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Graphics Software Hardware Linux

S3 Linux Driver Outperforms Its Windows Twin In Nexuiz 75

Posted by timothy
from the battle-of-the-benchmarks dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Chrome Center has done some benchmarks with the proprietary S3 Chrome 400/500 Driver on Linux and Windows. They compared Nexuiz frame rates on a Phenom II system with a S3 430 GT — the surprising result: The Linux driver outperforms its Windows equivalent, offering frame rates about twice as high on average. The question now: Is the Linux driver that good or the Windows driver that bad?"
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S3 Linux Driver Outperforms Its Windows Twin In Nexuiz

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  • by BigBuckHunter (722855) on Friday March 06, 2009 @05:49PM (#27099071)
    What is curious is that only the minimum framerate seems to change (which bumps up the average). The max remains the same, which may indicate that the benchmark is CPU bound.

    BBH
  • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Friday March 06, 2009 @05:50PM (#27099093)
    The windows driver is just that bad. It probably has tons of bloat and previous artifacts from older video drivers that were simply copy/pasted into the new one, with many obsolete functions, while the linux version was recently written from scratch and does not have that issue.

    Oh FP?

    • by anss123 (985305)

      The windows driver is just that bad. It probably has tons of bloat and previous artifacts from older video drivers that were simply copy/pasted into the new one, with many obsolete functions, while the linux version was recently written from scratch and does not have that issue.

      OpenGL is such a large API that it's possible that Nexuiz runs faster on linux since the linux drivers does a better job with some calls. Perhaps Nexuiz was one of the games the Linux devs used in their testing.

      IOW, it's possible that the Windows drivers perform better on other games.

      • IOW, it's possible that the Windows drivers perform better on other games.

        Like Nethack.
        Although more seriously: Actually testing whether Windows drivers perform better on other games is rather unfeasible. True 1:1 comparisons are limited to games that exist onto both platforms (Doom, Nexuiz, BZFlag...). Anything else starts depends on the quality of WINE.

  • Graphic features? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by FadedTimes (581715) on Friday March 06, 2009 @06:00PM (#27099245)
    Perhaps the windows driver has some graphic features enabled and the linux one does not (like trlinear filtering, shaders, etc). Not enough tech output to make a good conclusion.
    way back in Quake 3 days I thought Linux was running Quake3 faster than Windows on my nvidia card, only to realize the linux driver did not have one of the graphics features turned on, which caused it to run faster with the same in game settings.
  • Other reasons (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Dogun (7502) on Friday March 06, 2009 @06:02PM (#27099279) Homepage

    There should be benchmarks for how other cards perform as well. It could just be Nexuiz isn't performant under load on windows.

  • Vista (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mrphoton (1349555) on Friday March 06, 2009 @06:11PM (#27099425)
    I note that the tests were done using windows vista. I wonder if this could have anything to do with the encrypted video path.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      How is this a Troll?

      Oh, yeah, Microsoft employees lurk here and sometimes get mod points. I almost forgot.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Dogun (7502)

        A moderation of Troll would have been correct. The comment introduces an unlikely culprit that doesn't apply in this scenario as an opportunity to gripe about something that isn't even on-topic.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by drsmithy (35869)

      I note that the tests were done using windows vista. I wonder if this could have anything to do with the encrypted video path.

      Only if this Nexuiz thing enables the Protected Path. Do you seriously think it does ?

  • Having never heard of this game I checked out the webpage. I see it's based on the Darkplaces engine, which is based on the Quake engine open sourced by ID Software back in the day.

    The game's screenshots reminds me more of Unreal Tournament than Quake though. Has anyone here played it? What does it play like?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by coolsnowmen (695297)

      Nexuiz (2.4.2) plays like UT, a fast paced FPS. It is my favorite free linux game (not that anyone elses favorite is worse, but this one is mine).

      The new version (svn) adds many features like teams and CTF, a better scoreboard, and is also much prettier (updated textures).

