player which can read your local hdd. Buy a game without having to think about whether it works with your OS or not. OS-specific files also available. It makes a cheap "console" if you have a USB stick or esata box which uses your work laptop or home pc's hardware.

      eSATA, USB, flash & thunderbolt are also possible and would work best with fast flash-booting pc's.

      I think Gabe's real aim is to get more opengl games so that they are more likely to be ported to OSX, which has a far larger market than linux currently has. He doesn't want windows-only as that reduces his possible revenue as OSX becomes a larger part of the home market (with a W8 fail) and makes the windows-store more attractive.

      For most games, frame rates on modern hardware isn't much of an issue (305!), but the hardcore & pro gamers who spend lots probably would be willing to reboot for a particular game to gain 16% improvement.

      No doubt MS will jump on this and get the performance up a bit, but its still really good news. My steam account is the only reason I have windows installed anywhere.

      1. Suricou Raven

        Re: Linux on a stick

        Quite possible. Also, Apple is one of the few companies around that likes Lots and Lots of Pixels. Performance is very much of importance when you're trying to draw frames at high resolutions.

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Linux on a stick

        "I think Gabe's real aim is to get more opengl games so that they are more likely to be ported to OSX, which has a far larger market than linux currently has"

        Probably is an aim, but don't Macs have an equivalent to the Windows Marketplace? If not, they'll follow suit soon. In either case, Steam will be redundant on both and I think that's his main problem right now. Come to think of it, what's to stop someone writing an Open Source "marketplace" for Linux? You have the package management there already. If a group bolted on DRM and a means of payment, then it would be all that would be needed.

        In fact, it would be worse for Valve than the MS Marketplace because whilst even MS take their cut from those selling via the Marketplace, an Open Source equivalent running on Linux would not. Gabe Newell might just have shot himself in the foot very badly by trying to big up gaming on Linux. An Open Source DRM-including channel for Linux that you could buy software through, would have the economic edge on both Windows Marketplace and Steam because it would be free and not take a cut.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Linux on a stick

          Question is, who would maintain such a store? You can't cloud source it or leave it open-ended as a marketplace is essentially a walled garden, and gardens need caretakers or people will bash down the walls. Microsoft and Apple can work this way since they write their OS's and are therefore caretakers by default. In certain distros like Ubuntu there may be an incentive to provide a market-like approach within their own ecosystem, but it wouldn't be universal as others like Red Hat would have their own interests. I don't think you'd be able to get them to agree on a universal approach since in that respect, they're competing against each other.

          The only company with a likelihood of making a marketplace that would be acceptable by the majority of the Linux community would be an outsider like Valve.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Linux on a stick

            "I don't think you'd be able to get them to agree on a universal approach since in that respect, they're competing against each other."

            You're talking about Linux distributions - these are all founded on the very principle of communal work. A RedHat employee contributes a fix to the kernel, Debian incorporate it and vice versa. If Linux companies don't have the willingness to participate in a community project that benefits them all, then probably no-one does.

            And there are precedents outside of this as well. I can (and do) have a GPG key which is registered on public servers. That's cross-platform. All you need is the code for DRM in Linux package management tools and one or more participating stores (which with the right infrastructure, each company can run their own) and then the signing of such things isn't much more complicated than my GPG key.

            MS Marketplace might anger Valve, but at least (from Valve's point of view), Marketplace also tax the game seller just as Valve do. A truly open source one running on Linux? Nightmare scenario for Valve. They'd do all the work of getting Linux to be a popular gaming platform and then a handful of bright people would say: "we don't actually need Valve skimming off every sale" and that would be that. I'd go so far as to say that it would be a very likely outcome.

            Good for Linux gamers, though! ; )

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Linux on a stick

              The common thread with most of these "communal" Linux projects is that money isn't directly involved. They agree on a common structure and then proceed to work on different things (like getting their money in buiness and support arenas). In commercial software sales, money is involved—by default. And when money gets involved, someone has to be the broker, as there are legal and (in international transactions) compatibility issues to iron out.

              Perhaps if you can spell out for me how one can build a decentralized Linux marketplace where any developer or publisher can offer their work for sale, have a failsafe means of receiving money in assorted means (including means that don't involve credit checks or bank accounts), across international borders, without having to operate their own store (as that would be a burden to the little guys) and without use of a common broker (Valve acts as a broker in the Steam network), in detail, then perhaps I can agree.

              1. Vic

                Re: Linux on a stick

                > how one can build a decentralized Linux marketplace

                Why does it need to be decentralised?

                Vic.

        2. Euchrid

          Re: Linux on a stick

          "Probably is an aim, but don't Macs have an equivalent to the Windows Marketplace? If not, they'll follow suit soon. In either case, Steam will be redundant on both and I think that's his main problem right now..."

          Apple launched a Mac App Store at the beginning of last year – and on at least one story, the impact of Steam was discussed. However, one difference is with Microsoft Metro software (sorry, name change I should be calling it something else - http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/08/microsoft-metro-out-windows-8-style-ui-in-amid-rumors-of-a-trademark-dispute/) it can *only* be bought via the Microsoft store – if I publish a game that works on OS X, I can sell it via Steam, Apple, other retailers and direct to the public (rather like I could – other than the Mac Store! - if it was a game for Windows, but not a ‘Windows 8-style UI’ one).

          Going back to the discussion last year, my comments would be the same as then – Steam doesn’t have too much to worry about, it’s really Mac-only online software stores that will be hit. Although the Apple App Store does have Mac games, I find Steam is more competitive on price (especially in the sales).

          However, one of the Steam guys (I think it was Newell) when talking about piracy, it’s not the price but what’s being delivered that counts – they’re selling a service as well as games. On Steam, I buy game that is on more than one desktop OS, I’m able to use it on all of those platforms – with the Mac Store, unsurprisingly, I can only play it on OS X.

          The performance of games is better on the Windows platform than OS X (look at any benchmark; incidentally, I recently bought Crusader Kings 2 and had such problem getting to the main menu screen on OS X, I uninstalled it and ran it on Windows instead) – not to mention there’s a lot more choice on the former. Am I going to just buy from Apple’s App Store? Am I, heck (and in fact, I haven’t bought a single game.)

          If someone plays a very limited range of games or plays infrequently, then the Apple Store would be great and arguably, it’s a better choice for them than Steam – but they’re not the main market for Steam, nor would they necessarily use Steam anyway. On Mac-centric forums, when games are discussed, Steam is mentioned a darn sight more than the Apple Store.

          On my Mac, I can run OS X, Windows and Linux flawlessly – if Steam does Linux games and I know performance is significantly better on a game, then I’ll play it that.

          Microsoft does have its own online gaming service, Xbox Live, so it could compete with Steam there – but at the moment, I can’t see Steam being shifted as the main online distributor of games.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Linux on a stick

      I've always thought a live CD/DVD with a roll your own Linux based game could be a way forward.

      Might still see it too.

      Game saves, configs etc. could be stored on USB media (stick/HDD), or, if booting on a Windows PC, it would be easy to store game saves etc. on an NTFS disc vol.

      Email PC Gamer & get their weight behind Linux based gaming :-)

    3. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Linux on a stick

      No, it helps to have a standard paltform virtually the same for everybody. Not 200 flavours of it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Linux on a stick

        "No, it helps to have a standard paltform virtually the same for everybody. Not 200 flavours of it."

        No, it helps to have a robust platform virtually the same for everybody. Not Windows

        1. RICHTO Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Linux on a stick

          But Windows is more rebust as in stable than Linux and has a tenth of the security vulnerabilities of a Linux distribution....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Linux on a stick

        Now, of course, we don't agree with censorship and welcome well-reasoned, informed comment but I've never seen SO (so,so many) down-votes on The Register in your short career (since 6th July 2012) - are you sure you are on the correct web-site ?

  10. crisis

    I thought this would have been common knowledge?

    I am pretty sure the only company that has even claimed that directx was faster than OpenGL is Microsoft. All other companies and games developer know that OpenGL is faster. This has been shown in every comparative test (not using the MS OpenGL Wrapper) since 1995. Combine that with the faster Linux operating system then the results are a no brainier.

    So why are the developers at Valve so surprised?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: I thought this would have been common knowledge?

      I think the attitude changed around the time of Vista, when DirectX 10 started pushing more sophisticated features like Geometry Shaders and Shader Model 4, not to mention streamlined their approach, that Microsoft got a gaming boost, as they could properly claim things OpenGL couldn't do. This was due in no small part to asking the big boys at the time (ATI and nVidia) what they figured was best to add and then focusing on that. As the card makers had input, turnaround was quick. Plus, at the time, OpenGL development floundered for a bit because of controversy and poor direction, and it took a little longer than usual to catch up. If OpenGL really wants to retake the throne, they'll need to steal a march on Microsoft and have 5.0 present a new useful feature before Microsoft presents it in DX 12. If THEY can call the shots rather than Microsoft, then they'll really be in control again.

      1. blapping

        Re: I thought this would have been common knowledge?

        OpenGL had geometry shaders as an extension at pretty much the same time as D10 was released.....the only thing it really lagged with was implementing a proper render to texture mechanism, and vertex buffer objects. When they solved those two problems they solved them in incredible style, giving us a much more elegant and flexible solution than in direct3d.

    2. h4rm0ny

      Re: I thought this would have been common knowledge?

      My understanding (and I do NOT work with any graphics library more sophisticated than ImageMagick, so I'm repeating what I've heard from others here), is that whilst OpenGL is slightly faster, it's much more of a mess to develop for as the APIs are not nearly as nice or streamlined.

      I don't think the developers at Valve are surprised, as you are asking, I think they probably knew or at least expected they'd be able to get results something like this (they also ported from the Mac version, not the Windows version - there's no serious pretence that this is casual investigation. They set out to show that OpenGL is faster and that's what they showed). But that may not translate into everyone suddenly using OpenGL. Programming the sort of graphics you see in a modern 3D game is complicated. Suddenly having to shift and learn a new and reportedly less friendly library, isn't going to help.

