I uninstalled Windows on my gaming PC, and I don’t want to go back

Like many people, I’ve had some recent problems with Windows. I deal with it because I have to, despite my issues with Windows 11 and its requirements and Microsoft’s constant encroachment on users’ privacy. Finally, I decided to do something about it.

I uninstalled Windows 11 on my gaming PC and tried my hand at Linux gaming. Steam Deck has boosted Linux support significantly in the past few months, and now that I’ve spent some time with Tux, I don’t want to go back.

Why Linux?

In the vast catalog of articles and videos trying to install a Linux distro on a gaming PC, a central question is missing: why? Why use Linux instead of Windows when Microsoft’s operating system has better driver and game support, faster responses to problems and access to better utilities?

There are several reasons, even if the metrics are generally in favor of Windows. First, Linux is devoid of any central authority. You don’t have to worry about advertising identifiers, features you don’t want or agree to, or updates that might change the way you interact with your computer.

I really don’t need Cortana.

Plus, you don’t have to deal with bloat. Windows has a lot of features, and I bet most people don’t interact with the majority of those features. I certainly don’t. I don’t need stocks every morning, a rewards program, or personalized recommendations based on the data Microsoft has collected about me. And I really don’t need Cortana.

Because there is no bloat, some games run faster. The margins are small, and they aren’t always there, but Linux can have tangible performance benefits. Games that support Vulkan (which works natively with Linux, as opposed to DirectX) usually run faster with it rather than the Microsoft API.

This answers why you shouldn’t use Windows, but not why you should use Linux. This is because the answer really lies in how you want to use your computer. Linux comes with different distros (or distros) that allow developers to customize features for a specific purpose, and there are plenty of options for games.

Retroarch home screen.

Pop! _OS is one of the most popular options, which is what I used to replace Windows on my gaming PC. However, there are plenty of other options. Lakka is a Linux distro built on top of RetroArch specifically for emulating old games, while ChimeraOS is a Linux distro that turns your PC into a console for living room settings (and also allows you to install and manage games remotely).

Linux is not so The PC gaming platform; It is an alternative. If you are playing on Windows without problems, it is best to stick with the operating system from Microsoft. For those who care more about their privacy and want to try something different, however, Linux is there and better than ever for PC gaming.

live with linux

Linux laptop with console installed on it.

You chose Pop! _OS for my experience, which happens to be one of the easiest Linux distros to get started with. All you have to do is download the ISO file that matches your GPU (Nvidia or AMD), flash it to create a bootable USB drive (either using Rufus or balenaEtcher), and boot to the drive through BIOS. Pop! _OS supports Steam out of the box, so you can download it from the store and start installing your games.

That’s it – this is what shocked me so much using Linux instead of Windows. Using my computer felt like using a console; I wasn’t distracted by the dozens of utilities vying for my attention, nor was I buried in settings menus to turn off a feature. The main difference between Linux and Windows is that Linux asks you what you want MaybeNot what you want Champions.

I played Figure 4 Golden Rogue Legacy 2, God of War, And Cyberpunk 2077 movie Through Steam, which has no native Linux ports, and I was shocked by the performance. The biggest problem I had was God of War, Whereas, Vulcan shaders will need to collect in new areas, causing stutters. However, some reboots have fixed the problem.

Persona 4 Golden runs on Linux.

Across the games I played, the main thing I noticed was the amazing consistency. I ran this experiment on the latest generation Razer Blade 15, which was prone to dropping frames in the game when Windows decided to show a background task. Once the parachutes were assembled, not only was my gameplay more consistent, but the fan noise was lower as well.

The main difference is that Linux asks you what you want to enable, not what you want to disable.

So Pop! _OS proves that Linux gaming is far from a simple endeavor. Steam turned my console down a few times – in fairness, this happens on Windows too – and trying to play games outside of the Samsung T7 Shield was not possible. Not to mention the constant issue with anti-cheat software on Linux, preventing me from playing my darling Destiny 2.

I’m still shocked despite those issues. Valve’s Proton layer is really something special, as it makes available the vast majority of Steam titles on Linux. This isn’t just on-page support either. The four games I’ve played all have a gold rating on ProtonDB, and more than two-thirds of the games in my library of 706 titles meet that criterion. Only a small 2% of my entire library can run, in large part due to anti-cheat.

You don’t have to choose

The flash drive goes to the USB port.
Сергей Тряпицын / 123RF.com

You can always dual-boot Windows and your favorite Linux distribution, so you don’t have to go to lengths to actually uninstall Windows to see what Linux has in the Store. I wouldn’t recommend it anyway. I may not want to go back to Windows, but I try as hard as I can, I have to.

Windows simply has better support not only for games, but also for drivers, software, and peripherals that make setting up games more than a few components in one box. In addition, developers Much It is more likely to address problems on Windows, as more than 1% of Steam users use Linux.

I’m not upset that I went through this process, though. Learning the ins and outs of Linux has been incredibly rewarding, and has given me some skills to set up a console-like PC for the couch, or build an old emulator with a Raspberry Pi (or maybe even a travel router).

While I don’t encourage you to switch exclusively to Linux for gaming, I encourage you to give it a try. linux water approx At the right temperature, and it’s time to give PC gamers a reason to give developers a reason to pay attention to the operating system.

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