Under The Wire

Under The Wire

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Is Cedega more DOS/95/98/2000/XP compliant than Vista?

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GNU/Linux guys can't stand that Windows Vista is better than their operating systems, and are searching the most improbable test.

diarrheaBot (OK, I shouldn't read such a shit) come into Slashdot with one of the most ridiculous test ever done.

Maybe he should have thought that testing Windows Vista and Cedega with games developed in the pre-Windows XP era.

I'm not doing to install this software on my machine, I'm going to trust the result I found on the Internet (For GNU/Linux I'm assuming that our friends did the right things).

Soldat: It is a 2002 game with some bugfix, and actually it seems that someone's Windows Vista is not freezing.

Darwinia: maybe there is a reason if a for Windows Vista version was released! On that update there was the porting from OpenGL to DirectX. Did you know that in Windows Vista the OpenGL layer completely depends on graphic drivers you have? So purely OpenGL performances depends on Nvidia, AMD (Ati), Intel and any other GPU maker.

You can criticize Microsoft idea to exclude an OpenGL layer not the OpenGL performances on Windows Vista which are not a Microsoft mistake.

Blackthorne: since you're running it with DOSBox I guess you read that and edited the configuration file.

Civilization 4: You got a compatibility warning. But if you patch the game guess what happens?

Conclusion:

You got your Slashdot quote, GNU/Linux fanboys are happy, Windows Vista users managed to get all work and even experience better performance on new games.

sirus's update:

I've noticed that diarrheaBot uses a GeForce FX graphic card. I've a GeForce FX 5600 Ultra (128 MB of VRAM) on one of my desktop PCs and and I can confirm that Nvidia has dropped driver support for this series before Windows Vista was released. The driver Windows Vista uses for these graphic cards is a legacy one. Another fault in diarrheaBot review.

9 Comments:

sirus

I've reviewed this article wisher wrote and I completely agree with him.
In the few months after Windows Vista was launched to the market games experience was truly worse than Windows XP one.
After graphic drivers update (not for all VGAs, depending on GPU vendors) I've seen some new test (linked in the article) and I was surprised to see Windows Vista is (little) better than Windows XP in some cases except in multiple-GPUs scenario (drivers fault again).
My thought?! I think Windows Vista users watch Windows Vista performance only with brand new games and not pre-Windows XP games (like DOS one).

Anonymous

"Darwinia: maybe there is a reason if a for Windows Vista version was released! On that update there was the porting from OpenGL to DirectX. Did you know that in Windows Vista the OpenGL layer completely depends on graphic drivers you have? So purely OpenGL performances depends on Nvidia, AMD (Ati), Intel and any other GPU maker."

This pretty much sums up Windows as an operating system. It is the OS's responsibility to talk to the hardware. Simply dumping support for something as significant as OpenGL and putting the blame on the hardware manufacturer is fairly typical of MS. Example: You have a game/program that you bought for XP that ran fine. You listen to MS's marketing and upgrade to Vista. All of a sudden that game you bought doesn't work. And when you try to run it you are presented with a dialog box telling you that the program has known compatibility issues and to contact the software developer for more information, as if they know what poorly documented API calls MS has changed to break it.

Ben

I don't think there is anything particularly amazing about Vista and it's a fact that games run better under XP, but it's interesting that Vista gets poo-poo'ed because it can't run software from way before its time.

Anyone who installs Vista and then expects software that is ancient to run is either living in a dream world or looking for something to whinge about.

Linux is great, as is Wine, but Vista just ain't that bad and listening to the bashing it gets only results in turning me into more of a supporter.

Blaktron

Thank you, i hate seeing people rag on Vista for not doing things it wasn't designed to do. The fact that people like dirreahBOT exist mean that someday Linux may indeed be a suitable gaming alternative, but the fact is it just isnt yet. And I remember the same crap being spouted when XP came out and people were saying how linux was better than XP at gaming, we all saw how that turned out..

sirus

@ Anonymous
Operating systems use device drivers to work with the hardware and a well done communication depends on the device driver quality.
Microsoft think that OpenGL is not significant, it's a chosen.
If you need OpenGL support you know that Windows Vista is not a valid chose, you simply have to use another operating system or you have to use a well done graphic driver that implements a good OpenGL support.
The quoted review "analyzes" to few games to be a valid review, it uses software that is known poorly working with Windows Vista (and I think applications have to be compatible with the operating systems, not the reverse).
In the end of this post there is a link to a review that analyzes "recent" games and as you can see, Windows Vista is even better than Windows XP in some situations.

PS: if you think Windows API are poorly documented you have never red MSDN, I have never found such a documentation about GNU/Linux libraries.

sirus

@ ben
"I don't think there is anything particularly amazing about Vista and it's a fact that games run better under XP, but it's interesting that Vista gets"
Did you read the liked review at the end of the post?! I think no.

sirus

There is an update to the post.

Anonymous

back @sirus

I do agree with you on the article not being a valid review. However I think the fact that it got on Slashdot reflects worse on Slashdot than on the writer of the article. He was just writing about his experience.

I know that OS's use device drivers to talk to the hardware. But what was once the responsibility of the OS vendor has shifted to the hardware manufacturer. I can understand that for something as intensive as 3d video the drivers would have to be highly optimised by the hardware vendor but the only reason MS would drop OpenGL is because it is competition for DirectX. They are basically forcing game developers to develop solely for Windows because it would be too expensive to develop a DirectX version for Windows and an OpenGL version for everyone else. From a business perspective that makes sense. I just get frustrated when in my opinion MS abuses it's position to make more money at the expense of the end user. It might be good for business but I don't think it's good for us.

As for MSDN. I've been developing software for Windows since 3.1 days. Now for the bulk of coding you do you don't run into problems. But every now and again a particular API call returns a seemingly random result or acts in a way that isn't documented. Due to an update? Who knows? And there is no way for you to find out what the hell is going on. The documentation says one thing and the API call does another. On linux download the dev docs for whatever library you are using and if it isn't thorough enough you can look at the source for that particular call. Although I haven't ever had to go that far because the dev docs on Linux are pretty thorough and accurate. They might not have as many examples and things like that but they have it where it counts. And in particular Gnome's Devhelp system is excellent.

I've pretty much given up on developing using MS tools. Why write a program using MS tools that will be restricted to the Windows platform and will possibly be broken with the next release of Windows. Believe it or not I now develop my Windows programs on Linux as a lot of the libraries on Linux are better supported across the different Windows versions. Now that might all change in the future with the .Net framework but I wonder how long it will be until they scrap that and come out with something new that breaks all that .Net code.

Sorry for rambling on :)

sirus

I can't think about OpenGL as a DirectX alternative in game developing. OpenGL evolution is slightly slow and usual OpenGL users (eg. IDSoftware) will probably shift to DirectX with their next-gen graphic engines.
However dropping OpenGL support is an error because of professional softwares and I think Microsoft will regret this choice (in the future).

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