      Incidentally, can anyone confirm what version of DirectX they used for the testing? They report the Service Pack installed and I think from that, that it is DirectX 11.0, but I can't tell. Reason for asking is that DirectX 11.1 came out and is used in Windows 8 and it came out a whole year after 11.0, so it might be relevant to know as it's supposed to be faster.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: I thought this would have been common knowledge?

        Don't think that really matters as the game itself IIRC doesn't even support DirectX 10. This is an engine limitation IIRC as Source was originally written all the way back for Half-Life 2, and while it's been extended significantly over the years, making a jump to DX10 takes more than just an extension because of the different interface.

    3. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: I thought this would have been common knowledge?

      Every recognised benchmark that i have ever seen across both platforms shows that Direct-X is faster.

  11. easyk

    :)

    This fills my heart with glee.

  12. M Gale

    Thought it was pretty obvious.

    DIrectX, a kitchen-sink API that tries to do everything and be everything to everyone.

    OpenGL.. it does one thing, which is to push pixels, at incredible rates.

    Though the only upside I could see to Steam being successful would be other games developers making stuff for Linux that doesn't require Steam. Do not want, will not buy. Just hope it doesn't come as some bundled-with-the-distro thing that I end up having to delete with every single distribution upgrade.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Why the Steam hate?

      It works, it works well and has good games on it

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why the Steam hate?

        Hm, yes, games that you pay for but then are completely at the whim of a commercial company on whether you will be allowed to play them or not, today and every day in the future; not allowed to play in single-player mode if you are not connected to the internet; not allowed to play in single-player mode unless you download gigabytes of updates which make absolutely no difference.

        Once you have paid for a game and enjoyed it to your satisfaction, there is no possibility of giving it away, selling it or trading it in.

        If you lose access to the account (which would be stupid but could happen to anybody) then all the games you have paid for over the years are gone. Good luck getting hold of anyone to ask for help, it is not in their interests to look after the end-user.

        None of these problems affect traditional, media-installed standalone games.

        However I do approve highly of getting games to work on Linux.

      2. M Gale

        Re: Why the Steam hate?

        Pretty much what the AC said. It's a toy, not nuclear launch codes. If it's not as simple as "install, play", then my money goes elsewhere.

        Fortunately for me, I'm not addicted to the shiny. I get as much enjoyment from the (DRM Free) Gratuitious Space Battles, as I do from something like Dead Island or Half Life 2 (which, amusingly, I played to completion at a friend's house who got both from the Bay). That's £17.38 + £4.99 + £6.97 for GSB + Galactic Conquest + physical CD delivery to Positech Games and approximately £0 to Valve. Yes, GSB is available on Steam, but when it's a DRM-free download direct from Positech's website, why the hell would you want to punish yourself?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    This is what Desktop Linux has needed for a decade!

    Every Linux enthusiast always knew Linux was superior to Windows in terms of the kernel and the system architecture.

    What we also knew is that Desktop Linux wouldn't be a serious competitor to Windows until applications and games popular on the windows platform had native Linux versions.

    I hope Gabe comes true on his promise, as it would be a massive coup for Linux on the Desktop.

    He mentions windows 8 will be a disaster for Microsoft - I guess in terms of sales performance, yes, but lest we forget, windows XP is still in use and Windows 7 will likely be in use for another decade.

    If Gabe can provide a superior version of Steam along with 1500 games titles on Linux - what Desktop gamer wouldn't switch?

    If that's a success, it's only a matter of time before other games developers and indeed software developers see Linux as a viable Desktop solution to peddle their wares.

    Exciting times!

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: This is what Desktop Linux has needed for a decade!

      It certainly sounds promising, and this would be the one thing I'd need to convince me to migrate over to something like Xubuntu (sorry, Shuttleworth, but I'll stick to something a little less demanding than Unity, thank you). But while all this research sounds great, it's all focused on Source games while the Steam library is currently composed of a motherload of games: most of which weren't made by Valve, and many of which are probably more finely-build for Windows than usual (which is why the Mac lineup isn't so terrific, either). If Valve wants to convince me to switch, they'll need to show a compatibility migration path that'll let most of the games cross over with no worse than minor hiccups. THAT will be the hard part, guaranteed.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    cor

    its taken this long to notice that openGL gives better results.

    had head up arse syndrome for ten years have they.

    could have told you years ago.

    ahh,no profit involved,so not a clue,as per,all they want is your cash for "playing games" and you fools do.

    and then their surprised that a microsoft driver pack is not much good.

    lucky they dont develope anything important.

    anyone remember a game,half-life i think it was called,cos valve seem to have forgotten.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: cor

      Down voted for spelling and grammar. Oh, yes - and get off my lawn!

    2. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: cor

      errm - but OpenGL DOESNT give better results. It is much slower than Direct X in any proper benchmark:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baTdBZ3x704

      And with Windows 8, the performance advantage just got a LOT bigger too.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: cor

        Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. It seems that Valve were comparing the latest available OpenGL with a DirectX version well over a year old (11.1 is the new version and is in Windows 8 - apparently has a lot of performance improvements after a year of refinement). But your linked video is not very strong evidence, I'm afraid to say. Something more formal is needed than judging by eye if one stutters a little.

        1. RICHTO Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: cor

          There are simply loads of other examples. I cant actually find one - except Valve - that claims that OpenGL is faster! Direct DX is always better when you compare versions of similar age.

          http://jeffhoogland.blogspot.co.uk/2010/01/opengl-vs-directx-benchmark-comparison.html

          (And Valve's test isn't a valid benchmark because the game code is different between platforms.)

  15. paulc
    Black Helicopters

    Open GL?

    Isn't that the tech that Microsoft own key patents for to block graphics cards companies from releasing their binary blobs with full source code?

    The usual trick of crippling true cross-platform tech so their own monopoly windows can keep games development on windows based platform.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Open GL?

      I may be wrong, but I think those patents were sold to the Open Innovation Network in 2009, removing them as obstacles.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You seem to be missing something here

    The converstaion is rapidly going towards "Look how crap D3D is compared to OpenGL". However, "That's a 16 per cent improvement over the Windows version, which only clocks at 270.6fps on the same configuration."

    What, only 270fps? How will we survive?

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: You seem to be missing something here

      If the hardware will run at a 16% higher framerate, then that's 16% more detail that can be put into the game.

      So higher resolutions, more realistic meshes, better texturing and/or more complex shaders for better lighting and Other Things.

      Which is nice.

      1. Adam T

        Re: You seem to be missing something here

        Well, it depends what you're drawing and what part is running that extra 16% faster. Few devs will go out of their way to create extra content, but in general you'd probably benefit nicely from an extra step-up in quality level settings to your windows buddies.

  17. Falanx
    Happy

    No shock here

    Something I've empirically seen for yonks. Running most DX9-DX10 titles through WINE gives me better performance than on the Win 7 install I had before, and that's with another abstraction layer in the way, courtesy of Moroccan Tea :-)

    Admittedly, my machine is more a lower end gaming rig by design anyways... 6950 GPU , 4-disk RAID 5 PRIMARY, 8GB of Corsair 1600 DDR3 and a 945 CPU. I'm not sure i fthat's statistically valid but meh...

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: No shock here

      That's probably because your title is forced into pure DX9 mode, as WINE doesn't support DX10 and up (last I checked). Without the extra graphical demands placed by DX10, your game runs a bit smoother but with less attention to detail.

      1. Falanx
        Happy

        Re: No shock here

        Not true. There are a chunk of DX10 components available through winetricks, d3dx10 springing to mind, and a number of dx11 bits being considered.

        Even purely dx9 games feel smoother.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: RAID 5

      Mate, you don't want to be running a RAID-5 as your system disk in this day and age, the write performance is abysmal.

      The only thing you should consider using RAID-5 for would be a usage demographic which is mostly read-only.

      Considering the price of disk space (still) just go for a proper RAID-10. Massively higher performance and can withstand multiple simultaneous drive failures.

      With all RAID levels think about the appropriate block size to choose and ensure that the starting offset is aligned with the track size.

  18. Joe Montana
    FAIL

    Poor platform for games

    Windows has always been a poor platform for games, when you want your game to run as fast as it can having all that weight running in the background really does not help, and it's just being masked by extremely fast hardware.

    AmigaOS was extremely lightweight in comparison, and yet still many games completely ignored the OS and ran directly on the hardware...

    And for a more modern comparison, try running the xbox version of a game like halo alongside the windows version running on equivalent spec hardware. The xbox of course runs a much smaller implementation of many of the same APIs, with anything thats not useful for gaming simply not included.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Poor platform for games

      You couldn't be more wrong.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Poor platform for games

        "You couldn't be more wrong."

        Will you be elaborating on that or will we just take your word for it?

    2. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Poor platform for games

      There isnt a better platform for games than Windows invented yet. ALL top gaming rigs and the highest specification gamers run Windows. A high end WIndows PC easily outpeforms consoles, and Direct X significantly outperforms OpenGL. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baTdBZ3x704

  19. LDS Silver badge

    32 bit Unix and 64 bit Windows...

    1) They run a 64 bit Windows and a 32 bit Linux. 32 bit code on a 64 bit OS gets some performance penalties because the kernel calls must go through translations. Why didn't they try with a 32 bit Windows?

    2) Which DirectX version was used? Which OpenGL version? Which drivers?

    3) Which card configuration was used, on both systems?

    And after all, they took maybe more time to optimize their OpenGL code than they did with their DirectX one?

    1. Eddie Edwards
      Meh

      Re: 32 bit Unix and 64 bit Windows...

      Indeed, this is a sensationalist story, around an undocumented experiment, where effort was put in to make the OGL version run faster ... and hey the OGL version ran faster.

