WuJJ Dec 26, 2012 @ 9:47pm
What kind of performance should I expect for TF2 Linux?
I have Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, and Nvidia GTX 260. I can max out every setting in 1080P under WIndows. However, the same settings only gave me ~5fps in Ubuntu 12.04 (Unity). I am already using 310 beta driver, and followed the suggested CCSM configuration. I've also tried LXDE and GNOME3. Despite some more crashes, the performance is consistent with the results in Unity.

I have to lower quite a few settings (AA, texture, reflection, AF, etc) in order to get a playable fps. However, even with an average fps of 60, the game doesn't feel smooth at all and fps indicator jumps rapidly.

I've heard Valve achieved higher FPS for L4D2 in Linux than in Windows, for GTX 680. I am just wondering if I should expect the same level of performance for TF2 Linux with my card? Or is everyone's TF2 just much slower than its Windows counterpart?

Thanks.

Edit: Thetargo, thank you for the reminder. I am using 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04.
Last edited by WuJJ; Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:24pm
Showing 1-14 of 14 comments
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thetargos Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:12pm 
There may be other bottlenecks holding your performance down. One such obstacle, as you pointed out could be the presence/absence of a compositing desktop, which you've already ruled out. Another is the amount of system RAM. I know "Linux" in general tend to be more memory efficent than Windows, however it all depends on the amount of services you have running in the background or processes hampering your latency (which may explan why even @60 FPS the game is not so fluid), so make sure you have enough RAM available to both Steam (which in itself sucks about 400Mb) and the games (TF2 may use well over one Gig!). Shut down any unecessary processes. Last but not least, you may be bitten by a PulseAudio latency hole, if you know how and if possible try running with bare ALSA and see what happens.

PS: On my system I can play with all maxed out and 4xAA/16xAF with my 9800 GT @1080p, but the FPS do get a bit too low (too low for an FPS game, anyway), so I lower my resolution to 1680 by 1050.

PS2: You did not specify either if you were running on a 32 or 64-bit system.
Last edited by thetargos; Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:14pm
notyourbuddy Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:13pm 
My system is quite different than yours so I can only answer the, "Or is everyone's TF2 just much slower than its Windows counterpart?" part of your question.

My TF2 is actually getting a consistent 15-20 FPS boost under Linux as compared to my Windows install. I was expecting the results to be the complete opposite. Game is running smooth as silk. Pleasantly surprised I am.

Mint 14 x64 (Gnome no effects) vs Windows 7 x64
Radeon HD 7850 2GB with 12.11 beta drivers
i3 3.3GHz 4GB
Last edited by notyourbuddy; Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:15pm
WuJJ Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:18pm 
Originally posted by thetargos:
There may be other bottlenecks holding your performance down. One such obstacle, as you pointed out could be the presence/absence of a compositing desktop, which you've already ruled out. Another is the amount of system RAM. I know "Linux" in general tend to be more memory efficent than Windows, however it all depends on the amount of services you have running in the background or processes hampering your latency (which may explan why even @60 FPS the game is not so fluid), so make sure you have enough RAM available to both Steam (which in itself sucks about 400Mb) and the games (TF2 may use well over one Gig!). Shut down any unecessary processes. Last but not least, you may be bitten by a PulseAudio latency hole, if you know how and if possible try running with bare ALSA and see what happens.
I have 12GB of RAM, and I don't think RAM will be the limiting factor. I am pretty sure I have ~10G available when running TF2. (I know it's kinda insane to pair dual core with 12GB ram, but it's a cheap upgrade and i do use ram disk occasionally...)

I will look into the PulseAudio issue.

So, I should expect comparable performance under Linux, right? Since they are all source engine, I was kinda surprised how slow my TF2 ran.
thetargos Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:21pm 
There's always the possibility of a bug in the nVidia drivers as well...
WuJJ Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:23pm 
Originally posted by notyourbuddy:
My system is quite different than yours so I can only answer the, "Or is everyone's TF2 just much slower than its Windows counterpart?" part of your question.

My TF2 is actually getting a consistent 15-20 FPS boost under Linux as compared to my Windows install. I was expecting the results to be the complete opposite. Game is running smooth as silk. Pleasantly surprised I am.

Mint 14 x64 (Gnome no effects) vs Windows 7 x64
Radeon HD 7850 2GB with 12.11 beta drivers
i3 3.3GHz 4GB
Thanks for the info. It helps. As long as someone is getting comparable performance, I will try to check my software. Perhaps I should just switch back to Mint...

Btw, since you have 7850, I assume you max out everything? I am just afraid that I might occasionally turned on some settings that entirely destroyed the performance. I remembered anti-aliasing being the killer option when I run L4D2 in wine early on.
WuJJ Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:30pm 
Originally posted by thetargos:
There's always the possibility of a bug in the nVidia drivers as well...
Thanks! You've been really helpful. Sorry I forgot to mention that I was using 64-bit version.

I think I am getting much worse performance than you do then. Driver bug could be one, but as long as most people running the game smoothly using the same driver, there must be a trigger for such a bug. I guess holiday is a good time to experiment some more. What distro do you use?
notyourbuddy Dec 26, 2012 @ 10:49pm 
Originally posted by WuJJ:
Btw, since you have 7850, I assume you max out everything? I am just afraid that I might occasionally turned on some settings that entirely destroyed the performance. I remembered anti-aliasing being the killer option when I run L4D2 in wine early on.

