Linux Soup OS Comparison For Intel Steam Gaming

FrgMstr

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If you are one of "those guys," this is for you! Do the names Ubuntu, Clear, Fedora, Intel, and Steam mean anything to you? If not, it is highly unlikely you will give a damn about this review. However, if you do, the guys at Phoronix have a good write-up for you. Windows vs Linux next time!

It could be more interesting though when Kabylake Iris Graphics become available or if Clear Linux ends up supporting the Radeon/Nouveau open-source graphics drivers.
 

heatlesssun

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Windows 10 Game Mode vs Clear Linux, hmm, would be interesting…

I have actually made the point to Linux fans around here that should encourage gaming sites like to do more Linux gaming reviews if they are interested in getting more people into Linux gaming. But the problem is going to be the games. None of the games in that review would push even a good laptop, let along a modern gaming PC.
 

tetris42

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I have actually made the point to Linux fans around here that should encourage gaming sites like to do more Linux gaming reviews if they are interested in getting more people into Linux gaming. But the problem is going to be the games. None of the games in that review would push even a good laptop, let along a modern gaming PC.
When they're having trouble breaking 30fps for Bioshock Infinite on 1080, it sure as hell seems to push the linux distros. Assuming there were more demanding games to run, I think nothing but single digit framerates would just be depressing.
 

Frobozz

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Interesting performance numbers from Clear Linux! It looks like it's not just updated Mesa versions doing the lifting either.
It'll be fun to play with once they include the other OSS drivers. (hopefully that's on the road map)
 

heatlesssun

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When they're having trouble breaking 30fps for Bioshock Infinite on 1080, it sure as hell seems to push the linux distros. Assuming there were more demanding games to run, I think nothing but single digit framerates would just be depressing.

And that is sort of risk for Linux when comparing it to Windows for gaming. New AAA games that come out for both, Linux is often months behind and well behind in performance. Which is why I do get enthusiasm for Vulkan from Linux folks, optimizations for the same API should carry across platforms, better than DX certainly.
 

jwcalla

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Windows 10 Game Mode vs Clear Linux, hmm, would be interesting…

I think we already know how that would go.

- Games that are OpenGL on both platforms will be slightly faster on Linux in CPU-limited scenarios for nvidia, and identical in GPU-limited scenarios for nvidia, and Windows will be faster in all cases for AMD and Intel.
- Games that are ports to Linux using a D3D -> OGL wrapper will be faster on Windows.

I base this on the Phoronix benchmarks that have been done over the past ten million years.
 

BulletDust

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When they're having trouble breaking 30fps for Bioshock Infinite on 1080, it sure as hell seems to push the linux distros. Assuming there were more demanding games to run, I think nothing but single digit framerates would just be depressing.

Bearing in mind of course that they're running an Intel iGPU....

Considering that Clear Linux was never intended to be a gaming OS, I find those results quite impressive.
 

kac77

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When they're having trouble breaking 30fps for Bioshock Infinite on 1080, it sure as hell seems to push the linux distros. Assuming there were more demanding games to run, I think nothing but single digit framerates would just be depressing.

This isn't the case for the binary blobs the performance is quite close on Nvidia cards. What most people are looking at on Phoronix are the open source drivers, which is what everyone wants. But the performance isnt' there it's with the closed source drivers.
 

BloodyIron

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Since DOOM (2016) is OpenGL and Vulkan native, the FPS in Linux seems to be very similar to Windows (not fully tested here, but seen some evidence of this).

Seems like a pretty good benchmark for those who want to push the envelope.

Oh, there's also UE4 too... is that demanding enough???
 

BulletDust

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Since DOOM (2016) is OpenGL and Vulkan native, the FPS in Linux seems to be very similar to Windows (not fully tested here, but seen some evidence of this).

Seems like a pretty good benchmark for those who want to push the envelope.

Oh, there's also UE4 too... is that demanding enough???

I've found the same results in my limited comparisons. In some instances (Source 2) Linux is actually faster than Windows, in most cases it's fairly even, but in almost every case performance is definitely playable all things considered running Nvidia hardware and the latest binary drivers available at the time.
 

heatlesssun

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Since DOOM (2016) is OpenGL and Vulkan native, the FPS in Linux seems to be very similar to Windows (not fully tested here, but seen some evidence of this).

Seems like a pretty good benchmark for those who want to push the envelope.

Oh, there's also UE4 too... is that demanding enough???

Doom, while a great game, doesn't push the hardware envelope, certainly not at 1080p.
 

BulletDust

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Doom, while a great game, doesn't push the hardware envelope, certainly not at 1080p.

You can push the hardware at 1080p, just increase the AA/AF. Most cards have got enough memory to handle a respectable amount of AA/AF these days.
 

heatlesssun

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You can push the hardware at 1080p, just increase the AA/AF. Most cards have got enough memory to handle a respectable amount of AA/AF these days.

Sure, but Doom doesn't really stress anything modern in the mid-range 1060/480 at 1080p, nightmare settings perhaps. Again, Doom is a great game and one can say it's well optimized, which again great. Just not a stressful game though for benchmarking.
 

BulletDust

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Sure, but Doom doesn't really stress anything modern in the mid-range 1060/480 at 1080p, nightmare settings perhaps. Again, Doom is a great game and one can say it's well optimized, which again great. Just not a stressful game though for benchmarking.