      What we do know is that it's comparing DX9-level feature sets. These are 10 years old. OGL tends to lag DX in terms of features, but comparing 10-year-old feature sets is kind of ridiculous - a bit like comparing modern browsers by seeing how well they render HTML 4.2 with CSS 1.0. And they're comparing a modern implementation of OGL to a legacy implementation of DX - a bit like comparing Chrome to IE 4.

      The experiment would be far more apples-to-apples if the game was recoded to use the DX9 subset of the DX11 API. The DX API has evolved significantly in the last 10 years, and it's generally perceived to be a lot faster now.

  20. Adam T

    GL faster than DX

    We've been experiencing this for some time - we develop cross platform, with iOS & PS3 as leads, so everything starts out as GL (running on Windows 7).

    GL appears to be especially faster than DX in transparency overdraw - we don't know why, our shaders are virtually like-for-like, it's just way better in OpenGL (3 in our case). We see (easily) a doubling of performance, not just 12%, which might be attributed to the fact we have bucketloads of overdraw in our current WIP.

    On the subject of Linux gamers worried about Steam, I can't help but frown. You guys have spent years telling everyone Linux is better, and now someone with clout stands up and says you could be right, and your reaction? "I'm not installing that crap on my box", "it's a conspiracy to install malware", "they're just saying it to get to Microsoft".

    I've always figured that the problem with Linux isn't Linux, it's the people that use it. Not wanting to tar everyone with the same brush, but so far it looks like I may have been right.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: GL faster than DX

      "I've always figured that the problem with Linux isn't Linux, it's the people that use it."

      You are right. People like Richard Stallman are not happy about this development. But then RMS is a purist, a very necessary and important one but even he has said that he can see the advantages to a move like Valve's. Linus on the other hand does not seem to be so bothered.

      As a pragmatist I can see the advantages in having someone like Valve move into the Linux world. It will give Linux added credibility to the general user and may help spread the use of Linux. I often read that it's only a certain game or application that prevents people dumping Windows entirely, if that barrier is removed we may well see a huge increase in the use of Linux.

      On the other hand I enjoy being free from viruses, malware and the like and although the underlying structure of Linux is inherently more secure than say Windows, if Linux does become more widespread then it will become a bigger target for the black hats out there. Given the depth of knowledge and skills in the Linux world I'm sure that this, coupled with the fact that Gnu/Linux is free and open for inspection will mean that such holes would not remain unpatched for long.

      Rather than giving Ubuntu an advantage it might be better to start with a live, dedicated distro which would be universally accessible and show what Linux and OpenGL are capable of.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: GL faster than DX

        Agree with most of the above, but I think a single dedicated distribution would be inviting a lot of extra work (not just creating, but maintaining) for very little benefit and some downsides. If you created a single new Linux distribution that played games you would effectlvely kill off any other distro outside the serious server space - so Redhat and Debian would keep on rolling, Ubuntu would take a body blow that it might never recover from. So it would be bad for the Linux ecosystem, imo.

        Any DRM system for Linux would be operating at the Kernel layer. So why not have it go into all distros? You'd need something that all different package managers could plug into, but that's actually a lot less hard than the DRM system itself.

        So basically yes - it would be wrong to just give Ubuntu an advantage. But making a new distribution that was the only one with good games support would be the same situation but with $distribution rather than Ubuntu.

        1. nematoad Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: GL faster than DX

          Well, a quick look at distrowatch.com points out a least one distro that features games linuX-gamers.

          Specialist distros are common in Linux. just look at Clonezilla, SystemRescue or Parted Magic to name just a few. I don't think that Mark Shuttleworth would be fazed by a games only distro, he's sunk a lot into Canonical and presumably still has the wherewithal to keep it going. Anyway this is FLOSS software, you just can't take your ball home if you don't want to play. Someone else will usually pick up the project and run with it. See Mageia for example.

          Linus might be relaxed about proprietary games coming to Linux but I'm not sure that he would be willing to introduce a binary blob into the kernel. I'm no developer but the politics of the GPL and devs relationship with the kernel would probably stop such a thing happening.

          "...you'd need something that all different package managers could plug into, but that's actually a lot less hard than the DRM system itself."

          An independant distro, running as live DVD would short-circuit all these problems, you would have an integrated system with known parameters such that software houses could port their stuff with confidence. After all the GPL does not forbid anyone charging for a distro, what it does do is ensure that all changes are given back to the community, that way if Valve were to develop their own live DVD we would all benefit, especially the other software houses. It's a real pity that Loki Games failed, a bit too early in the development of Linux for it to succeed I think.

          Failing this I think the choice of Ubuntu is sensible. It's got a lot of brand recognition and distros such as Linux Mint are based on their work so getting to the biggest audience possible. I just hope that other distros get a look in as personally I can't get on with Gnome and prefer Mageia, but that won't stop me from giving Valve a try, and some of my very scarce cash if they provide something I want.

        2. Neil Lewis
          Linux

          Re: GL faster than DX

          What about a Red Hat/Fedora SLED/OpenSUSE style setup where a commercial distro is provided by the company, with the much of the distro-specific development work being done by those who want to use it?

    2. M Gale

      Re: On the subject of Linux gamers worried about Steam

      But what about those of us with a big Windows game collection that still don't use Steam?

      Just because it's on Linux, doesn't mean I'm going to start using it. You go ahead if you like - that's the lovely thing about freedom - but I won't be buying your products if they need me to create a Steam account or go through some activation bollocks.

      Maybe the problem with Windows is the people that use it, eh?

    3. Ilgaz

      Weird isn't it?

      Who would have guessed *BSD and Linux (Debian stable!) would be the hottest platforms to code games?

      It seems people still have been tricked by the ui.

      Ios=*bsd (a real complex mixture w/xnu)

      Android= ultra conservative Debian stable (once you use NDK)

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Suicide

    Well the Xbox is the tool Microsoft decided to use to slash the throat of PC Gaming...

    The Xbox is the sole reason why Microsoft shifted its games focus away from the PC, and with a reduced PC games market Microsoft has thrown away its trump card which was the only reason for people to buy PC's, they did games well. Now everyone owns a console and a Mac. Why microstupid did this is any ones guess but I'd say they capitulated to the Ass.'s of America.. and decided that spending twice as much on a locked system was the way to fight piracy.. rather than just reducing prices! well now they are in the poo up to their necks, and they cant hide the stench from the market for much longer. Gabe knows this and he is only being sensible to push alternatives to protect his future business when micrstupid eventually flop out of the home PC market.. Whether Gabe can convince game companies to invest the time and effort to revisit old games for a very insignificant (at present) income is another matter, but I say good luck to him.

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Microsoft Suicide

      Now everyone owns a console and a Mac.

      You, er, might wanna check your stats on that one. Console, yes. Mac? No.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft Suicide

        OK maybe I am a quirk, and I am sure some folks can confirm that for you, but.....

        -I am a daily Linux user that likes "using" it and any games I can find ..... well, when I have a non-weedy desktop machine anyway ;)

        -I use Windows otherwise mostly for things that can't' easily be done in Linux ... or would drive you mad trying .... like flashing hardware. Although I am starting to think maybe I should give up trying to get standard floppy drive to be recognised, plus I am down to my last box of floppy disks ;)

        -no console or Mac

        -Alien Arena works just great on Linux and Win using OpenGL..... absolutely no problem using it on a Linux box, the more beefy, the more fun ;)

    2. Rob Beard
      Trollface

      Re: Microsoft Suicide

      "Now everyone owns a console and a Mac"

      Yes, I have a Sega Megadrive with Mega CD 2 and an iMac G3.

      Your point being?

      Rob

    3. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Microsoft Suicide

      I own a console and a PC for gaming - but a Mac? They are toys for people too stupid to use a real computer. The 'creative' types that left school with only an Art GCSE.....Useless for gaming.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not much of a surprise?

    I've always been a supporter of OpenGL going back to the early Quake days due to better cross-platform compatibility and, from the looks of it, it is simply a better optimized API.

    The popularity of DirectX is frankly mind-boggling.

    I can only assume however that it's easier for developers to use DirectX than OpenGL (either because it's simply an easier API to understand or because it is easier to port games to/from the Xbox. And, you know, porting games has been the "in" thing to do for some time now).

    I'm no programmer though and these are just assumptions. It is very sad though how rarely OpenGL is utilized in games these days and I applaud any developer who uses it.

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Not much of a surprise?

      It is because Direct X is generally several years ahead of OpenGL in terms of features, it has a much better API, much better debugging and toolset, is the basis of cross platform compatibility with 50 million Xboxes, is a much larger suite of APIs inluding sound and compute that Open GL doesnt even cover, and above all, Direct X is much faster than OpenGL.

  23. Whyfore
    Coat

    Software runs faster on Linux than it does on Windows shock

    In other news: Pope rumored to have dabbled in Catholicism. Excrement found in woods suspected to originated from a bear. Etc.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting

    That might explain why many PS3 games run better than their Xbox counterparts. (the PS3 is OpenGL, the XBox is DirextX)

    1. Eddie Edwards
      Boffin

      Re: Interesting

      Hmm, a couple of points to make here.

      First off almost no cross-platform games run better on PS3 than on X360 - the X360 GPU is simply faster than the RSX. I've been involved with a great many of these games over the last 8 years, and not one was faster on PS3 than X360, when doing the same work. Often content or resolution is cut on PS3 to give the illusion of equal or better speed.

      Secondly, PS3 is not an OpenGL-based machine. There is an OGL library available, but no one uses it, because it's hideously slow. PS3 uses libgcm which is basically a lower-level version of DirectX. One game I worked on initially ran at 5FPS using OGL, and this doubled when using libgcm. The same code ran at an easy 20FPS on X360 (this was all before optimization, of course).

      OTOH the SPUs kick ass all over the X360, which is why some first-party games (e.g. Uncharted) are pretty much untouchable on the other platform. And they do this by massaging the data significantly before it hits the GPU, so the GPU can achieve max performance. That kind of game just wouldn't be possible without direct-to-metal access to the GPU drawlist from the SPUs. Certainly not via OpenGL!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Interesting

        PS3 games aren't supposed to use the RSX for their GPU. That is what the SPU's are for.

