Doom3 was a turning point for a lot of us as it marked an important milestone in next generation game engines. We have been keeping a very close eye on id's Linux adventure, and at the core of id's Linux development is Timothee Besset, the Linux port maintainer.

"I'm getting surprisingly good performance compared to the Windows version."

Timothee Besset, [1]

This sounds like the premise of a wonderful opportunity to put Doom3 through its paces. We crafted this entire analysis around Timothee's expectations.

Our goals for this analysis are twofold. We want to take the newest working video cards that we can find and test their performance on Linux using Doom3. This is slightly a continuation of last week's GPU roundup as the Doom3 engine will ultimately become the next cornerstone for Linux first-person shooter games. This includes exhaustive image quality (IQ) testing. Secondly, we wish to run comparative analysis on how Doom3 performs and looks on Linux versus Windows.

Let's talk about Drivers


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  • jediknight - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    #15 - My bad to make such generalizations..

    but the fact that you can't even use an ATI card to play D3 doesn't bode well for Linux gaming...
  • jensend - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    #14- bunk. All you can take away from this review is that Windows "owns Linux for" D3 1.1 performance. You can't generalize this for game performance in general. Most games show a less than 5% difference.

    BTW, another article on the same topic with more detail is at
  • jediknight - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    I like the difference pictures.. although when you get up to 8x and 16x, they're probably unnecessary.

    But the thing to take away from this review is that Windows owns Linux for gaming performance.
  • icehot - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    Interesting article. Was it just me or are the difference maps just pure black? Also I dont think things like 16xAA are really needed, after 2x or 4x the differences between anything higher and the original image is negligable, and definately not noticeable when playing, maybe if you really take the time to admire the scenary, but who does that when fighting monsters?? Reply
  • Lwood - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    According to an article over at, the Linux build of Doom 3 is currently less optimized than the Windows build.
    Most notably SSE2 code is missing (but will be added later) and GCC does not optimize as good as
    Details here:
    I guess we can expect the gap to get smaller in later Doom 3 builds, but not to disappear entirely.
  • ViRGE - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    Kris, odd, I swear that I was only getting 2 graphs per page when I read the article. I don't know if Firefox is bugging out on me or what. Reply
  • reljam - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    Kris, please put Windows and Linux numbers on the same graph, you know that people will want to see how they stack up against each other.

    Not clear on why you wouldn't want to do that.
  • jensend - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    Neither NV nor id has much of a reason to optimize heavily for linux, and it's entirely unsurprising that the windows version performs better. Nevertheless, I expect that the gap will close considerably as the Doom 3 engine matures. Reply
  • Myrandex - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    The AA pictures won't work for me. When I click on them, I get a new window w/ the alert 'hold your mouse over the picture' and then the page doesn't load. When I hold my mouse over the original image, nothing happens. Also, the black pictures to the right of those are way to black to tell a thing about them. Interesting article though. I wonder if 16X AA would be playable in a lower resolution.
  • Lwood - Wednesday, October 13, 2004 - link

    That bit about the 16x AA you can enable in Linux is surely interesting. Maybe you can try this on a less performance-demanding game than Doom 3.
    I'd love to see UT 2004 and Enemy Territory benchmarks for this mode... :-)

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