Yeah 1920x1080 every video setting maxed out on both Win7 and Linux TF2s
Sol_Roller Dec 28, 2012 @ 8:25pm 
You don't consider 60fps to be "playable"!!?

What is your monitor refresh rate? If it's only 60Hz then having an fps over 60 is pointless, and will make no difference whatsoever.

I'm running 12.10 64 bit (MATE not Unity) on an Athlon X2 II, GT240, 4GB, and am getting silky smooth performance in TF2 (I don't have any hard numbers, sorry - how do I display fps in game?).
[Linux] Junior s2 Camila Dec 28, 2012 @ 9:28pm 
I get better performance then on Windows. I get ~150 fps with everything on Max, excepct AA which is 4x and 1280x1024.

Athlon II X2 250 @3.6GHz
4GB 1600 DDR3
9800GT
WuJJ Dec 28, 2012 @ 10:30pm 
Originally posted by Sol_Roller:
You don't consider 60fps to be "playable"!!?

What is your monitor refresh rate? If it's only 60Hz then having an fps over 60 is pointless, and will make no difference whatsoever.

I'm running 12.10 64 bit (MATE not Unity) on an Athlon X2 II, GT240, 4GB, and am getting silky smooth performance in TF2 (I don't have any hard numbers, sorry - how do I display fps in game?).
Sure, if it's smooth, 30-40fps is very playable. However, the 60fps is not smooth, it just an average. It's similar to micro-stuttering issues used to be found in SLI/Crossfile configurations, just much worse. (I am not using SLI though.)
On micro-stuttering: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stutter-crossfire,2995.html
I felt that I probably got lots of 100ms latency for 0.8 seconds, and then 100+ frames blasted out at the last 0.2 second... I also experience frequent freeze (each freeze itself is <1s).

I think thetargos must have it right. It must be something else holding the frames from being delivered to screen.

This weird behavior is one of the reasons I posted this thread. I think Valve won't consider this playable, and there must be some awful software/configuration problem on my side. Given all your info, I am now sure that I should be able to play the game smoothly. I will let you know if I figure out the culprit...

Thank you for all your replies. That really helped.

PS: To see your framerate, press ` to bring up the console, and type "net_graph 1" (without quotes)
brim4brim Feb 14, 2013 @ 4:38pm 
Originally posted by WuJJ:
Originally posted by Sol_Roller:
You don't consider 60fps to be "playable"!!?

What is your monitor refresh rate? If it's only 60Hz then having an fps over 60 is pointless, and will make no difference whatsoever.

I'm running 12.10 64 bit (MATE not Unity) on an Athlon X2 II, GT240, 4GB, and am getting silky smooth performance in TF2 (I don't have any hard numbers, sorry - how do I display fps in game?).
Sure, if it's smooth, 30-40fps is very playable. However, the 60fps is not smooth, it just an average. It's similar to micro-stuttering issues used to be found in SLI/Crossfile configurations, just much worse. (I am not using SLI though.)
On micro-stuttering: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stutter-crossfire,2995.html
I felt that I probably got lots of 100ms latency for 0.8 seconds, and then 100+ frames blasted out at the last 0.2 second... I also experience frequent freeze (each freeze itself is <1s).

I think thetargos must have it right. It must be something else holding the frames from being delivered to screen.

This weird behavior is one of the reasons I posted this thread. I think Valve won't consider this playable, and there must be some awful software/configuration problem on my side. Given all your info, I am now sure that I should be able to play the game smoothly. I will let you know if I figure out the culprit...

Thank you for all your replies. That really helped.

PS: To see your framerate, press ` to bring up the console, and type "net_graph 1" (without quotes)

Well audio problems can cause this with the way the source engine seems to work.

I've had such issues in Linux through WINE using Pulse Audio in the past.

On the plus side on Windows, my Nvidia driver crashed playing TF2 which was never patched but this doesn't occur in Linux :)

Haven't got it working natively on Linux yet as I'm away from my Desktop and using my Macbook which I can only play it on in Windows 8 through bootcamp as OSX seems to cause a lot of slowdown.
Kiori Feb 14, 2013 @ 4:48pm 
Sadly Unity is still a pile of doodles for gaming...
So,
Open the ubuntu software center, type LXDE and install that.
Now after thats installed leave your 'session', and when login in, click on the Ubuntu round ball logo, by your login name, and choose LXDE, and login into that.

You can use the normal Ubuntu interface, called Unity for everything else, for gaming please use LXDE, XFCE4, OR Ideally Openbox, but I'm not gonna go into that.

Thats my take on it, there are other ways.

Personally I use Openbox for anything on Ubuntu, until they fix Unity-crap.
Last edited by Kiori; Feb 14, 2013 @ 4:49pm
Greenbikerdude Feb 14, 2013 @ 4:52pm 
I'm getting almost the same FPS with nvidia 240gts
WuJJ Feb 14, 2013 @ 4:57pm 
Just a quick note on my experiment. I later suffered broken audio in some flash videos, which prompted me to switch from pulse audio to ALSA entirely. Sadly, that didn't fix the lag in TF2. I think Unity might still be the one to blame. My Ubuntu is what I use daily for lots of things, and has lots of libraries that might cause problems. I wasn't successful in getting TF2 to run in LXDE or XFCE either (segfault when joining a server).

Unfortunately, I am moving now. I will try a fresh installation once I have got my new rig. Congratulations on Valve shipping the official Steam for Linux though.
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Date Posted: Dec 26, 2012 @ 9:47pm
Posts: 14