[ut2004] Tweaking Linux for playing games

Rick B zajelo3 at cfl.rr.com
Fri Aug 6 19:07:02 EDT 2004

Gian Paolo Mureddu wrote:

> Rick B wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>    I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for the optimal settings 
>> for Linux and gaming? Shortly I will be doing a reinstall and that 
>> would be a ideal time to start from scratch with building a highly 
>> optimized Linux gaming machine. I am not talking about tweaking 
>> UT2004, I am talking about the OS. Things that I have in mind are, 
>> switching the partition I keep my games on from Reiserfs to XFS as 
>> XFS is supposed to read larger files faster, since UT2004 seems to 
>> have large files. I have learned to tweak bdflush to write to disk 
>> more often in smaller chunks of data rather than to store data in 
>> memory and write large chunks at once thus causing the scheduler to 
>> not be able to supply the video card with the information it needs to 
>> keep your framerate stable. These are just two examples of things 
>> that can help make Linux a great gaming OS, surely there are many 
>> more tweaks out there that I dont know about. Links are welcome too.
>>                Rick B
> I'd also mention some of the tweaks you may do to your kernel. For 
> starters the use of -mm or -ck patches will definitely help here, and 
> since the integration to the kernel (as of 2.6.8) of the new Staircase 
> Scheduler, that will mean even better system responsiveness. Just out 
> of curiosity, which distro will you be installing, you may want to go 
> Gentoo or LFS due to the degree of optimization those let you achieve. 
> If you have an Audigy or SB-Live class card, you can use the 
> Accelerated OpenAL from this page http://www.lost.org.uk/openal.html, 
> I've seen an acutal increase on FPS with UT2004 and my ATi card when I 
> used this instead of the default openal from UT2004, I still have to 
> do some tests (like VoIP), but I can tell you the difference is worth 
> having it.
    I use CCRMA's version of FC1 that is optimized for low-latency audio 
work. They still are using the 2.4.26 kernel because tests on the 2.6 
kernel have revealed that the low-latency charactaristics are not yet as 
good as the 2.4 kernel, but I don't know if this is the best kernel 
(2.4) for gameplay. That is, I don't know if just because it is good for 
low-latency audio work means that it is good for gaming. It seems to 
perform very well though and I know that it does include some of the -ck 
patches. I *was* going to wait for CCRMA to come out with their version 
of FC2 and the 2.6 kernel, but I'm kind of undecided. I have looked at 
Gentoo and I do have enough disk space for installing two different 
distros. I have heard about Accelerated OpenAL but I use ALSA with the 
onboard Nforce2 Soundstorm sound on my mobo.

                Rick B

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