        If you are measuring the PS3 RSX's performance against the Xbox's C1, then you really don't have a clue what you are talking about, and no better than the fanboys posting made up tech specs on forums and proclaiming a winner without knowing what the fuck they are talking about, and never written a line of code in their life.

        The RSX was always designed to be a end-of-pipe post processor, and the SPU's do all the heavy lifting. Anyone comparing RSX and C1 in terms of pipelines and other such nonsense simply doesn't "get it"..

        1. RICHTO Silver badge
          Mushroom

          Re: Interesting

          Erm, just no. You don't have a clue. The RSX is the only GPU in a PS3. The SPUs are numerical co-processors, NOT GPUs, and you cant use them as GPUs. The RSX is also a perfectly normal if custom GPU and has nothing special to make it 'an end of pipeline post processor'.

          It is documented in many places and validated by both the technical specs and real world tests that the RSX is less capable then the Xbox graphics chip. This is why games that are on both platforms are almost always inferior on the PS3. You simply don't get it.

          The PS3 also doesn't have a hardware scaler, whereas the Xbox does - which is another significant performance limitation of the PS3 platform.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Interesting

            "The PS3 also doesn't have a hardware scaler, whereas the Xbox does"

            Because Microsoft told you so? You really need to get a better source of info...

            http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2007/01/6783/

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    WHY?!!

    "Valve says its developers are still investigating why the OpenGL version performs better on Windows, and that it will use what it learns to improve performance on the Direct3D version."

    Why!? if OpenGL is clearly better on windows why would you continue to use Direct3D at all?! let alone spend time, resources and money investigating it?

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: WHY?!!

      Why!? if OpenGL is clearly better on windows why would you continue to use Direct3D at all?! let alone spend time, resources and money investigating it?

      Um, because the DX version has already been released, received multiple patches, is installed on millions of machines, etc, etc? They're not going to delete and replace an existing, working game with exactly the same game on another code base.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: WHY?!!

        He's talking about coding a NEW game. Why prefer DirectX? Well, one reason is a pretty tight support community and the fact that, until recently, DirectX was more than just graphics. It also had a robust sound (DirectSound) and networking (DirectPlay)library: things the Linux community had to build up as well to a common base (remember the OSS and ALSA days?). Nowadays, if you're basing your game on one of the veteran engines (like Unreal), then DirectX support isn't that big an issue--but then, neither is OpenGL, as the veteran engines tend to keep a foot in BOTH camps.

    2. Adam T

      Re: WHY?!!

      Well there's the issue of drivers, and going forward that's even more pertinent when you consider that, for instance, OS X doesn't yet support OpenGL 4.0. So by sticking to GL you're cutting off an arm to spite a leg.

      Supporting both is more sensible, and IIRC it wasn't an uncommon Settings feature in many games a decade ago, when DirectX had a smaller footprint.

      I've argued here for including both DX and GL options in our own titles, but the argument was (rightly) shot down because it needlessly increases our after-sales support overhead. Bummer, because as I've mentioned above, our own stuff is faster in GL on PC...but them's the apples if you're in it to make, not lose, money.

    3. That Steve Guy

      Re: WHY?!!

      Why? Because they have a huge customer base already on Windows. it is in their interests to keep them happy.

    4. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: WHY?!!

      Because Direct X is faster than OpenGL on every benchmark, so they need to find out where they screwed up...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think in many ways Linux has had some help with this one. I mean, the PS3 runs an OpenGL version of Source. I suspect this branch was used either as a basis, or is the same one used for MacOS. With things like Unreal Engine 4 supporting mobile devices natively, and those devices being OpenGL, Linux really has never had a better opportunity to get some decent games support.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good luck getting Linux users to pay £30 for anything!

    Has anyone managed to sell any software in any real numbers on Linux (the important word being sell)

    1. Euchrid

      Paying...

      If I remember correctly, whenever I’ve looked at donation-based software deals, like the Humble Bundle (where people can pay whatever they want), Linux users tend to pay more than average compared to Mac or Windows users. For example, with the latest deal (which is actually to do with music), the current averages according to OS are:

      $7.42 Windows

      $9.79 Mac

      $11.90 Linux

      Okay, this figure is admittedly shy of $30, but it’s representative of previous deals – that on average Linux users have paid more through choice.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Paying...

        Which is kind of the point, if you want to make money in games you sell software at £25-£40 (x1.5 in dollars) these days. All Linux users ever seem to count is downloads.

        1. Euchrid

          Re: Paying...

          "Which is kind of the point, if you want to make money in games you sell software at £25-£40 (x1.5 in dollars) these days. All Linux users ever seem to count is downloads."

          But that's not the case. From various information, PC games have been growing - one reason is that freeimum model is working well. Also, there are plenty of indie developers doing rather nicely for themselves, selling games for rather less than the price point you mentioned - look at Legend of Grimrock, for instance.

          When we do consider the price point you've quoted, often the teams producing games at that price are large and so are the costs - revenue may be high, but that doesn't mean profits will be.

          It's worth mentioning that very recently the CEO of Epic Games spoke about how profitable the Infinity Blade games have been on the iOS platform:

          ""It's more profitable than Gears of War," Sweeney explained to the audience, emphasizing the implications for console developers. "Nowadays the high end of the game business is in these console games ... Activision invests almost $100 million per year in Call of Duty."

          Rein is quick to point out that Infinity Blade has not brought Epic the highest overall revenues, just the highest profits for the amount of time Epic spent making it. Regardless, Sweeney sees this as evidence that developers need to change with the times. If the common smartphone can catch up visually to the Xbox 360, which Moore's Law states that it will, games must naturally adapt themselves to be cross-platform experiences."

          http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/118145-Infinity-Blade-is-Epics-Most-Profitable-Franchise

      2. Marcelo Rodrigues
        Stop

        Re: Paying...

        Check humble bundle.

        Games, running native on Linux, Windows and Mac. Pay what You want (You can pay 0,01 for the bundle, if You want).

        The last one I saw got more than 4 million dollars.

        And the Linux community paid higher (more dollars for game) than the Windows community.

        Looks like Linux gamers DO pay, after all...

    2. Greg J Preece

      Good luck getting Linux users to pay £30 for anything!

      Are you kidding? Check out my over-used example of Humble Bundle, where you barely even have to pay for the games to get them. Linux users paid more than anyone, and typically paid as much as 4x what Windows users paid.

    3. The Baron
      Happy

      I'd pay

      > Good luck getting Linux users to pay £30 for anything!

      I would like to move to Linux for all my computing needs but am "stuck" on Windows due to my game-playing proclivity.

      If a decent number of quality games were available on Linux, I would happily make the move tomorrow, and I would happily pay the same price that I currently pay for my Windows games - i.e. £25-30 each. I would be even happier to do so, in fact, in the knowledge that none of the damn things would force me to use the excremental obscenity known as Games For Windows Live.

      I suspect and hope that there are many other people in the same situation, although I don't have any strong evidence either proving or disproving it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd pay

        Whether a game is 'good' or not is completely irrelevant, a game is a success if people play money for it. There are good Windows games and not so good ones but both can bring in £30 a go revenue in at least reasonable numbers.

        If a software company can't bring in 100 000 sales at £30 for a mediocre game its not going to bother writing any.

        If Microsoft thought they would make lots of money writing Office for Linux they would do so, thats their cash cow not Windows. They don't because they don't think there is a market it, the very fact they someone is using Linux imples they are not likely to spend a significant amount of money on software

        1. johnnytruant

          Re: I'd pay

          "the very fact they someone is using Linux imples they are not likely to spend a significant amount of money on software"

          Speaking for me, and just for me, that's not why I use Linux. I use it because - for the things I need my computer to do - it's better than Windows. It's more stable, more secure, gives me more control and the tools available do the job just as well or better. That it's free (from cost) is a bonus, but it's not a factor in my decision to use it.

          I spend money buying games for my PS3, and I'd happily spend money buying games for my PC if Steam ports successfully. I have been known to buy the odd HumbleBundle for linux.

          People who just want to avoid spending money can easily pirate whatever software they fancy, from Windows to Office to Photoshop to games or whatever.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'd pay

          " the very fact they someone is using Linux imples they are not likely to spend a significant amount of money on software"

          Oh, my friend, you are very, very wrong.

    4. Fading Silver badge
      Linux

      £30? On Steam?

      The complete valve catelogue was only £22.99 in steam's recent summer sale! Hurry up Gabe so I can finally uninstall Vista!

    5. M Gale

      Good luck getting Linux users to pay £30 for anything!

      Most of my games are in that price bracket. If they were available for Linux, I'd buy them for Linux. As-is, they're either for Windows, DS or 3DS. Well, except for a few notable Id Software and Epic titles. And yes, they seem to run better under the toy unix, too.

    6. Rob Beard
      Linux

      Well dunno about 30 quid but they pay more than their Windows counterparts anyway...

      http://www.joystiq.com/2012/06/14/humble-indie-bundle-5-closes-at-over-5-1-million-most-successf/

      Quote from article:

      "According to the promotion's website, Humble Indie Bundle 5 was purchased by 598,794 individuals, with an average purchase price of $8.53. Broken down by platform, Linux users paid more than anyone else at an average of $12.51 per transaction, while Windows users paid the least, averaging $7.97 per bundle."

      So Linux gamers paid an average of $4.50 more per game. Remember, the Humble Bundle is a bundle of games where you pay what you want. I'm sure many Linux gamers would pay 30 quid for the latest title.

      Okay, the copies on Linux didn't sell as many as on Windows but you have to remember it's a chicken and egg situation, lots of companies haven't yet released games for Linux so a lot of gamers will just run games on Windows. Valve are taking a punt on Linux and if it pays off for them then it could possibly lead to other big developers and publishers looking at porting to Linux too... and if that happens, well maybe more gamers who just use Windows for games will look at Linux too...

