View Poll Results: Is linux and wine ready to play any game?

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  • Yes, the can

    11 47.83%
  • No, you'll need windows

    12 52.17%
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Thread: Is linux enough for a gaming PC?

  1. #1
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    Mar 2010
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    Question Is linux enough for a gaming PC?

    I'm building a PC for, among other things, play games.
    The kind of games I'm planning to play are games such as crysis, dragon age, arma II,mass effect... cpu and gpu intensive games.

    Wine and Linux are solid enough to run the newest games on the market?

  2. #2
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    Jul 2008
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    Yes it is... depending on what games you look at (in general not those you named). Many games do not have a native Linux client so that's the main problem there. From the technical point of view it is ready enough at the time being for playing games.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlord View Post
    Yes it is... depending on what games you look at (in general not those you named). Many games do not have a native Linux client so that's the main problem there. From the technical point of view it is ready enough at the time being for playing games.


    In general the newest and the latest games on the market (at least those are the games I'm more afraid of). Open sourced and/or old (closed sourced) games are not a problem, I guess, most of them are now a days playable. But the most recent titles...

    My english is worst and worst, sorry

  4. #4
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    Apr 2010
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    I will state how it looks to me. Well, you have asked for it.

    Short: No, not enough, and will never be enough. This is the wrong way, anyway.

    Complete:
    GNU/Linux is awesome operating system. Both technically and in spirit (licensing, structure).
    Ive been using ms systems since dos5.0, until vista. That, with me having spent months to learn to tweak xp to my taste, has proven that Im choosing the wrong way.

    Besides, hearing that your OS is gonna need extra 150% of memory just installed and 200% more CPU power just for "digital rights management" (DRM) to work smoothly, thing you never want, leaving you without a choice, lifting any work you done tweaking the system to your tastes off - isnt nice at all.
    Im not mentioning very very bad security, closed source, running costs, amount of time to keep it running here. Knowning the money you spend every 5 years on new version is used for funding Bill and his bashing of open standarts isnt nice either.

    MS just does not care about what people want, but it cares about what its partners(till ms buys them) and itself want. So that sayd I went on and installed Ubuntu Studio 8.04. Kinda didnt boot into XP for two years since then, at all. Now, running amd64 gentoo, I wonder where all this upgrade money go. Seriously, besides winapi and gui stuff, what are they doing with money? Like 90% of dlls in windows are BSD or LGPL(open source). Directx and opengl are sponsored by buying games and videocards.

    Now, that was a little,but important background, summing up one thing - linux IS capable to push windows and ms from x86 desktops as an Operating System, as a base for apps you put on it, regardless of the development model(of course GPL is best). It is a VERY capable OS. Technically every part is here already except hardware opengl support for x86. In this fronts we have AMD and Nvidia.

    With Nvidia long supporting non-ms OSes for ages, although OpenGL driver stays same as on windows, only small part is changed to make it work on linux. That means, although it works, it will always lag behind windows in terms of release date, performance(when comparing same driver versions) and features. And it will always stay closed source. Having closed source in a driver, thing that stays in kernel, isnt nice at all, something that even Linus Torvalds does not tolerate. Security and stability issues you cannot trace or solve because driver code is obfuscated and debug-stripped, ABI forces you use specific software versions, hardware support dropping when manufacturer decides it.

    The reason Nvidia removed their working, but pretty simple 2d driver is - noveau. A bunch of individual developers hacking nvidia drivers, trying to solved some unaddressed issues in xorg-nv, make it do some basic 3D for compiz. Nvidia "did not try to prevent this", but then just decided to stop supporting their opensource driver.

    Even their much appreciated vdpau video acceleration on linux was basically remapped from windows driver.
    So, to sum things up, nvidia linux driver is just a windows driver, that was very nicely remapped to linux. They are not improving Xorg or linux, they are not providing opensource driver. It isn't even native. But they are making their hardware work on linux to some good degree.

    Ati, on the contrary, has two drivers:
    closed source FGLRX, which is basically corporate driver for UNIX, sharing some portions of windows code(?) and being very slow and somewhat buggy in 2D and feature lacking in 3D(as compared to nvidia).

