Valve says Left 4 Dead 2 runs faster on Linux
In a post on its Linux blog, the Valve team reports that the Linux port of Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2) is running faster on Linux than Windows. On a high-end test system with an Intel Core i7 3930k processor, 32GB of RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 graphics card, Valve managed to run the Linux port of L4D2 at 315 FPS. In comparison, the Windows version managed 270.6 FPS – although Valve was able to increase this to 303.4 FPS after improving the Windows implementation of OpenGL, a side effect of their porting work.
After the porting was complete, the initial version of the L4D2 Linux port ran at 6 FPS. The company's Linux team then started to modify the game to work more efficiently with the kernel and OpenGL. One of the modifications they made was changing the game's memory allocator to work better with Linux. After these changes, the company worked with hardware manufacturers NVIDIA, AMD and Intel to improve the performance of their graphics drivers. The company says it was surprised to see the Linux version outperform the original Windows client, which it had spent more time on. According to the Valve Linux team, this "does speak to the underlying efficiency of the kernel and OpenGL."
Last month, Valve first announced that it would port its Steam game distribution platform and the game Left 4 Dead 2 to Linux. The company also started a dedicated blog for its Linux team and announced that it would hire more developers to work on porting more games in the future.