Gaming upgrade


Modern gaming places your system under a great deal of stress. Your CPU and GPU are usually tested to their limits, as are your system cooling and memory, as you push past normal desktop duties and into levels of clock cycle performance and data throughput typically reserved for render farms and crypto mining. One big difference between Linux and Windows is that many of us have put our machines together from our own hardware choices, and we seldom run the same combinations of distribution, graphics driver, and even kernel version. All of these elements have an effect on gaming performance. Windows users can usually rely on people with the same hardware and operating system setup sharing their configuration. But with only one third of one percent of Steam users using Linux (according to the March 2018 Steam Hardware and Software Survey), Linux users can't rely on the same thing, which means they can't copy configurations or share optimizations in the same way.

To address some of these issues, the Mac and Linux game publisher Feral Interactive (who has also just released Rise of the Tomb Raider on Linux) has created GameMode. GameMode is a neat idea that's a little like the game mode you get on some monitors, dropping extraneous features not required while running a game and also giving the games themselves more control over how Linux is running. It starts with the powersave or ondemand governors, but it could grow to include allowing a game to request a set of kernel optimizations and essential prelaunch optimizations, such as disabling desktop effects and OpenGL compositing. Like game mode on a monitor, the idea is to give as much power to one specific job, the game, as possible. For this project to be successful, it needs to be adopted by other game publishers, which is why Feral has made its technology open source, with the 3-clause BSD license (revised).

Project Website

There's not much to see, but GameMode can control the power characteristics of your kernel for better game performance.

Old game engine

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