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Old 08-05-2004, 06:46 PM   #1
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Smile linux gaming speed?

Okay first i must say 2 important things , well 3:

1. this is my first post on this forum (hi everybody!)
2. I'm french speaker so you may find some mistakes in my orthograph
3. my knowledge of linux is close to nothing at all !

okay here it goes...

Recently i played America's Army at my freinds house and i enjoyed it at the point to install it on my pc. I got the minimum requirements but the game run so slow that is barely playable (get shot all the time without having the time to pull the trigger )

reading here and there on internet i found some post of people saying that linux can run apps and games way faster than windows environments...
Is it true? Cause there is a free linux version of the game available !
I don't have linux installed on my hdd right now, i wanted to know if it would really improve the gameplay before.

My old PC:

AMD Duron 800mhz
128 sd-ram pc133
geforce2 32mb

already downloaded :

america's army linux
linux mandrake 10
red hat 9
damn small linux 2.3
knoppix 3.4

Under windows xp , many progs are running in back ground during gameplay (or whatever else...). I was wandering if i could set linux to use only what's vital to play the game nothing else... And if it's possible, to start the game by the console, cause i think that loading any desktop environment would slow process's ? am i right?

Thanks for your help!
Old 08-05-2004, 06:55 PM   #2
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Your English is just fine. Yes, online "native" linux games run faster on linux than on windows if all things are equal. All things being equal, I mean if your video card driver is fairly recent like with an Nvidia card. ATI has some lag time and catching up to do in the linux driver market.

The difference in speed is because of a number of things. Lower GUI footprint. Lower kernel footprint. Better memory management. Better tcp/ip stack and management.

So, in practical terms, you would install mandrake or suse or knoppix or whatever and use a low footprint GUI like blackbox or fluxbox or iceWM. The default for most or either Gnome or KDE, but you simply click down the box on login to change the default GUI. Very simple.

When choosing the above gui's you'll take up about 8 MB's or RAM. And the memory management and tcp/ip stack will keep you from getting the same OS slowdowns that you woould get with windows.

What's the end result? Well, with enemy territory(another free game) or army op's I get about 11-15 more FPS and a much more stable gameplay experience. And not to be to arrogant about it, I kick everyone's ass with great consistency. Normally #2 or #1 ranked. In any case, that's my experience. Good luck with your venture.
Old 08-05-2004, 06:57 PM   #3
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It depends. Usually linux native games, like quake 3, run as fast or faster in linux as long as you're not running too much else in KDE in the background or something

I just find less crashes running games in linux, but you may or may not find this.
Old 08-05-2004, 07:13 PM   #4
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thanks for th fast response !

(will try the games you mentioned in your post! then i will kick you ass ! no offense there )

You gave me what i needed to hear, 10-15 fps put the balance in favor of linux!
(this will bring some more question!)
I will instal kde cause i'm used a bit more to it than gnome. (i simply don't know gnome, will try it later for sure...) I used kde in knoppix, but i know that there is a gnoppix around here offering gnome GUI.

I must say that i fear to make a mistake that i made on my ancestral pc (got 2 pc, Duron 800mhz ...old, and penthium 233mhz ancestral pc )
I installed mandrke 9 while ago then later erased it needing changing the hdd purpose (was willing to put it in my xbox) But i didn't do it cause i got this problem:

to erase mandrke i'ved simply erase the partitions of linux (swap, linux)
now i see only one partition with win98se on it...
but the prog that allow you to chosse at startup if you want to use linux or windows (lola if i'm not mistaking?) is still there and there is no way to remove it...

I fear to do the same error on my old pc, but I want to play America's Army more than my life!!!
(okay maybe not at this point but i would prefer it over a donut )

Can i install linux onto a partition then use bootable floppy to start using it? or maybe is there a simple way to deal with it?

Last edited by psycho_logik; 08-05-2004 at 07:15 PM.
Old 08-05-2004, 07:38 PM   #5
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reinstall the bootloader, most linux installers should do that for you.

as for speeding up the game, make sure you have the nvidia drivers installed properly.
Old 08-05-2004, 08:03 PM   #6
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Well see, i don't think that it is going to run on your pc. My pc is more powerful, and it barely runs at a playable rate. However, it did run a little faster in linux(2 fps), as did wolfenstein enemy territory(also 100% free, better than AA in my opinion)

edit: You needed to reinstall the bootloader. You could use a win98 startup disk(regardless of windows version) and then type fdisk /mbr.

Last edited by liquidtenmilion; 08-05-2004 at 08:06 PM.
Old 08-06-2004, 09:30 PM   #7
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thanks for the tip with fdisk/mbr... Worked like a charm.
But now there is another prob that come up.
Cd-rom won't boot, i've already cheked the bios for the priority of booting and everything is okay:


In the past i used thoses cds to install mdk successfully. But now it won't boot at all !?!!
I tried to make a boot diskette from the installation menu in Wins but can't find how or where to find it. I was wandering if i simply could find a place to download a "floppy" on the internet, just to be able to boot the cd or to install my distro?

I know i sound very lazy but i swear i searched for a long time and did not found anything
thanks for any help
Old 08-06-2004, 11:09 PM   #8
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That is a strange problem. I think it may be a hardware problem as the mbr is just where the pc stores the boot loader(grub, lilo, or ntloader) I know that Debian has a way to do this, you download the floppy then tell it to install off of the cd, but i don't know what distro your using. You will also see a decent increase in speed. The reason why mine is only 2-5 fps is because i run kde and a bunch of other programs at the same time. If you run fluxbox, you should see an increase.
Old 08-10-2004, 03:12 AM   #9
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psycho, you need to now buy a new cd-rom or update the firmware. Mandrake had a bug in it that fried a certain type of cd-rom. LG I believe it was.

You should use Mandrake 10 if possible. I'm guessing you didn't. Sorry. LG cdroms aren't plextor.
Old 08-10-2004, 05:58 AM   #10
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There is also a strange glitch where I have found that cd 1 refuses to boot in quite a few cd rom drives, but cd 2 *will* boot. Perhaps you could try to boot from cd 2, then insert cd 1 when it asks you to insert a Mandrake Install disk to start the install. Worked like a charm for me.

You should find some bootdisk images on the first mandrake cdrom to boot using a floppy . If you have a look at the cdrom in windows, you should find them, and can use the dos rawrite command to make the install boot disk up.

Last edited by canllaith; 08-10-2004 at 06:01 AM.


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