The godfather of Linux, Linus Torvalds, may think that NVIDIA is "the worst," but Valve respectfully disagrees. The company has been working closely with the manufacturer, as well as AMD and Intel, to boost performance of its hardware under the open source OS. The developer clearly has an interest in getting the best from those companies as it works to port Left 4 Dead 2 and Steam to Linux. That close partnership is already bearing impressive fruit as Valve claims its co-op zombie shooter now performs better on Ubuntu than it does under Windows 7 using a GeForce GTX 680. The first Open GL Linux version managed a measly six frames per second, while the Direct X powered Microsoft one was topping 270. Only a few months later, and Left 4 Dead 2 is hitting 315fps on the 32-bit version of Precise Pangolin, outperforming even the Open GL Windows port which sits at 305fps. Of course, it's relatively well established that Ubuntu has lower overhead and running Direct X only compounds the issue, though, its unparalleled driver support can't be denied. While it's not completely fair to compare performance on a 32-bit OS to a 64-bit one, Valve is proving that gaming on Linux need not be some proof-of-concept exercise. Linus can flip NVIDIA the bird all he wants but, through its work with Valve, it may be doing more to bring Linux to the mainstream than anyone previously has.
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