Hey guys, I recently switched over to Ubuntu 8.10 and am in love with all that I'm seeing from it so far...except the lack of gaming. I'm not much of a gamer but I used to be in the past so most of the games I play now-a-days are from my gaming days (Starcraft, D2, Counter Strike Source). Before making the switch to Ubuntu, I thought that my system would be more than able to handle the most intensive game I play (CS:S) as I was getting around 60fps on average in Windows XP. Little did I know that my frames would drop to unplayable levels (10-28). Here is a list of my main components:
I thought that these parts would be more than enough to make up for whatever slight performance dip steam games might get from having to go through wine. Am I missing something here? Do I have to adjust some settings or is this the price I have to pay for using Ubuntu?
I'm not exactly sure to be honest. I just installed Ubuntu and let it take care of all the drivers. It recognized my vid card and said something about enabling a restricted driver so I did that.
I tried typing glxgears -v and glxinfo -v into the terminal and got information but I have no idea how to interpret that information.
Looked around the web and some people have suggested that changing the direct x settings at launch fixes the frame rates and I tried that. I set steam to launch css with - dxlevel 7 and found that this helped marginally. However, I'm still getting a good 20-30 frames less than what I was getting with XP even when I set the graphics settings to low. There must be something I am doing wrong here because I really doubt that this game could push my hardware this much. Do you think that upgrading my CPU + Vid Card might solve this issue? Generally, I like fixing issues by optimizing the hardware that I currently have but I'm thinking about maybe just brute forcing my way through this one...
So as far as starcraft is concerned, you will actually have to edit the WINE registry and tell it to use OpenGL to do DirectDraw operations (Starcraft uses DirectDraw). There may be other similar tweaks that you need to do in WINE in order to gain more frames. Also, you will want to bench with a few games that have native Linux ports. Quake 3 or nexuiz are good games to bench with. If you have a copy of Quake 3, then you should just be able to use the windows copy along with some freely available files to install it on Linux. Installing Nexuiz for benchmarking should be as easy as going into synaptic and looking for Nexuiz (it is a free, opensource game based on Quake Engine). You can try cranking the details all the way up and seeing how good your FPS ratings are. Also, for more current games for benching, you might want to try Doom3, Quake4 and EnemyTerritory: Quake Wars as they all have linux ports.
Of course, just like in windows, depending on how you configure your nvidia drivers, your results may vary. So, if you force 16x antialiasing on everything, obviously you will get lower scores than you might otherwise. There should be an nvidia configuration tool on your main menu that you can tweak.
Your hardware is pretty good, I'd say, so give these tweaks a try first and see if you can't get by w/o having to upgrade. If you do upgrade though, I must say that I am running a Core 2 Quad Q6600 with an nvidia 8800GTS (640MB RAM), and I was getting 80-100 FPS on Quake4 (custom demo) with everything cranked way up, so you can use that as a little bit of a gague as to what kind of performance to expect.
Finally, it seems that relatively soon Postal 3 will come out, and it will have a linux port. As it uses the source engine, that means the source engine will have to be ported to linux. If the engine has already been ported to linux, at that point it should be relatively easy to port other Source engine games like HL2 and CS:S over, so we may have native versions for you to play. As to when this will happen, I have no idea, but I'd expect it to happen sometime shortly after Postal 3 comes out (if they decide to port other source games at all).
EDIT: That last paragraph was meant to convey that with a native version of the games, you will probably get a lot better performance than if you ran it under wine. I just thought I'd clarify that in case I was a bit vague.