Windows vs Linux ‘Counter-Strike’ benchmark

featured_600_224_counterstrike

Recently, ‘Counter-Strike: Source‘ is made available in the Linux Steam store. This popular shooter has been around since 1999, and available in different flavors (CS 1.6, CS:S, CS:CZ, CS:GO). The classic version of the game counts over 10K servers today in Linux Steam client. How does the top shooter perform on Linux Ubuntu? Can the game keep up with Windows? …

screenshot_steam_counterstrike_source_buy_cheapMeasurements

To get an insight at the performance between the two systems performance and do safe measurements  the following method is used; A demo is loaded 7 times, the average fps per session is saved. The outer two -min/+max values are left out. The result is the average of the 5 remaining values.

7x runs per session

165.1

167.9

165.6

166.8

166.4

165.7

168.2

average fps out of 5 =

166.5

 

 

 

 

 

The results are based on 180+ benchmarks!

 

System specifications

The benchmarks are run on ‘Windows 7 Ultimate’ and ‘Linux Ubuntu 12.04’ using the current Nvidia driver. Which is v313.96 on Windows, and build v313.09 on Linux. Both systems use the default configuration and setup. No additional changes were made to the default system configuration.

CPU

AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 3210 MHz

Motherboard

ASUS M4A87TD

Graphic

nVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 (GK106) [AsusTek] @ 1137 Mhz

Memory

4096MB Kingston PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM @ 668.9 MHz

Hard Disk

PLEXTOR PX-128M5S

 

Graphic settings

Linux high settings

Linux high settings

On Windows, ‘Counter-Strike: Source’ has more advanced graphics options. It supports an higher version FSAA and Anisotropic filtering compared to Linux. The graphic configuration files have been modified so each operating system uses the same settings so we can asure fair benchmark results

Features

High

Medium

Low

build

5198

5198

5198

ram

4035

4035

4035

cpu_speed

3200

3200

3200

width

1920

1920

1920

height

1080

1080

1080

Model Detail

High

Medium

Low

Testure Detail

Very High

Medium

Low

Shader Detail

High

High

High

Water Detail

Reflect All

Reflect World

None

Shadow Detail

High

Medium

Low

Antialiasing mode

8x MSAA

2x MSAA

None

Filtering mode

Anisotropic 16X

Anisotropic 4X

Trilinear

Motion blug

Enabled

Enabled

Enabled

High Dynamic Range

Full

Full

Full

AASamples

8

2

1

AnisoLevel

16

4

1

SkipMipLevels

-1

1

2

ShadowDepthTexture

1

0

0

MotionBlur

1

1

1

Windowed

0

0

0

Trilinear

0

0

1

ForceHWSync

1

1

1

NoWaitForVSync

1

1

1

DisableSpecular

0

0

0

DisableBumpmapping

0

0

0

EnableParallaxMapping

0

0

0

ZPrefill

0

0

0

ReduceFillRate

0

0

0

RenderToTextureShadows

1

1

0

FlashlightDepthTexture

1

0

0

RealtimeWaterReflection

1

1

0

WaterReflectEntities

1

0

0

 

Overall Linux performance

After we turn on all the fancy features at the Nvidia Settings manager and enable each feature in CS:S we toggle a graphic feature on/off. To see it’s effect on the game performance.

benchmark_counterstrike_linux_settings_no_bloom

 

 

Comparison Windows vs Linux Benchmark

This session compares Windows and Linux game performance. The benchmark is divided into 3 segments; low / medium / high - using the graphic setting you find above.

The average FPS of each session is displayed below. Grouped by matching graphic settings  low / medium / high – with and without bloom.  Red represents Windows, and blue is Linux.

benchmark_counterstrike_source_windows_vs_linux

Windows always gives you a higher average fps compared to Linux, but not by much. However if you turn on full-bloom effects – the performance on Linux drops quite a bit. But the overall performance is pretty much the same.

 

Bloom benchmark

It seems bloom effect have a big effect on the game performance. If the gamer are happy with all the shiny and glows in games is a whole different story. But bloom, effects game performance that’s for sure.

There are three bloom settings; no-bloom / basic-bloom / full-bloom. There is an additional setting “Use bloom-effect when available“. Not sure what it’s for, but it’s effects is minimal.

benchmark_counterstrike_linux_high_settings_bloomtest

Only ‘full-bloom‘ has serious effect on the average FPS.

 

Conclusion

Valve has done a good job porting the game to Linux. It performs pretty much the same as it would on Windows, however bloom effect have a negative influence on game performance with high settings! Windows features more  advanced graphics options. CS:S supports a higher version FSAA and Anisotropic filtering compared to Linux. But overall the difference between the two is very slim – only a couple fps (1-2%)

The benchmark results are based on the default system configuration and no optimization or tweaking to gain performance have been applied. Compared with maximum image quality and using the same settings on both systems.

  • Similar performance on both systems
  • Lots of graphic settings
  • Graphics are pretty much the same
  • Windows got higher FSAA/Anisotropic filtering
  • DirecX vs OpenGL
  • Bloom is causing FPS  drop at high-settings

When one aims at performance and tweaks around a bit, you probable get a whole different result. Maybe something you can test: later this week ‘Counter-Strike: Source’ giveaway!!

 

  

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7 Comments on "Windows vs Linux ‘Counter-Strike’ benchmark"

  1. Yulike February 24, 2013 at 22:51 -

     Awesome comparison! The Linux built is impressive considering it’s a port. I’m happy with it, it’s not worth booting into Windows over a couple FPS. Good work. :D

  2. danharibo February 24, 2013 at 23:09 -

    Awesome work on the comparison; it would be interesting to see how other Linux systems compare to each other too, since I have heard that kwin is faster than the default Unity in Ubuntu.

  3. Morgan Cox February 25, 2013 at 15:33 -

    I get a 10-30% increase in FPS in all games / openGL apps in Ubuntu with Nvidia by doing the following:-

    -  enable ‘unredirect fullscreen windows’ in CCSM

     –> Navigate to ccsm  Composite – Enable unredirect fullscreen windows

    3. disable ‘sync to vblank’ (openGL settings) with nvidia-settings

    Thats improve all openGL performance for full screen apps.

    In KDE you can enable  ‘suspend desktop effects on fullscreen apps’  for the same effect.

    Try that and re-do the tests I bet Linux equals if not beats the windows score then

    • danharibo February 25, 2013 at 19:16 -

      That setting should be enabled by default in KDE, but it can’t hurt to check. 

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