      Personally not being much of a gamer I tend to play console games and I mainly buy pre-owned or budget games (I just can't justify spending so much when I have kids to feed, bills to pay etc) but maybe once or twice a year I'll pre-order a game (last year it was Uncharted 3 on PS3, not sure about any games this year). As a Linux user, if and when Steam comes to Linux I'll look into upgrading the graphics card on my desktop to something a little better (not anything like a 500 quid graphics card but maybe around the £100 mark) and pick up a couple of titles on steam.

      Rob

    7. Mad Chaz
      Linux

      You are working under the very flawed idea that all linux users must be pirates and cheap asses. You are missing the point. We just don't like to pay for something that as no value and is charged exorbitant amounts of money for. You get your computer from dell? Great, the copy of windows that came with it cost dell less then the time it would have taken them to install it (that's why they get you to do it), but if you build your computer, it becomes more then almost any single component in the computer.

      Many of us use an open source office suit now, because there are "good enough" ones out there, so why pay again 100$ for one?

      I'll pay to get the latest game I want. It's coming out in steam in September. If that ran on Linux, you can bet it would come back on my desktop.

    8. hplasm Silver badge
      Windows

      Re:Good luck getting Linux users to pay

      But they have more disposable income, having not had to waste money on Windows!

  28. ukgnome Silver badge

    just WTF is going on?

    I was expecting march of the penguins in the comments section

  29. JimM

    Cheaper PCs?

    Once popular games run natively under Linux, then hopefully PC makers will come under pressure to offer "Microsoft Tax" free PCs!

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Cheaper PCs?

      Yes, and 99% of consumers will wipe off Linux and install Warez Windows...

      I mean OS-X is now getting loads of malware @ less than 5% market share and it only has ten tiomes the vulnerabilities of Windows 7 (about 1700 now in OS-X according to Secunia) - so what would happen if a REALLY insecure OS like Linux got popular? SUSE 10 for instance is now on 3600 known vulnerabilities.....

      Uhm - well Linux is actually used by some brave souls for web servers, so lets see - what are the per OS statistics for webservers getting hacked?

      www.zone-h.org/news/id/4737

      And of course Linux Swiss Cheese is many times more likely to be hacked than any other platform - even allowing for market share...

  30. Luke 12
    Holmes

    Direct X 9.0c is slower than Direct X 10+

    The source engine uses the Direct 3D version with Direct X 9.0c which is about 8 years old now.

    Microsoft with Direct X 10 and 11 have put in several improvements that reduce CPU utilization. Most of these are listed on the Direct X Wikipedia Entry.

    If the games were running at about 200+ FPS, it is likely that the GPU really isn't getting the stressed and the process is CPU bound. So the improvements in Direct X over the years would have probably patched over the gap.

    All this means is that modern OpenGL implementations runs better than and old version of Direct X.

    It would have been more interesting to see Direct X 11 game running in OpenGL on Linux and Direct X on Windows.

    1. Adam T

      Re: Direct X 9.0c is slower than Direct X 10+

      DirectX 10 and 11 ... how many games run with DX10 features? I can't think of many. I recall Age of Conan promising it for years, then when they delivered most people stuck with 9.0c because it was actually slower (older kit, no surprises).

      The rub is that, unless you're using features, there's very little reason to upgrade - by doing so you make more work for yourself, and you cut out a huge (the majority in fact) chunk of potential customer base. Each version of DX is different enough to put off all but the most dedicated (i.e. big budget FPS) developer.

      That's not to say you're wrong, but it does make a good case for OpenGL, which has always managed to move on without requiring a different tin opener to get at the contents.

      1. Luke 12

        Re: Direct X 9.0c is slower than Direct X 10+

        Quite a few games use Direct X 10.

        Battle Field 3, Crysis 1 & 2, Resident Evil 5 (though I didn't see much difference between Direct X 9 and 10 rendering) off the top of my head.

        There are some real advantages using the new Direct X over the ageing 9.0c. OpenGL has stifled recently because of the want to keep it backwards compatible as possible.

        I am a Steam user (Windows), I probably won't be interested in Steam on Linux, it was hard enough getting Spotify to run properly on Fedora 16.

  31. Pahhh
    Thumb Up

    Steam Linux?

    If I were Steam, I would contemplate making a distribution of Linux for Gamers. Linux still scare a lot of people but if a version is created that is tailored to the needs of the gamer it could attack a lot of new users.

    There isnt a lot that needs doing either but just a few extra apps so that a total novice can install the OS and download and run a game without knowing anything at all about Linux.

    They alreay got the download server so they can make it easy too for people to download the latest display drivers etc.

    1. Maxson

      Re: Steam Linux?

      Now that IS a good idea, though whether they have the expertise to write a whoe Distro. I'd love to see VALVe take this on because they've a penchant for doing things correctly.

      1. Adam T

        Re: Steam Linux?

        Now you mention it, that does sound like a good idea.

        People have tried it in the past, but they fall at the first hurdle because they want to sell kit (Pandora, EVO, to some extent GP2X, and lately OUYA) so everything starts on a spreadsheet instead of software libraries.

        Then again of course, isn't that what Steam Box is?

    2. Mad Chaz
      Linux

      Re: Steam Linux?

      While it sounds like a good idea, it's rather complicated and there is a much, much simpler way to do it. Properly document requirements. All the libraries, etc, will be opensource. That means if they publish the requirements, then any distribution with a decent package manager can just write a package and then all you have left to do to get steam on your computer from linux is open your favorite distribution's package manager and install steam.

      Yea, I know this sounds revolutionary, but those of us who have used linux for a while are used to it by now.

    3. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Steam Linux?

      If I was steam, i would stop wasting resources on a fragmented and dying Linux platform and start working out how i was going to make money out of the Windows App store....

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Steam Linux?

        If you were steam, you would blow away. Far away...

        Might shut you up for a while.

  32. The Alpha Klutz

    games run slow on windows

    also because of all the spy software micosoft is running and about 10 to 20% of any windows PC resources go on virus scanning even though virus scanning has been widely discredited.

    i was writing posts years ago about how it doesnt work and no one believed me, now its mainstream news. get with the curve people.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: games run slow on windows

      Trollolol?

      Games run slow on windows- Aka you have a low-spec machine.

      10-20% on virus scanning - once again you have a low spec machine and bloated IS software.

      I use AVG IS 2012 and it uses <2% CPU and hardly any RAM (Unless i'm actively doing a scan). Windows reserves a proportion of your RAM for the OS but this gets releases as and when it's needed.

      Linux is terrible for gaming, take your WINE rubbish and hack your drivers all you like, your still wrong.

      1. The Alpha Klutz

        Games run slow on windows- Aka you have a low-spec machine.

        i was wondering how long it would take the Microsoft camp to come out with that one LOL.

        honestly billions of calcs per sec ought to be fast enough. no modern PC is slow.

        1. M Gale

          "billions of calcs per sec ought to be fast enough."

          How many calculations do you think it takes for the A Star pathfinding algorithm to find a solution on how to get from one point to another on a 2D map for, oh, let's say a distance of 300 units, including walls and corridors in the way? Bear in mind A Star is a pretty simple 2D pathfinding algorithm. You can find it through a Google search easily enough.

          Now multiply that by, let's say, 500 active sprites.

          Now add the calculations for a few thousand texture mapped polygons.

          Now add the calculations for AI, which will also need to be calculated for 499 of those 500 active sprites.

          Now add in collision detection. Just to be simple we'll just use circular, rectangular and convex polygon bounding boxes.

          Now realise this needs to happen within 1/60th of a second.

          Suddenly those "billions of calculations per second" don't seem like that many at all.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: games run slow on windows

        "Linux is terrible for gaming, take your WINE rubbish and hack your drivers all you like, your still wrong."

        EVEN if your grammar was correct this sentence may well come back to haunt you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: games run slow on windows

          > EVEN if your grammar was correct this sentence may well come back to haunt you.

          and she ain't even dead yet!

  33. Maxson

    This can potentially be pretty important.

    On the one hand, VALVe are the undisputed kings of PC gaming right now, they have influence, and steam being a ground for Linux versions of games will make more developers create working Linux versions.

    On the other hand, the source engine is considered outdated by this point and in terms of graphically intensive games, Unreal Engine is still the big thing (and unreal Engine 4 probably will be the next big thing) so it's going to require UE4 working well in OpenGL to make any massive switch (note: I'm unsure on what exactly is going on with UE3 in terms of openGL compatability, or UE4, I'm a gamer, not a games artist, I've no idea how well these engines run in Open GL, just that when UE3 came out, it was a DirectX 9 Engine).

    It would be interesting if the next big console used OpenGL, as that would drive more development to OpenGL, meaning better PC ports too.

  34. thomas k.

    Steam Ubuntu only?

    One I'm not able to figure out from all this discussion is will Steam only work on Ubuntu or will it work on other distros as well? If I switched to Linux, which only gaming is really holding me back from doing, I would probably go with PCLinusOS, based on some previous usage.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Steam Ubuntu only?

      They will always have to support windows as part of the agreement - or make the games you already bought DRM free.

      1. thomas k.

        Re: Steam Ubuntu only?

        I see now my title was unclear (though the post itself conveyed my meaning, I think) and should have said "Steam on Linux to be Ubuntu only?"

        I was asking whether Steam on Linux would be confined to Ubuntu or would it work on other distros.

        1. Rob Beard
          Linux

          Re: Steam Ubuntu only?

          I gather at the moment it's running on Ubuntu, but no doubt they'll release packages for the popular distros and their offshoots.

          Rob

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Better FPS? Why didn't you say so. Shut up and take my money....

    Gabe Newell really is getting seriously butthurt about all of this and luring you all into a trap.

