Your Big, Expensive Steam Machine is Actually Worse Than Windows for Games

By Gary Cutlack on at

Benchmarking tools running on identical hardware show there's quite a sizeable difference in performance when running games under SteamOS and Windows 10, with the new gaming specific OS somehow doing a worse job of it all.

The numbers have been run by Ars Technica, which claims that, as a whole, graphics performance is lower on SteamOS than when running the same games on the same hardware under Windows 10. Or to put it another way, SteamOS is worse than Windows when it comes to doing the one job is has -- running games.

The problem seems to be a multi-layered mess of rival development systems, with games developed for DirectX struggling to run as well on the OpenGL Linux drivers that are a core component of the SteamOS, and the end result is a "significant performance hit" when running games under Steam.

As well as losing across the board on Geekbench 3 benchmarks, actual gaming performance -- using Steam/Windows versions of Metro: Last Light Redux and Shadow of Mordor -- saw a drop in frame rate of between 21 and 51 per cent when powered by SteamOS.

And it's not just external production teams that aren't getting their stuff up to speed. Steam creator Valve's own Source engine titles all see "massive frame rate dips" when running under SteamOS on the same hardware as their Windows alternatives, as even the best developers struggle to master the non-Windows side of things. [Ars via Engadget]