      • by anss123 (985305)
        Cool, thanks. Quake style bunny jumping is so off putting that UT was a breath of fresh air back in the day. Assuming Nexuiz does not have that lame translocator thing (ruined UT for me) I'll take a closer look.
        • What is "translocator"?

          There is still this "laser" weapon that allows you to rocket jump at a small sacrifice to your own health. But that is usually only useful for navigating the level, or maybe I'm just not that good.

          • by anss123 (985305)
            It's a teleporting device. There are no drawbacks to using it and good UT players can use it as a weapon and speed around the map, unfortunately I'm just not having fun when players randomly disappear and reappear all over the place. I'm too much of a casual player I guess.
            • Ohhhhhh, now I remember. No, they don't have that in nexuiz.

              • by bvimo (780026)

                Nexuiz 2.4.2 does not have a translocator device. But, the latest version has a Porto weapon, divVerent the lead developer spent a long time last July and August writing the code for it.

                Nexuiz 2.5 is about to be released.

        • Quake style bunny jumping is so off putting

          Would it be as off-putting if the character models looked like cartoon rabbits or hares?

      • by bvimo (780026)

        Nexuiz has had CTF for ever, as well as Key Hunt (my personal favourite) and lots of other game types. The only new game type added since 2.4.2 is Onslaught. Blub's new scoreboard is very good, the developers have added a team score element to CTF.

        Nexuiz 2.5 is about to be released, although the developers keep on adding new features (shakes head). You can download the code and compile it yourself, it's very easy.

        • Then did they just add it to single player? Because I don't remember it being in the campaign for 2.4.2.

          • Onslaught only had one map in 2.4.2 (and it was just a testing bed for further development) and the bots didn't support the gametype, so no, it wasn't in the campaign.
    • I don't like the physics system. There's too much sliding-- path dependency. Feels almost like Tribes/Legends*.

      The grapple is a neat gameplay element, but the implementation is terrible-- the line from you to the grapple point jitters back and forth across the screen.

      Legends is a free Tribes game; worth checking out.

  • yet another (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Bizzeh (851225) on Friday March 06, 2009 @06:52PM (#27099967) Homepage

    yet another meaningless statistic of "Program X runs better on System Y because driver Z is faster on said system"..

  • by Anonymous Coward

    You mean it's 2fps instead of 1fps?

    This is S3 we're talking about right?

  • Horrible stats (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by LingNoi (1066278)

    These statistics are useless. You can't just test one game and draw your conclusions to be that it's the driver.

    At least test with more then one game you cherry picked because it gives faster speeds. That's the kind of shit Microsoft does.

    I hope this author gets banned from slashdot because I fucking hate these kind of tactics.

  • by PPH (736903) on Friday March 06, 2009 @11:36PM (#27102143)

    The S3 drivers for Windows and Linux are like a Ferrari and Lamborghini. Pretty close by themselves. But the Ferrari (Windows driver) is hitched to a trailer loaded with a backhoe (Windows).

  • Why should that surprise anyone? They are two OSes. Of course one is going to have better drivers in some cases, worse in other cases. Don't get me wrong, I don't think it's intelligent to overlook fundamental differences that can contribute to those differences though, and certainly in comparing the whole OSes against each other, Linux is leaner (yaya it's a kernel I know, shyaddup), so better performance here shouldn't be shocking to anyone. Even some Windows games seem faster in Wine on Linux, but I
  • The question now: Is the Linux driver that good or the Windows driver that bad?

    Wrong question. In fact, that's not even a real question; it's just two sides of the same coin. The real question is whether the Linux driver performs better because it's coded better than the Windows driver, or whether it's because of some deficiencies in the Windows driver architecture, Windows graphics stack or the Windows OS itself. In other words, is this truly a case where Linux is better than Windows? Or is this just a case of one driver being better than another. If it's the latter (as the "questi

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