May
7
2014

Linux games will load much faster thanks to Valve sponsorship

Valve has a vested interest in not only getting as many games working under Linux as possible, but also making them look as good and run as fast as their Windows equivalents. In order to do that, Valve has seen fit to fund projects that improve the underlying tech those games run on.
With that in mind, Valve has sponsored some optimization work on the Mesa 3D Graphics Library–a collection of open source libraries that allow hardware accelerated 3D graphics and OpenGL to work effectively on Linux. Linux gamers will be pleased to know that the work specifically targeted the load times of games. Those times are being cut significantly by improving the shader compilation process by taking advantage of threaded compiling and lazy shader reflection (features Direct3D has had for a while).
What this means in reality is much faster load times, with the example given being DOTA 2 launching 20 seconds faster on a Gigabyte Brix Pro machine. That’s a Core i7 machine using Intel’s Iris Pro 5200 GPU. The improvements will be applicable to many games, but Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is specifically mentioned alongside DOTA 2, a game that hasn’t been officially announced for release on Linux yet.

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About the Author: Arnfried Walbrecht

state-certified engineer in process automation and energy technology tech- savvy Japan aficionado and I also f***ing love science

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