Running under Wine on Linux the GPU was hitting 100% utilisation in a link I posted in the other operating systems forums, not too sure how you can stress a GPU much more than that? Unless the game is, as you say, poorly optimised - In which case you're utilising resources unnessecarily.
 

heatlesssun

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Running under Wine on Linux the GPU was hitting 100% utilisation in a link I posted in the other operating systems forums, not too sure how you can stress a GPU much more than that? Unless the game is, as you say, poorly optimised - In which case you're utilising resources unnessecarily.

Doom has some nice visuals but it's simply not considered a very demanding game for GPU testing. I can crank of up everything setting in nightmare mode and run it at 4k well over 60 FPS and sure the GPU is fully utilized at that point but there simply aren't many new games you can do that with even with a 1080.
 

BulletDust

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Doom has some nice visuals but it's simply not considered a very demanding game for GPU testing. I can crank of up everything setting in nightmare mode and run it at 4k well over 60 FPS and sure the GPU is fully utilized at that point but there simply aren't many new games you can do that with even with a 1080.

They've gotta be fairly poorly coded games if a recent, high end GPU, can't run them at 1080p.
 

heatlesssun

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They've gotta be fairly poorly coded games if a recent, high end GPU, can't run them at 1080p.

Sure, but 1080p is kind of the baseline for PC gaming, even low cost GPUs today support that resolution pretty well, even mid-range cards today are essentially for targeting 1440p.
 

BulletDust

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Sure, but 1080p is kind of the baseline for PC gaming, even low cost GPUs today support that resolution pretty well, even mid-range cards today are essentially for targeting 1440p.

I'm not too sure what your point is?! But anyway, whatever.
 

BulletDust

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The point is that Doom isn't the best game for stress testing modern GPUs especially at 1080p.

But it can be if you enable enough AA/AF.

Cherry picking poorly coded games and claiming them to be good stress testers is a little backwards TBH - It's the reason for the long running line "But will it run Crysis"?
 
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Eulogy

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I'll copy/paste this for DeathFromBelow so he doesn't have to in this thread (like he does in so many others):
I was blown away and ended up immediately switching all 6 of my computers. All my hardware 'just works,' even my Creative sound card and Highpoint/Marvell RAID controllers/arrays. All of my favorite games are Linux native. 1/3 of my Steam Library and 1/4 of the store is Linux native. I have more games than I have free time to play, and there's no ridiculous phablet GUI, data mining, or ads. It's really become a viable desktop/gaming platform.

Anyway, this is certainly an interesting article. I run Mint right now and have done some gaming on it (unlike DeathFromBelow, not many of my favorite games are on Linux, and only about 15% of my Steam library in total), but it still feels janky sometimes. I've run into odd issues, especially around Optimus (sometimes it just never switches to the dGPU from the iGPU and framerate sucks. Rebooting resovles it). More annoyingly, even Steam Cloud games seem to have some issues when sync'ing a save file from a Windows computer to a Linux one. Of the few games I do play on Mint, I had to move all of the save files manually. That was pretty annoying.
 

BulletDust

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Optimus isn't well supported under Linux, this is a well known fact and the reason why I game on an Nvidia powered desktop and run an Intel iGPU powered laptop for no more than daily tasks - Having said that Intel Iris graphics isn't too bad these days. Furthermore, expecting games saved under Windows to work under Linux is obviously going to hit and miss at the best of times, I'd assume this is to be expected and would be no different to games saved under macOS via the Steam platform.
 

tetris42

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Bearing in mind of course that they're running an Intel iGPU....

Considering that Clear Linux was never intended to be a gaming OS, I find those results quite impressive.
My bad, that's what I get for skimming the article. You're right, integrated graphics does change the picture some.
 

BulletDust

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My bad, that's what I get for skimming the article. You're right, integrated graphics does change the picture some.

Intel Iris iGPU's are getting pretty good, but they're still not dedicated GPU good and far too expensive when it comes to laptops.
 

ChadD

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When they're having trouble breaking 30fps for Bioshock Infinite on 1080, it sure as hell seems to push the linux distros. Assuming there were more demanding games to run, I think nothing but single digit framerates would just be depressing.

The where reviewing with an Intel integrated gpu. They where looking at an interesting yet still pretty niche version of Linux built around extreme support for Intel only hardware. I guess if you really have a 100% intel based laptop clear linux is interesting... personally I would assume people with such hardware aren't really looking to game anyway and may still be better off with a better supported distro.
 
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heatlesssun

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But it can be if you enable enough AA/AF.

Cherry picking poorly coded games and claiming them to be good stress testers is a little backwards TBH - It's the reason for the long running line "But will it run Crysis"?

That's why benchmark reviews use multiple games. But because Doom runs well doesn't mean that other games that don't are poorly optimized, some are just more complex. Doom is a corridor shooter, those tend to perform better than open world games like Watch_Dogs 2.
 

BulletDust

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That's why benchmark reviews use multiple games. But because Doom runs well doesn't mean that other games that don't are poorly optimized, some are just more complex. Doom is a corridor shooter, those tend to perform better than open world games like Watch_Dogs 2.

....And, it's unlikely that any game is going to bring any modern GPU to it's knees at 1080p, from this perspective Doom is no exception.
 

jwcalla

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There is no native Linux version of Doom (2016) anyway so it's a moot point.

Unigine Heaven / Valley can be pretty demanding benchmarks.
 

heatlesssun

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....And, it's unlikely that any game is going to bring any modern GPU to it's knees at 1080p, from this perspective Doom is no exception.

I said earlier 1080p is the BASELINE resolution for almost all PC benchmarks these days, even for budget GPUs.
 
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