    No,,,,,

    What is wrong with windows having an app marketplace? Why isn't he making the same comments about Apple App store? The fact of the matter whether you like it or not is that this isn't about making things better, he has a serious vendetta against MS all of a sudden.

    Having an app-store won't do any damage to Steam or any "indie" developer as previously reported. If this was the case then GFWL would have screwed Steam over already.

    I have nothing against Linux and have been a serious user of Ubuntu in past work places, but Windows is just better for gaming.

    Also..an extra 100 or so FPS, who cares at that range, it's not even noticeable. I suppose Valve need some real facts though to back up their butthurt winging and sobbing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Better FPS? Why didn't you say so. Shut up and take my money....

      Valve are blatantly using this as a starter to "STEAM OS"

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: Better FPS? Why didn't you say so. Shut up and take my money....

        Valve are blatantly using this as a starter to "STEAM OS"

        I'll get this in early before any announcement: vaporware.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Better FPS? Why didn't you say so. Shut up and take my money....

      "What is wrong with windows having an app marketplace? Why isn't he making the same comments about Apple App store? The fact of the matter whether you like it or not is that this isn't about making things better, he has a serious vendetta against MS all of a sudden."

      The fact Apple allows the use of Steam and its internal Store on Macs indicates that Apple is a bit lenient on this matter when it comes to desktop devices (the same cannot be said of its iDevices--it's the App Store or bust). There's also the fact that Mac penetration isn't so large as to affect things too badly should Apple decide to close that avenue.

      The worry is that the Windows Marketplace may become the ONLY store in Windows 8, and since Windows is the by-far dominant OS in the desktop market, and the bulk of Steam's revenue comes from Windows customers, the worry is that Valve may lose their place as the games broker. Sure they could sell their games through the Windows Marketplace, but that means paying Microsoft a cut when they were the ones TAKING the cut before. It's competition in their bread-and-butter market. ANY business that sees competition in their primary market is going to start beating war drums--their future is at stake, after all.

    3. P. Lee Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Better FPS? Why didn't you say so. Shut up and take my money....

      > What is wrong with windows having an app marketplace?

      Nothing - its W8 Newell was complaining about. If its bad, more people will jump to osx and there aren't anywhere near as many games (lower supply) for Newell to sell for OSX. His market shrinks.

      If game producers went for OGL over windows-specific DirectX, however, they are more likely to port to OSX, which gives Newell more stuff he can sell.

      However, Valve can't do much about OSX because he doesn't have the code or influence Apple that much. We've known for years that the Apple drivers are slower than windows, but it doesn't change anything. With Linux brought into the game, Newell has something to demonstrate and gains some leverage as well as tech cred.

  36. Andy Nugent
    IT Angle

    Two questions

    1) How does it perform using OpenGL on Windows? Is this performance boost down to them optimising the app for the OpenGL version?

    2) How many of the app optimisations done for OpenGL would also be applicable to the Direct3D version?

  37. Gordon Pryra
    FAIL

    People forget why noone uses Lynux

    Games? Every bloody game Ive got through Steam has had problems, not with the game but with the Steam component, to the point where I dont bother with it anymore. Even Origin is preferable to me now.

    Games on Linux making money?

    The kiddies here have no real understanding of what Linux is nor the place it holds in the marketplace.

    The reason you dont see Linux distros on the shelves in PC World or Tescos is that is bloody hard to set up and run without knowing what your doing.

    Yeah there are a lot of 40 year old games players and a lot of games players with the skills required to set up and keep Linux running.

    But the majority are 13 years old without a clue what the difference is between Unix and Linux

    Good luck making the huge buckets of cash from the opensouce communicty your used to making from the Windows crew.

    Its doubtful you could even keep up the rent on the Steam Offices

    1. Pahhh
      Stop

      Re: People forget why noone uses Lynux

      Hence my comment on a Steam Linux.

      Modern Linux releases are as easy to install as Windows. All they need now is making it straight forward to download the games (via the Steam portal) and then run the games. Appart from adding some update system ( remember Linux has that already anyhow ) but tunned for gamming , ie drivers for hardware thats all that your average 13 year old cares about.

      1. RICHTO Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: People forget why noone uses Lynux

        It might be easy to install Linux - IF your hardware is supported - and Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows. But to actually use it day ot day afterwards - pfft - its a big old nightmare. Having to compile software before you can run it?! Its like something out of the dark ages...

        Just compare this to for instance the Office 2013 preview which can INSTALL and LAUNCH an Office application within about 60 seconds of starting the installation process. App-V is ten years ahead of anything on Linux.

        1. M Gale

          "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

          You do know that Linux supports more hardware than any other operating system on the planet, right?

          Sure, a few niggles with certain wifi chipsets, but nowhere near the woe you get if you try plugging anything other than popular hardware into a Windows box. Have fun hunting for them drivers from dodgy Taiwanese sites that have the user friendliness of an attack dog and the understandability of a dyslexic Welshman.

          Also, uhm, you ever compiled competently written software? Let me clue you in on how it's done:

          ./configure

          make

          make install

          Well that was hard. That's assuming the package manager doesn't do the compilation step for you, in which case compiling your software is "check the box, click the install button". You might as well complain about having to install your software as compile it. This ain't 1991 any more!

          1. RICHTO Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

            Windows has the best driver support of ANY OS. By a long long way.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

              Really? Why don't you list us a number of still-officially-supported-on-Windows devices that simply fall flat on any Linux distro?

              1. RICHTO Silver badge
                Mushroom

                Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

                OK, well we can start with There is no iTunes driver from Apple, no way of updating Windows Phones, No Direct X 11.1

                I'm bored already. Luckily someone else made a big list:

                http://www.linuxdriverproject.org/mediawiki/index.php/Drivers_Needed

                1. h4rm0ny

                  Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

                  "OK, well we can start with There is no iTunes driver from Apple, no way of updating Windows Phones, No Direct X 11.1"

                  I'm not sure what an "iTunes driver" would be. iTunes is a program, not a piece of hardware that required a driver in any accepted sense of the word. (And incidentally, I did get iTunes running on Debian a long time ago - took me about four hours). Similarly, whilst it's true that there's no way of updating a Windows Phone on Linux (that I'm aware of), you cannot blame Linux for the lack of it - that's a lack on MS's part there! Actually, so is the DirectX 11.1, I would think.

                  "I'm bored already"

                  Really, it's pretty easy to find a substantial list of things that are problematic on either platform. But given that Windows is the more common platform by far and so manufacturers are far more motivated to write drivers for it than for Linux, it's a testament to Linux that it has as excellent and comprehensive support as it does!

                  1. RICHTO Silver badge
                    Mushroom

                    Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

                    Perhaps, but it is clearly inferior to Windows in terms of device support - which was the original point made - need another shovel yet?

                    1. M Gale
                      Trollface

                      Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

                      Perhaps, but it is clearly inferior to Windows in terms of device support - which was the original point made - need another shovel yet?

                      You still have yet to show this.

                      Come on. We're waiting.

                      Linux still supports more hardware than any other operating system on the planet. That you cannot deal with this is not anybody else's fault but your own.

                      1. RICHTO Silver badge
                        Mushroom

                        Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

                        LOL @ trying to claim Linux has better hardware support. It has less 1% market share. Windows has way better support.

                        I already posted a list of stuff Linux doesnt support. Lets see a bigger one for Windows then?

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

                  "no way of updating Windows Phones"

                  I thought the official MS way of updating the phones was to bin them and buy a new one !

                3. M Gale
                  Trollface

                  Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

                  See as far as I'm aware, there's no way of updating Windows Phones in Windows. Isn't that what the whole WP7-WP8 debacle is about? Sad, really, especially when it's obsolete by design rather than any other reason.

                  No iTunes? Well.. asides Linux not needing iTunes to talk to iPods, I have to say that not having iTunes is a blessing in disguise. Go complain to Apple about it, if you're that concerned.

                  And don't lie to yourself or anybody else about graphics card drivers. The biggest complaint was, and still is, that NVidia only deliver binary blobs. Every other major card manufacturer has open sourced their drivers since then, but NVidia still sticks with blobs. I've had Voodoo-era cards working in Linux, let alone more modern stuff. I think the hardest it got was downloading a file and typing a modprobe command, which I've not had to do in years.

                  Oh, nice list of devices. Smaller than I thought it would be. It would be nice if Microsoft had a "drivers required" page, because it bloody well needs one. Seriously, if that's the sum of hardware not supported in Linux, I don't think anybody has anything to worry about. Wonder how many device manufacturers are going to be leaving customers in the lurch come WIndows 8? You do remember the whole Vista driver cock-up don't you?

            2. M Gale
              Trollface

              Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

              I like posting histories. They let me look at RICHTO and go "hm.. either a troll, shill, or completely clueless".

              Maybe RICHTO doesn't remember the whole Bluetooth thing, where you had to hunt down and locate the prcise BT driver for your dongle, usually from some awful, slow .com.tw website if you were running Windows. Linux? Plug in, and hey presto. Took Microsoft two XP service packs to figure that one out.

              What about the old Belkin F5D series of USB wifi adapters? Windows driver disk installs some crap out-of-date management software that immediately needs to be updated by searching around on the Internet for a driver. Linux? Just plug it in.

              Graphics cards perhaps? Oh hang on, that too. Same deal, be it ATI, NVidia, Intel or some other chipset.

              Sound cards? Oh hang on, that works immediately in Linux too. In fact I've never seen a sound card not recognised in Linux.

              About the only thing Windows seems to have more drivers for is printers, and even then that gap is closing fast. Do you know what the installation steps are for an HP printer in Ubuntu, Mint or any of the mainstream distros? Plug the printer in. Click "yes I would like to automatically download and install the drivers." Err.. and that's it.

              Good luck getting your Windows to work in anything other than a PC though. Can't wait to see the Raspberry Pi version of Windows 8. What.. there won't be one?

              Maybe Microsoft's advantage is in the IIS web server? You know.. the one that has bits of itself welded into kernel space.. so that.. uhm.. a security failure takes down the entire fucking system.. oh. Maybe not then.