    And opensource xorg-ati (radeon), which is a complete linux rewrite, opensource, on documentation provided by AMD, with their support(Hello, Mr. Bridgman! ). While initially lacking any 3D acceleration, they are catching up quickly, with 5xxx series support being added soon, improving linux video architecture as well(Gallium), which nvidia simply ignores, being unable to build their closed source blob on. There is very good chance video acceleration on GPU will be emerged soon, as well as native OpenGL support broadened. This is the driver the way it is meant to be played on linux.

    Regarding WINE, it is a nice project which also starts to incorporate some risks and contraversy for linux.

    WINE is awesome when it comes to starting programs or abadonware, which do not run on linux or refuse to run on newest windows version(thats not joke, blood2 runs on wine and fails on xp and later).

    But it also introduces winapi on linux(isnt keeping separated better than polluting?). I have not so long ago had had a windows worm(as result of wine not supporting DRM->NoCD->Worm) run on linux(!). It didnt manage to infect anything, but it had full access to my user data and everywhere I had .exe files on the data partition, it has tried to insert its code, but failed (17K payload in files with random name, even in archives). You basically do huge security hit on linux for using wine.

    It falsely informs software developers that their software is linux-compatible(where in fact it is emulated, it is. with slowdowns, bugs etc); hence developers do not publish linux version, but just ask to use WINE. It just appears in front of them and linux, claiming "Hey, I will handle the talk". This is very bad for linux and crossplatform programming too.

    It performs much more buggy than on windows on recent titles, as result of WINE being a reverse engineered (or chinese walled) software and result of lower perfomance for nvidia drivers(mentioned above). I also, owning legal copies of Painkiller and NOLF2, unable to play it in WINE for keyboard W/S keys behaving very weirdly.

    Also, I have a friend, who is game dev now; and he has developed own crossplatform 3D engine. Not a toy, but a serious thing.

    The funniest moments is that I was unable to execute it in WINE when he compiled it against "native" Visual C Compiler. I tried to add many things but wine still complained. Now with GCC(minigw) compiled his code run FLAWLESSLY out of the box on WINE.

    This makes you think MS start to bind lots of unnecessary crap, just to make you use windows. Many programs are ALREADY detecting if host is WINE and simply refuse to run. VC is a default compiler for the majority of windows games, that were programmed on C or Cxx.

    It associates MIME for basic files to itself. After you install WINE, text documents are opened in... hold breath.. notepad. HTML files on... IE or Firefox running on wineserver, if you install it as it suggests. I have no idea why. And although I found out a solution, the bug is not addressed at all.

    Hence I personally HIGHLY recommend to play windowze games on windows. Even if it hurts you deeply in the heart. Install it on separate partition, without networking, so you dont need to buy antivirus or risk network attack; just for games. Because if you choose to use WINE, not only you will be exposed to bugs and troubles(like finding no-cds, putting your linux to risk); you will also have to buy(vote with money) NVIDIA card and use their closed source driver(instead of ATI which is actually WORKING on native 3D for linux and making FUTURE possible). By using WINE, you support card manufacturer, that DOES NOT CARE about opensource 3D on linux!

    My current card is geforce 9800gt, if you are interested And I tried to buy and use 4650 in linux (ubuntu 9.10, now much better) and failed. Yes, non opensource driver is really bad for 2D work and far from ideal for 3d games, but they are improving opensource fast(ubuntu,arch,gentoo are quickest to fetch them), something nvidia will VERY improbably ever implement. And with native, bug-free, easily installed opengl3, gaming segment will drastically grow on linux. Im switching to HD4770 this night(15 apr 2010) and from now on start supporting ATI. Solely, because AMD SUPPORTS LINUX the way it is meant to be supported.

    So yes, you better with windows for windows games, so linux 3D and linux gaming can evolve.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2010
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    Crazycheese has quite many good points there. Even then, my 2 cents:

    I'm running at the moment only Linux (Gentoo). Windows isn't an option for me, as dual booting or buying a Windows license doesn't really feel like a good solution for me.

    Thus far I have been quite successful there, as I'm not one of those to play the bleeding edge games (Crysis for example). Even then you are not bound to just play games from the DOS era; Two to three year old games usually work quite well. I have been playing Neverwinter Nights 2 and while making it to work required compiling an older version of Wine, I have been pretty happy with it. Owning GFX card made by Nvidia and not having anything against the proprietary drivers might also have something to do with it.

