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Unigine Heaven: How Does Ubuntu 13.04 Compare To Windows 8?

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Hey there folks!

Today I present to you another comparison video, this time around running Unigine's Heaven benchmark. The Heaven benchmark is very demanding on even the latest hardware, so I was interested to see how Ubuntu, a Linux distro, would handle the stress in comparison to Windows 8.
The quality of the video is certainly not the best, but the Nikon AW100 is all I have to use at the moment. If you are not interested in watching the entire video, then you should pause at 4:57 to see the results side-by-side.

This test pushes both operating systems and their respective drivers, by running the benchmark at the following settings:


  • API - OpenGL

  • Quality - ULTRA

  • Tessellation - EXTREME

  • Resolution - 1920x1080



While tessellation is not brand spanking new anymore, it is still rather new to being in actual games. Thus, I figured this test would enlighten us as to how (at least in Unigine's case) tessellation performs on Ubuntu. For good measure and something to compare to, Windows was tested as well.

This test was also done on relatively some of the latest hardware available in the market, with the key components being:

CPU - Intel i7-4770 3.4GHz Haswell
GPU - Nvidia GTX680 GDDR5 2GB

Hopefully this time around I haven't made any glaring mistakes. No screen recorders were involved, and since this is a benchmark application the timing should be the same.

AMD and Intel graphics users may experience dramatically different results. If I can figure out how to enable only the 4600 graphics on this i7 CPU (without physically removing the 680), then hopefully I'll do some comparisons with this iGPU as well in the future.

As always, please help correct me if I made any mistakes and advice is always welcome.

This article was submitted by a guest, we encourage anyone to submit their own articles.

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Anonymous 2 October 2013 at 8:48 am UTC
Much better then the last, just a hint, write down your complete system and used driverversions
scaine 2 October 2013 at 10:48 am UTC
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Loved that video. You're using almost exactly my system to do the test too (processor, graphics card), so it's pretty depressing to think that the highest quality setting on Unigine can pretty much cripple my system!

I may have to download that benchmark and give it a try though! Is it freely available, or a purchase?

Great video - well done.
sgtGarcia 2 October 2013 at 1:05 pm UTC
Quote from scaineI may have to download that benchmark and give it a try though! Is it freely available, or a purchase?


It's free -> http://unigine.com/products/heaven/download/

I would like to see how much Linux ATI drivers are behind Windows.
Sabun 2 October 2013 at 1:51 pm UTC
Yep, like sgtGarcia says, it's free! Give it a go, it's always fun to see how your system handles current graphics workloads.

QuoteI would like to see how much Linux ATI drivers are behind Windows.
I'm curious too. I wonder if AMD will push it's Linux driver forward with the release of it's new cards, or will it do the usual and take it slow.
Lord Avallon 2 October 2013 at 2:02 pm UTC
Congratulations again Sabun, very nice video! Well, at least with NVidia, nobody can say Windows performance is much better than Ubuntu, parity was achieved and now we have games, we are on the right track.
Sabun 2 October 2013 at 4:56 pm UTC
Thank you Lord Avallon, I'm grateful for the kind words
DrMcCoy 2 October 2013 at 5:52 pm UTC
Quote from sgtGarciaIt's free
Only as in beer, though.
mirv 2 October 2013 at 9:21 pm UTC
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Just for the sake of interest from the AMD side of things, because I find these articles quite interesting myself (thankyou, by the way - quite enjoyed it, please do more), I ran the Unigine Heaven benchmark on my desktop. Basic system:

AMD PhenomII X6 1055T
Radeon 6950
8GB ram

For GNU/Linux, I run Gentoo (x64 of course), with E17 and no compositing (personal taste), fglrx 13.9, custom (i.e not auto-generated) kernel 3.9, and other details I won't bore people with. It's also a bit of a test system, and runs with GCC 4.8.1 and LTO where possible.
Won't touch Windows 8 yet, so I ran against Windows 7. Used both 13.3 drivers, and 13.10 beta - no difference between the two in the results.
Basically, a test for interest, but not a proper benchmark and not too much can be derived from it.

Benchmark was used with:
Quality:  high
Tesselation: moderate (the 6950 doesn't have a strong tesselation unit, but I wanted a little bit enabled anyway).
API: OpenGL (of course)
Resolution: 1920x1200 fullscreen
Antialiasing: Off

Linux
Average FPS: 26.4
Min: 7.0
Max: 68.5

Windows:
Average FPS: 23.0
Min: 6.8
Max: 52.9

So for my setup, I get better performance under Linux. That's probably more to the tweaking I've done with Gentoo than anything else, but then that's one of the reasons I enjoy Linux so much. I find that my own OpenGL development runs a bit faster under Linux too. I have a Llano based laptop that I can test with in a few days (after holidays), which also dual boots Gentoo / Windows 7, if anyone is interested in that.

Lastly: Sabun, have you tried the Valley benchmark too? Just curious how that turns out.
Chewy 2 October 2013 at 10:24 pm UTC
To force Intel integrated graphics, there should be an option in the BIOS.  It's usually called something like "Primary Video Adapter".  The available settings should be Auto (this selects external graphics if present, then falls back to integrated), Integrated/iGPU/IGD, or External/PCIe/PEG.  If you select Internal, and use one of the video outputs on the motherboard instead of the external GPU, then you will be running on the Intel integrated graphics, without the external GPU affecting anything.
Anonymous 2 October 2013 at 11:00 pm UTC
Unfortunately, if you run there newest test Unigine Valley https://unigine.com/products/valley/ 
you will find that Linux falls very short of performance on Windows currently.  But yeah the old Unigine Heaven actually performs better on my system in Linux than windows.
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