Very, very bad performance in Aliens Colonial Marines (Unreal Engine)

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Dante-MINT Monday 1 April 2013 at 17:19


I'm facing really strange performance problems with some games (Brink and especially Aliens Colonial Marines, before and after the 4 GB patch).

Aliens Colonial Marines (Unreal Engine) runs with 1 - 5 FPS, even the Menu and the mouse cursor are very choppy...
Native Linux games and benchmarks work fine (for example Serious Sam 3 or Unigine Valley, both more demanding than Aliens).
Some other games are playable via playonlinux/Wine (performance not great but I didn't expect that): L4D2 (low), Alien Swarm (medium) and Payday (High) are at last playable (about 25 - 30 FPS overall, sometimes a bit higher).
I found this strange because ACM is not a very demanding game and my PC is new, I think in Windows it will make over 100 FPS (even considering a loss throug WINE about 75% the game should be playable I think. All that games (slow and faster ones) are Steam games.

My Sytem:
AMD FX-8320 3,5 GHz, ASRock 990FX, 8 GB DDR3-1866, AMD Radeon 7850 2 GB, 240 GB SSD...
Linux Mint 13 LTS x64 KDE
Proprietary AMD Catalyst 13.3 (tested before with 13.2)

playonlinux 4.2
Wine 1.5.27 (tested other Wine-Versions before, .27 seems to bring a very very very little (at last theoretical) improvement

GLSL:            default
Direct Draw Renderer:    opengl
Video Ram:        2048
Offscreen Rendering:    fbo
Render Target Mode:    default
Multipe:        default
Strict Draw Ordering:    default
(I also tested other options before, for example everything default, didn't help with ACM but I couldn't play other games like L4D2 after that...)

I installed some Wine-Stuff, following this guide (after that I could at last play a few Windows games):

I also tried to deactivate Desktop effects, didn't help.

I even tested ACM in VmWare Player with a virtual Win7 and it was still unplayable, but faster than in Wine(!!), menu (with background animations) and mouse cursor worked fine, the game was about 5 - 10 FPS I think... Strange.

Other people tell that game works on Linux with Wine well: (also installed dx11 and xact as mentioned there)

Perhaps anyone has some tips for me how to improve playonlinux/wine peformance? :(

Thank you in advance for any assistance.

Best Regards,

Ändrat av Dante-MINT

xpander Monday 1 April 2013 at 18:32

ati drivers are just crap under linux unfortunately

you can try GLSL disabled
might help a bit with framerate (but no guarantee that games will work like that with ati hardware)

i have similar setup but nvidia gtx560Ti and i played Colonial Marines with about 50 FPS on highest. (ohh you already saw that video :D)

also you can try to disable tearfree from catalyst settings if its on somehow and disable catalyst A.I as well.

for future reference. buy nvidia card, if you want some wine gaming under linux

Ändrat av xpander

Dante-MINT Monday 1 April 2013 at 19:03

Thank you for your fast reply! I didn't knew that at all :( (will try your suggestions)

(At last it seems a little bit harsh to me to call the drivers crap because they have improved the last time and run native linux games well... it seems the Wine-devs simply just care about nVidia for years (perhaps because the ATI linux drivers were much worse before Steam for Linux and so on..), get this from here:
"Most AppDB entries are based on NVIDIA/GeForce hardware running the proprietary driver."
and here:
"Different codepaths. WineD3D uses a lot of vendor-specific extensions for
various features. If the implementation of a specific feature in one
codepath is broken, you have a failure on HW X, but it is still a pure wine
fault." (both quotes from wine hq and their linked sites). Of course the result is the same, doesn't matter who's "fault" it is at last... :( , no offense against the wine-devs (!) )

Really sad because I'm a happy Radeon user for years... (and btw my "Emergency Windows 7" for games like ACM won't boot at the moment, didn't use it for a week and now it's suddenly broken lol...) :(

Funny: I thought I could by a Radeon again because of all the hating of Torvalds and some Linux devs against nVidia. Later I read that this thing was only going on about the open source drivers and the proprietary linux drivers of nVidia are still better than the AMD ones...

Again, thanks. Perhaps anybody else has a hint to help Radeons with Wine...

Best Regards,

Ändrat av Dante-MINT

xpander Monday 1 April 2013 at 19:12

well i dont want to sound harsh ..but its the sad reality..
their drivers are just awful. they fix few things with new releases and break milion other things.
its not wine issue.. OpenGL performance of ati drivers is just pure rubbish..even under windows.

ati drivers however are using pretty much the standards (which is good), but they are very picky to any workarounds or hacks that many games and wine require/have.
Dante-MINT Monday 1 April 2013 at 19:19

No problem. Yeah, you're right about the Windows ogl performance compared to d3d, (tested ogl and dx11 in Unigine Valley), interesting thing was that ogl performance under Linux was minimal better than Windows... ;)

I often read that their driver improved the last months and it works much better here (without wine) than I often hear/read on the web. I hope they keep up their work...
Dante-MINT Tuesday 2 April 2013 at 21:58

Hm, looked into my last benchmarks again, the performance loss on OpenGL (Linux & Windows) vs. DX11 in Unigine Valley is about 25% (40 -> 31 or 30 FPS, Ultra). A noticable hit, but nothing compared to the drop in ACM with Wine (90-100 FPS -> 1-5 FPS). That can't be only driver related imo, would make no sense. It seems that Catalyst and Wine just don't work together at this moment in specific games like ACM, perhaps because of UE3 (really hope this will change sometime)...

Tearfree was already deactivated, deactivating Catalyst AI doesn't help and with deactivated GLSL the game doesn't start... :( ... but thanks anyway for the hints.

Perhaps anybody else has another idea? :(

Ändrat av Dante-MINT

Ronin DUSETTE Tuesday 2 April 2013 at 22:04

GLSL, Linux, Wine, and AMD Catalyst dont seem to play well. Like xpander said; ATI/AMD CCC proprietary drivers in Linux are garbage. Unfortunately, its the nature of the beast unless they (AMD) release source or start supporting OpenGL standards correctly.

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Ronin DUSETTE Tuesday 2 April 2013 at 22:05

Not trying to toot any manufacturer horns, but thats why I stick with Nvidia cards only. Even with Windows. I just got tired of AMD drivers not being up to par on Linux, since its my main system.

Ändrat av RoninDusette

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