              Question: How many NT4 service packs did it take to fix the incredibly well-known Unicode hack in BackOffice? Was it:

              A) 6

              B) 6

              C) I don't know

              Question: For how many years did Microsoft sit on their collective arses and let Internet Explorer fester? This one's not multiple choice.

              Teehee.

              1. RICHTO Silver badge
                Mushroom

                Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

                You mean back in the days when most mainstream graphics cards didn't even have Linux drivers? At least you could still download BT drivers...

                Other than also being able to also run Metro on a tablet, a phone or an Xbox of course?

                The real world wont give a crap if it runs on Raspberry Ripple Ice cream or not, just so long it works on what is sold in the mainstream market.

                Linux doesn't have a great record for that. Driver support is inferior and often lags Windows by months - and many drivers are created by the open source community and functionality present in the Windows versions is missing...

            3. Dana W
              FAIL

              Re: "Linux driver support is way inferior to Windows."

              I'm a Mac head and a Linux Dabbler, and I need to say, the last 30 or so Linux Installs I've done, I've NEVER had to hunt for a driver. Not even had to use NDISrapper for a wi-fi card.

              The funny thing about most of the anti mac and anti Linux arguments here is they may have been accurate in 2001, but 2001 was a long time ago.

              Personally I hope this works out, I'm staying Mac on my desktops, but my next laptop is going to be running Debian. Steam is really the one thing I've been waiting for, a reliable channel of GOOD games. I play Warcraft as well, but its the best supported software in wine after Microsoft office.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: People forget why noone uses Lynux

          @RICHTO

          "Having to compile software before you can run it?! Its like something out of the dark ages"

          Even an idiot would know that it would hardly ever be necessary to compile anything to use Linux. Apart from my own software I've only ever done it once in the last 7 or 8 years.

          I note you have achieved a might impressive number of downvotes since you joined at the beginning of July. Perhaps your talents are wasted here !

    2. Rob Beard
      WTF?

      Re: People forget why noone uses Lynux

      Actually you'll be surprised, I've met some pretty smart teenage kids who know more than I did when I was a teenager (and I was considered a bit of a geeky boffin amongst my peers back then). I quite honestly don't see why a gamer should know the difference between say SCO Unix and Ubuntu Linux, Linux distros are getting easier to install and keep up to date and most have decent package managers or even newbie friendly 'app store' like programs (for instance the Ubuntu Software Centre which packages both free and non-free/commercial software).

      As for your rant about problems with Steam, and Linux in general... could you be trying to cover up your lack of knowledge? Perhaps you'd be much better suited to a games console? :-)

      Rob

    3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: People forget why noone uses Lynux

      So hard to set up and install compared to what exactly?

      My fedora 14 installation takes me almost the same time to setup and configure for install as a popular rival OS that shall remain nameless.

      Then you press the 'install' button and then the 'are you sure?' button on both... the DVD chugs away and the major difference after that is you have to type in 84 alpha-numeric characters for the rival OS when it demands to phone home.

      As for making bucket loads of cash from linux users, there are those of us who make cash selling software that runs on linux(ok it was £50.) but I did get the sale, and I never had to GPL the source code either(mind you, the chances of anyone understanding the spaggetti code I came up with are zero anyway).

      So if Valve spunk up Left for dead 3 with a linux steam client and I'm running linux.... guess Valve with get another £30-£40 thrown at them in addition to the £250 or so I've already thrown at them buying the games for windows......... ekk I said the W word !

    4. Vic

      Re: People forget why noone uses Lynux

      > is bloody hard to set up and run without knowing what your doing.

      Bullshit.

      Vic.

      1. Chemist

        Re: People forget why noone uses Lynux

        Agree Vic, I'm sitting here in my holiday home in Switzerland and using Firefox on a Linux distro to view "forbidden" BBC TV content via my (Linux) server in the UK courtesy of OpenSSH and SSH tunnels.

  38. SpaMster
    Terminator

    You watch, it'l be the steam operating system that they'll be trying to push next...

    1. Vic

      > it'l be the steam operating system that they'll be trying to push next...

      i doubt it. That's not what they do well.

      It wouldn't be that hard - indeed, I'd do it for them in exchange for a few games - but that's a fallback solution; they'd be much better off working with one or more commonly-available distros to make sure it works well and is easy to use.

      Vic.

  39. roselan
    Devil

    I don't know if gabe claim is true (opengl 15% than d3d), but I won't be surprised. (opengl is more advanced than d3d, but more complex).

    But, knowing Microsoft, I won't be surprised if opengl is slower on windows only because MS does "unoptimize" opengl on their OS. They did it to twart competition that way several times over history. (to win the words/spreadsheets market, the browser market, mails, etc).

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Open GL has in general been circa 2 years behind Direct X for most of the last decade...So less advanced...

      1. Dana W
        Happy

        Oh?

        So I can"maybe" lose a few shaders and high end textures that most laptop chips don't support anyway and Run Open GL, and have Linux and OS X, or I or I can have Direct X and be stuck with a Windows only world?

        Open GL for me then. A small possible improvement on that front is not worth the misery of Windows and its connected Misery. The way some of you talk, you wound think a computer is just a game machine.

  40. bjr

    Technical question, why does FPS > 60 matter?

    Would someone please explain what FPS means in the context of games. I thought FPS meant frames per second, the human eye is pretty happy with 24 frames per second (the standard movie frame rate), the television frame is 30 FPS and even 1080p is only 60. There is no way that the human brain can process 300 FPS so why bother? Do game companies mean something else when they talk about FPS?

    1. M Gale

      Re: Technical question, why does FPS > 60 matter?

      If you can render a 100,000 polygon scene at 300fps, imagine the level of detail you could shove in at 60fps?

      And then imagine putting 16-17% more detail in if you use OpenGL.

      That's why.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Technical question, why does FPS > 60 matter?

        Then the metric should be (mega-) polygons per second, not frames. FPS is a meaningless unit. The fact that modern hardware is powerful enough that common games score "several hundred" on this scale merely makes it more obvious that it was the wrong metric to be using in the first place.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Technical question, why does FPS > 60 matter?

          Polys per second is a bad measurement, too, because there are different kinds of polys. Are they flat-shaded, Goraud-shaded, texture-mapped with bilinear, trilinear, or anisotropic filtering? Does the texture have a shader program attached to introduce normal mapping? And so on.

          FPS is the best metric you have because you can set all the graphical details to the same levels, run them in the same machine, and you can then compare how well each software stack can handle the common load.

    2. johnnytruant

      Re: Technical question, why does FPS > 60 matter?

      It's not really that having 300+ FPS is better for the user than 270FPS, it's more to show that the same hardware is performing "better" with the different software. This test was done on a Valve test rig with an old game - you'd expect to see very high framerates in that situation. In this context it's a bit like how someone might claim their sportscar does 270mph and this other "better" one does 315mph. Nobody is going to actually drive at those speeds, but it's a performance metric you can use to compare two things. How meaningful pure FPS comparisons are another question entirely - much like top speed comparisons for cars.

      Also what the guy above said.

    3. Maxson
      Stop

      Re: Technical question, why does FPS > 60 matter?

      The human eye being "happy" with 24 FPS is a fallacy, we don't see in frames, but if we did, the theoretical limit would be more like 220 FPS, if you can't see the difference between 24 and 60 FPS you might be retarded.

      24 FPS means that you get a new frame every 41.66666666(recurring) milliseconds, which is over double the average person's reaction time. which means that you can literally miss your opportunity to react at that frame rate, this is pretty important at a competitive gaming level.

      I find that anything lower than 50 frames per second looks wrong to me, having been a PC gamer for years.

      What the other guy said though, if you can do so much at 300 FPS, then it can be literally translated to doing 5 times as much at 60FPS, or at least 3 times as much at 100 FPS, which I would consider fine at a competitive level.

    4. Marcelo Rodrigues
      Happy

      Re: Technical question, why does FPS > 60 matter?

      You, as a good gamer, will have checked the "vsync" box - as to not have "tear downs" on your precious game image.

      If your rig does >60FPS, then everything's rosy. When it gets below (say 58FPS), due to vsync the frame rate will be cut to 30 (half of 60).

      And there's a big difference between 300FPS on an empty corridor, facing the wall, and 300FPS on a meadow, drawing grass, water and the 200 Orcs coming to kill you.

      That's the reason. Not to effectively render at 300FPS, but to keep rendering at 60FPS even when the hell brakes loose. :D

  41. Alistair Silver badge

    Sorry -- not news.

    I've been playing WOW on linux for over 5 years. And it does opengl And I've compared performance between windows DX version and wine opengl version. On the same hardware.

    Its somewhat like comparing a ford escort and a ford mustang II GT.

    Both are incredibly ugly, but get the job done. One just makes a lot more noise.

    And the prohibitionist types out there that have issues with WINE can take a very long walk off a very short pier. It is GOOD to have the option. It may not be perfect, it may not do *everything* but it sure as hell helps create a competitive environment.

    For the record, my 16year old runs his games on an FC16 install. The 6 year old is as comfortable with PS3 as he is with Ubuntu and FC16 and windows.

    So us *over the hill* gamer types are breeding these days - and TEACHING.

    Now - if the pulseaudio/bluetooth bits could just get hammered down so I can listen to music and use mangler at the same time....

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well, I look at it this way. Yes, he's doing it for a very selfish reason. No one likes having the competition use a monopoly (Windows) to basically barge into your market and destroy you.

    The way I see it, he's going for a double-bet here.

    1: If this works, he just broke the microsoft windows monopoly in the home, because gaming is really the only thing you can't do on linux right now. Gaming on linux sucks, but you can do web, word processing and pretty-much everything else easilly enough for anyone who gets a geek to setup the computer (who doesn't at least try?) so if games become as easy as using any other package manager (yea, all those "app stores" are just the same darn thing as package managers used in all modern distributions of linux since gentoo came out) then even serious gamers will go "wait a minute, I can save that microsoft tax to get a better graphic card?|) what do you think will happen?

