SteamOS 2.0 vs Windows 10: Performance Difference Continues
Recently after some benchmarks, it was discovered that Valve’s SteamOS, specifically version 2.0, didn’t quite live up to the expectations and wasn’t even able to match the performance of software on Windows 8, even though both were running at the same hardware.
Now that Steam Machines have officially been released, Ars Technica decided to put Linux based SteamOS 2.0 against Microsoft’s latest OS, Windows 10, and judging by the results, the performance disparity between both firmwares increased considerably.
While Valve earlier talked about how they were able to gain substantial performance improvement for some of their games when tried on SteamOS, after creating OpenGL powered ports of course. That however doesn’t seem to be the reality now especially with mainstream releases where it is becoming difficult for developers to get Windows-level performance on SteamOS.
That is apparently due to the limitations of OpenGL tools, game engines and the overall state of Linux drivers, so basically it’s the software that is holding back the hardware from reaching true potential.
While recent releases can’t be tested until developers create their SteamOS ports, Ars Technica did test out some old games including Shadow of Mordor. The difference in performance is pretty huge with the SteamOS version running at least 10 frames behind the Windows 10 counterpart.
Interestingly enough, Valve’s own Source Engine games don’t seem to be performing all that well on SteamOS as well.
Of course, the performance might improve if the game is built from the ground up on OpenGL instead of DirectX but not a whole lot of developers do that these days. There really doesn’t seem to be any incentive to do it now that DirectX 12 is available.
So for now, it seems that while Steam Machines may be able to match consoles in performance, Linux based machines still won’t be able to outperform PCs with similar specifications when the price ends up being the same.