GAMES DEVELOPER Valve has managed to get its Linux port of Left 4 Dead 2 to run faster on Ubuntu 12.04 than the game runs on Windows 7.
Valve announced its plans to port its Steam content delivery service and Left 4 Dead 2 to Linux just last month. The firm has already made astonishing progress, announcing that with various performance tweaks it has managed to get the Linux version of Left 4 Dead 2 using OpenGL to run significantly faster than the Direct3D Windows 7 version.
According to Valve's internal benchmarks, the initial port of Left 4 Dead 2 to Linux resulted in a not so playable six frames per second. However after optimisations to make the game work better with the Linux kernel and the OpenGL renderer and optimisations to the display driver the firm clocked 315 frames per second.
Not only are Valve's improvements mighty impressive, the most surprising aspect is that using the same hardware the firm clocked the heavily optimised Windows version of Left 4 Dead 2 at 270.6 frames per second. However the company said it applied some of optimisations of the OpenGL implementation of Left 4 Dead 2 to the Windows version, which resulted in the game running at 303.4 frames per second. That's faster, but it's still not as fast as it runs on Linux.
Valve didn't say when it will launch the Linux port of Left 4 Dead 2, but the news that games can run just as fast if not faster on Linux than their Windows counterparts shows that there is nothing inherently wrong with gaming on Linux except the lack of titles. µ