    Well, that is if it works. If it doesn?

    2: Hey Judge! We tried, REALLY HARD, but look, we can't compete with Microsoft if they bundle an app-store in the OS. Isn't that using the monopoly they have to basically destroy our market?

    Hey. sounds like a good idea to save his buisness to me.

  43. Richard Joseph
    Linux

    Maybe Valve should take a closer look at Cooperative Linux (http://colinux.org), for Windows?

    Ok, so it's not yet running on 64bit Windows (porting now), and may or may not work with Windows 8 (Metro?), but Valve should have the coding talent to move coLinux forward considerably.

    So what does coLinux do? Well, it runs the Linux kernel as a Windows process, meaning that no Virtual machine software is necessary. The upshot of this is that, using something like the [experimental] X.Cygwin XServer (client), it should be possible to get native OpenGL-based rendering of *Linux* ports of Valve/Steam games to run on Windows (bearing in mind coLinux's current 64-bit and Windows 8 compatibility issues).

    Valve could incorporate this into a Steam client, and code solely against the Linux/OpenGL API, and possibly bypass the Metro/Microsoft AppStore restriction(???).

    I know most of this is theoretical, but, as I've said, Valve will probably have the techies necessary to get this working ;-)

    http://colinux.org

    http://colinux.wikia.com/wiki/Dashboard_for_developing_a_64_bit_coLinux

    http://www.andlinux.org <- Ubuntu version of coLinux

    http://x.cygwin.com/features.html

    https://www.google.com/webhp?q=site:x.cygwin.com+opengl

    http://colinux.wikia.com/wiki/XCoLinux#Hybrid:_Running_a_hybrid_Windows_.2F_X11_.28KDE.2FGnome.29_desktop.2C_with_display_manager_and_XDMCP

    http://www.unixmen.com/run-linux-on-windows-without-virtualization-using-andlinux/

    1. Figgus

      Re: Maybe Valve should take a closer look at Cooperative Linux (http://colinux.org), for Windows?

      Sure, but why bother? Just running it on Linux seems to be simpler and more effective anyway.

  44. Ilgaz

    Quake 3 on slackware

    I remember how pissed off I am after seeing amazing performance increase of exact same game (quake 3) on slackware Linux compared to win version on same hardware.

    It was just Loki that time and idiots managed to crash.

    FYI, quake uses opengl on both platforms. Hope Mr. Carmack reads the story, he was talking about direct3d in positive way.

  45. steogede

    What next?

    Once they have ported all their games to Linux, they could then port them to Linux on ARM. Then they could release a Steam 'appliance' (i.e. console) built out of commodity mobile mobile phone hardware. Or they could release the games for android - as a mobile gaming device that you can plug into a HDMI/MHL telly and bluetooth controller/keyboard and mouse.

  46. JammieDodger
    WTF?

    Am I missing something...

    Why has valve got its knickers in a twist about the Windows Apps Store? Surely their marketplace content could just be accessed via a FREE downloadable app which connects to their own marketplace? (ok, they may have to pay to get the app into the store??) The app store is a delivery mechanism, in the same way that a company that makes CRM can make their CRM client FREE in the app store, and then you pay for the web based services at the ISV end which MS wont be taking a cut of when they signup.... maybe I am missing something key about the app store here.

    The whole linux thing is great in the context of bringing more stuff to more platforms which can only benefit us all, but I cant help feeling that this is being blown out of serious proportion joining the W8 Haters Club to simply get some visibilty in the press for them. I am not a PC gamer and hadnt actually heared of them until this story!!

    Also, where are the stats of running their game on W8, especially since it is supposed to have many performance improvements over W7, including graphics enhancements!

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Am I missing something...

      In App Sales would be covered under the App Store license - just like Apple. Pay via Microsoft or have your app refused....

    2. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Am I missing something...

      (From NeoWin)

      i5 3550 @ 4.1Ghz

      8GB @ 1866Mhz

      ASUS GTX670 2GB @ stock speeds

      Nvidia Driver 304.79 for Windows 7 & 8

      3D Mark 2011

      Windows 7 SP1 : P7992

      Windows 7 SP1 : P8403 (Overclocked GPU)

      Windows 8 RTM: P8533

      Windows 8 RTM: P9009 (Overclocked GPU)

    3. h4rm0ny

      Re: Am I missing something...

      "Why has valve got its knickers in a twist about the Windows Apps Store? Surely their marketplace content could just be accessed via a FREE downloadable app which connects to their own marketplace?"

      I'm not sure that a Metro app would be able to install other Metro apps, but it's not necessary anyway. You can still install software on Windows 8 without using the Marketplace. It's WindowsRT that is more limited and (unless I'm wrong), Valve are not selling games to ARM-based platforms - those are low-powered things much less suitable for playing graphics-intense games on.

      The reason Valve is going mental over the Marketplace is not because they would be forced to use it (maybe in the future, but I doubt for a long time), but because it competes with them. Steam is a way of selling software securely (i.e. customer knows what they're getting, seller knows there's some DRM protection). So is Marketplace. If you have Marketplace, maybe you don't need Steam.

      "Also, where are the stats of running their game on W8, especially since it is supposed to have many performance improvements over W7, including graphics enhancements."

      If they'd compared it on Windows 8, I doubt it would have looked nearly as good for OpenGL. Not that I'm criticizing OpenGL, but the version of DirectX they tested it on is (a) the version before the latest one (the latest one DirectX11.1 came out in February and is also the default in Windows 8 and apparently has significant performance improvements); and (b) it's not exactly a rigorous scientific test. They are apparently only using the functionality from DirectX 9 (a few version behind the latest - it's an old game) and the result of their test, if we're being complete here, is not that OpenGL is faster than DirectX (it may be, it may not be), but that they were able to get it faster than DirectX. They apparently tweaked a lot of code to get there and I doubt they did the same for DirectX as it is obvious that Valve are very far from unbiased.

      So it's an interesting report, but not complete.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Took long enough!

    ...to realize that DX is a bloated cruft, and was such from day one. The moment a DX 3 game crashed so many years ago and left my windows 95 gui in 15-bit color, messed pallete and 640 lines when my desktop ran at 800 lines, showed the flaws in the design of the thing. Up to this day many games are finnicky about switching from full-screen to windowed mode. Fury 3 (cube) which is a DX GAME FROM MS dont even work today in windows 7. Some games today outright ban windowed mode, and others dont even take alt-tabbing very fondly. Kudos to Gabe and his crew.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Took long enough!

      IIRC Fury3 PREDATES DirectX and didn't rely on it. It used (IMBW) the Photex engine that was also used in the DOS/32 game Terminal Velocity and rendered via GDI, the same way the Windows port of Pitfall worked (it also predated DirectX).

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: Took long enough!

      Fury 3 (cube) which is a DX GAME FROM MS dont even work today in windows 7

      It doesn't? I'm pretty sure mine does (along with F! Zone which I somehow managed to track down).

  48. Sergey 1
    Pirate

    OMG not again

    Used to waste a hundred hours each month on CStrike - coz Steam worked in WINE. And CStrike ran better than on everybody else's windows ;)

    Then Steam gradually evolved to work sh!te in WINE, and I eventually got free! No sleep deprivation, no spinal problems, no red eyes. The sprog grows up and becomes interesting in Quake3...

    And now they are after me again! GRRRR!!!

  49. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    I wonder...

    what optimizations were made to go from *6* frames per second to 320fps or so? Wow.

    Anyway, hopefully this will put lie to the "Linux isn't suitable for "... (whatever) claims that Microsoft fanbois love to make. Of course it's suitable 8-) And, hopefully, this forces both more games for Linux and more video driver improvements.

    1. M Gale

      Re: I wonder...

      "what optimizations were made to go from *6* frames per second to 320fps or so?"

      It's amazing what a few microseconds saved can do...

      ...on a loop embedded inside a loop inside a loop inside a loop.

      Just guessing.

  50. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Quake3 for Linux

    "I remember how pissed off I am after seeing amazing performance increase of exact same game (quake 3) on slackware Linux compared to win version on same hardware."

    I wasn't that pissed about it, I was running Slackware 8-). But, in my case, one reason for the massive speedup was my Voodoo2. The development of Windows drivers had been terminated, while the Linux ones (being open source) had had additional massive speedups since that time. (Eventually, someone started working over the Windows driver but at this point they hadn't yet -- I don't know how they did it, since AFAIK they had no source -- using a disassembler and assembler I suppose?) I was getting like 30fps, at a few LAN parties people'd ask what card I had and when I said "Voodoo2", they're like "No way, I had one of those and it'd only do like 12fps". Heh. A few people assured me I would burn a coaster when I started burning a 2x disk while running quake3 8-).

  51. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Not just Steam and quake

    Back in the day (1995 or so), Doom ran 4-6 times faster on Linux than Windows on idential hardware (at that point, a 4Mb 486DX25 with bog standard SVGA card)

    The biggest impediment has always been developers being unwilling to port to Linux, not the OS itself.

  52. koolholio
    Alert

    Its speedy and optimised in frames per second, but is it stable?

    I love how people never ask the right questions!

  53. Sergey 1
    Pint

    Re: burning a coaster while running Quake3

    Baby Gates runs up to Bill:

    - Daddy, daddy, what's multitasking?

    - Hold on a minute dear, I'll show you once the floppy has finished formatting

  54. windowssucks
    Linux

    eI've never been keen on computer games. But every news showing how Linux is better than Windows makes me feel really happy. And there are indeed thousands and thousands of reasons to prefer Linux over Windows. Price, stability, secure, free software, choice, freedom, egology etc... are some of the most important. After moving to Linux i've saved thousands of €uros. No need to buy a new computer every 3 years, instead i'm using happily my old 7½ years old PC with no problems at all.

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