    But even then I'd not suggest this solution to everyone. First of all, it requires patience: patience when trying to find the right combination of settings to make games work with Wine; and patience when waiting for support to come available in newer versions. It just might not be possible to play some games right now -- but maybe in a year or two. Dragon Age is waiting on my desktop for the time it'll run on Wine.

    Then there are of course the native games and remakes of some game engines. GemRB for InfinityEngine games such as Icewind Dale or Baldur's Gate 2 is progressing really well. There's also same kind of a project going on for Heroes of Might and Magic 3.

    So, to conclude: If you're a patient tinkerer who loves linux, you may forget Windows on this instant. Otherwise, as much as it saddens me to say, dual booting might be the best solution for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    997

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    I tried to type in a reply but it's so easy to 'press the wrong button' and then it's gone.

    Anyway, I'll try to summarize. Windows is better for gaming because of less headaches. The consensus seems to be use Nvida if you use WINE or do any gaming in Linux. Then you have to read and there's a limited series of games in which you'll have minimal issues but a Nvidia card seems to give a better experience than ATI cards. The newer ATI cards is what you'd want because of the potential but 3D/fglrx drivers are poor or problematic.

    From what I've read recently, it seems that ATI/AMD have a priority to support/cover workstation use and consumer/desktop functioning is way lower on the ladder. Opensource seems to be in a decent state but then you're limited to 2D. I doubt you'd be able to do much gaming using these drivers.

    I tend to think I'm restricted to a nvidia card for these reasons. I think it's ideal for OSS drivers but I want a card that can do 3D, too. I don't want any more video issues than what the applications will have alone. In other words, the Linux video apps will have their own issues so I don't want any more. I might want to game, I don't know, but I'm content to boot up Windows if I decide to game. I understand the gaming market caters to Windows and I don't expect Linux or any Linux software to be able to duplicate functionality for gaming. I give the WINE people props for trying. Even though I'm not a gamer, it's pretty good of them to try and offer another option.

    I am not sure why ATI cannot improve much or why WINE doesn't work with ATI (if they don't) but with the concerns with the ATI/fglrx driver (it being such slow progress), I don't know if it is wise to buy an expensive ATI card if you use Linux. If you dual boot, perhaps, it's not as much of a risk. I am not sure whether testing an ATI card out and reporting bugs helps either. I suspect the ATI/AMD guys are busy enough to read/address bugs from random users. Some guys here sound extremely advanced, though, so I say they're the exception and probably help quite a bit.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2008
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    Stop saying Linux is a headache to play and then talk about Wine. Wine is an EMULATOR! Every emulator is more difficult to play a game than on the real machine. This is so mood talk to bash Linux while gaming with Wine is complicated. Of course it is but this is the same if you try to get old games running on Windows in the compatibility mode or (shudder)DOS mode.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2007
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    As the games you want to play are available for consoles too i would get a PS3 (or Xbox 360) for gaming. Those games you want to play will never run fast using Wine. A powerfull Win gaming system consts maybe 2-3x more. There exist Linux games, basically all games from ID soft work natively, UT up to 2004, lots of opensource shooters based on Q1 to Q3 engine and some others - but definitely none of those you want to play. Wine with OpenGL games is relatively fast, but a D3D game will run on a highend 3d card with Linux not faster than with a very cheap card on Win (when it runs). So stay away from Linux for hardcore gaming, use it for websurfing, as media player (maybe xbmc), video recorder (vdr), heavlyl customizing, which is not possible with Win.

  9. #9
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    Nov 2009
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    Linux is great for playing Linux games.

    If you want to play Windows games, get Windows.

  10. #10
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    The kind of games I'm planning to play are games such as crysis, dragon age, arma II,mass effect... cpu and gpu intensive games.

    Wine and Linux are solid enough to run the newest games on the market?
    No, and never will be.

    Linux is fine for running native Linux games, but there aren't nearly as many of those as there are for Windows, and many of the latest and greatest are not included.

    WINE is ok (with nVidia cards only), but is neither magic nor perfect, and it is certainly not a painless windows replacement most of the time.

    If you want to play latest and greatest games, get Windows or an XBox.

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