Linux beats Windows 11, faster in gaming

The performance of the main Linux distributions has made a significant leap forward over the last few years. Thanks to a series of optimizations carried out at the kernel level, Linux was able to more fully embrace the improvements implemented in hardware (for example on processors).

By examining three popular distributions such as PopOS, Nobara OS and Arch Linux, it was possible to demonstrate that performance recorded by these in the gaming field are absolutely comparable, if not better, than those of Windows 11.

Valve Proton compatibility layer

Valve Proton Compatibility Layer is a software component developed by Valve for the digital game distribution platform Steam. Proton is designed to improve the compatibility of Windows games with the Linux operating system.

It is a solution that allows users to run games designed for Windows on Linux systems without the need for complex configurations or full emulation of the Microsoft operating system. Proton is based on Wine but extends that design with a number of gaming-specific improvements and Steam integration.

Perché PopOS, Nobara OS and Arch Linux

Arch Linux it can be considered as the distribution most similar to the more classic “recipes”. It offers a minimalist “penguin” setup, which requires customization by the user to get the best result. At the same time, it ensures some crucial software updates that allow the distribution to shine in terms of performance. On the other hand the same SteamOS 3 by Valve, which powers Steam Deck, is actually based on Arch Linux.

Both PopOS and Nobara OS, however, are much more beginner-friendly. They come by default with a large array of applications e pluginmany of which are designed for gaming.

PopOS is based on Ubuntu: created by System76 includes Steam, Proton and Lutris. Nobara OS is a modified version of Fedora Linux and is designed specifically for gamers, with third-party OBS, Wine, and Nvidia drivers, just to name a few of the built-in features.

Test results and comparison with Windows 11 performance

In tests carried out with the three Linux distributions mentioned above, Nobara OS managed to guarantee 100 frames per second (fps) in the various titles gaming subject of verification. Arch Linux and PopOS, however, scored 99 and 95 fps respectively while Windows 11, on the same test system, did not go beyond 94 fps.

The ComputerBase technicians, who were responsible for launching the benchmarks, explain that they used a reference system based on AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (not 3D) and dedicated graphics card Radeon RX 6700 XT.

Games tested included Cyberpunk 2077, Forspoken, Rachet & Clank, Starfield e The Talos Principle II. It should be taken into account that they are all Windows-specific video games, running via Valve’s Proton compatibility layer on the three Linux platforms.

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