Left 4 Dead 2: Valve pushes Linux version, better than Windows 7

Friday, 3rd August 2012 08:57 GMT By Dave Cook

Valve’s Linux team has been tinkering around with OpenGL while bringing Left 4 Dead 2 to the format, and has managed to get it running faster than the Windows 7 version. More tech-speak below.

Valve has managed to get the Linux build of Left 4 Dead 2 running at 315 FPS, while the Windows 7 version hit a peak of 270 FPS.

Until however, Valve took its work on the Linux build and applied it to the Windows 7 version, which now hits 303.4 FPS, which is still rather sweet.

The post explains, “Why does an OpenGL version of our game run faster than Direct3D on Windows 7? It appears that it’s not related to multitasking overhead.”

“We have been doing some fairly close analysis and it comes down to a few additional microseconds overhead per batch in Direct3D which does not affect OpenGL on Windows. Now that we know the hardware is capable of more performance, we will go back and figure out how to mitigate this effect under Direct3D.”




  1. Maximum Payne

    Its really strange how menage to do it so fast on linux and even better then windows ?!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. roadkill

    Hmm, for the first time Linux has just started to look like fun! :))

    edit: For a gamer I mean. :)

    #2 2 years ago
  3. TheWulf

    This is hardly surprising. OpenGL has always outperformed Direct3D. Anyone familiar enough with both knows this. It’s also true that OpenGL tends to get the newest features long, long before Direct3D too. As an example: It had tessellation before Microsoft even understood that that could be a thing.

    So why don’t all developers use it? Two reasons:

    - Market clout: Microsoft have the push to be able to force people to use the systems they put in place. Look at GfWL, even though people hate it, it took a long time for publishers to see how much it was hurting their sales to drop it. It’s just that no one really complains about Direct3D. But even with GfWL, it still took publishers ages to drop it.

    - Tools: Direct3D has a lot of user friendly tools made for it, which makes it easier to work with than OpenGL, until OpenGL has all the tools (and the ease of use) that Direct3D has, it’s going to lag behind. So this is going to be the biggest battle, really. And it’s going to take people designing really nice replacement tools for all the Direct3D ones before OpenGL can take over.

    So it’s a pros and cons thing.

    Does OpenGL leave Direct3D in the dust? Easily, in regards to both performance and features, it’s the future, and literally years ahead of Direct3D. Is OpenGL an absolute bitch to use? Yeeeeup. And that’s what scares people away from it, and to the easier to use but largely outdated Direct3D.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Christopher Jack

    I’d assume using OpenGL would make things incredibly easier to port though, if Win8 fails or at least loses a fair amount of its market share, then developers will have to be looking at the Mac & Linux alternatives. The problem with Linux is that too few people, including myself, barely know how to use it. If Linux were to capture some of Windows market share, we may see it head straight to retail in a less niche fashion, may drop the price of laptops by $50 or so but first thing’s first: Win8 will need to fail & Linux will need to capitalize on it.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Kalain

    The problem with openGL and linux is that you have different variants for each distro of linux.

    In fact, there are differences between each platform as well, that you have to take into consideration. Whilst it might run at 340fps on Red Hat, it might only be 300 on Unbuntu.

    DX runs on one platform, so you are guaranteed to get the same performance on that platform.

    The biggest issue with OpenGL is the fact that you have so many people involved in it, that they take so long to decide on what goes into each release that MS has already taken them over with DX.

    Besides, when you go above 60fps, you don’t notice anything different, so the scores are irrelevant.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. roadkill

    @5 “when you go above 60fps, you don’t notice anything different” Actually you do. I feel that Battlefield 3 plays better at 100 fps (low) then at 45 fps (high).

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Giskard

    @6 You just killed your own argument, saying that you feel a difference between 45 and 100, when Kalain clearly said there’s no difference 60+.

    You feel the difference of 45-60, and then the added 40 are a bonus ;)

    #7 2 years ago
  8. hyperbaric

    There is definitely a noticeable difference between 60-100 fps, especially when you play first-person-shooter games. You can get all the arguments you want, but the proof is that me and many other players do notice it.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. roadkill

    @8 Exactly!

    @7 Well.. maybe only some of us can feel the difference. I guess it depends on the level you play at.

    #9 2 years ago

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