For an operating systems that’s been in development for year’s as a gaming-centric platform, SteamOS doesn’t actually have that much to offer. Not only does Valve’s Linux-based operating system only have a fraction of the compatible games that Windows does, Ars Technica recently found that it gaming performance actually lags behind Windows 10 by quite a lot. In fact, some games performed only half as well on SteamOS as they did on Windows 10.
With the first wave of Steam Machines now out the door, the good folks at Ars Technica decided to take a closer look at the performance of SteamOS, the Linux-based operating system on which they run. The site conducted a series of tests on a dual-boot Windows/SteamOS PC using the Geekbench 3 benchmark, because it comes in both Windows and Linux versions, as well as a handful of games. Windows 10 came out on top across the board on the benchmark scores, but the results were close enough that most folks probably aren’t going to lose much sleep over it. The picture changed rather dramatically when it came to actual games, however. The site opted to use Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Metro: Last Light Redux for its testing, because they’re graphically demanding, have built-in benchmarks, and unlike a lot of newer releases, have both been ported to SteamOS. In both cases, Windows 10 outperformed SteamOS by a considerable margin: Shadow of Mordor at Ultra settings, for instance, ran at a playable 34.5 average FPS under Windows 10, but managed only 14.6 FPS on SteamOS.
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