New Patch Brings Vulkan support to Doom + Benchmarks

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Bethesda sends word that this Monday Vulkan a patch for Doom for PC was released. The low-level Vulkan-api has been adeed and should bring higher frame rates compared to the OpenGL API. 

After getting the patch via Steam users can choose whether they want to use OpenGL or Vulkan. In game you can alter the setting via "Settings", "Advanced" and then "Graphics API. For AMD you'll need the latest 16.7.2 drivers. In a blog on writes:

 At id Software, we’ve always pushed technology. With DOOM we let the game drive the technology decisions from early on. This has continued even in post-release, with new updates and more. Today we’re excited to share another big technology push: Vulkan support is now live on PC.

When we were looking to adopt Vulkan for DOOM, the main question we asked ourselves was: “What’s the gamer benefit?” Ultimately the biggest benefit will be high framerates. There are a number of game-focused reasons super-high framerates matter, but primarily its movement and player feel. The game just feels amazing running that fast, so we made it a priority to try to really exploit the available hardware on PC.

We also anticipate some older GPUs will now be able to play the game at good framerates. We hope the range of GPU support widens with additional game and driver updates. That said, this is the first time a triple-A game is releasing on a brand-new API and brand-new drivers so there may be a few bumps, but our testing is showing really great performance and stability.

Vulkan is a cutting-edge next-generation graphics and compute API from the Khronos Group. Vulkan allows very low-level access to the hardware and moves most of the driver overhead into the developers’ hands. For PC gamers Vulkan will bring speed and features to DOOM, which is a big upside.

Since late March 2016 we started working daily with both AMD and NVIDIA. Both have been great partner companies, helping bring full DOOM and Vulkan driver support live to the community. There was a lot of work on all fronts but we are pleased with the results.

DOOM has been out for almost two months and we are incredibly excited about the game and the response from the community has been amazing. We released Update 1 last week, which came with a number of fixes and new features including the popular Photo Mode, a classic weapon placement option, and a bunch of improvements and optimizations. We remain committed to updating the game, and we are really excited about Vulkan.

So I quickly ran a Radeon RX 480 and GeForce GTX 1070 with the game updated to that new patch. For the Radeon RX 480 we installed the new 16.7.2 driver, these are the results:

As you can see there is a very healthy performance increase, in fact in Ultra HD running towards 20% just from switching OpenGL to Vulkan mode.

For Nvidia that is not a similar result. I ran the test with the very latest 368.69 WHQL driver on the GeForce GTX 1070, Vulkan does not seem to kick in. Overall seen from the previous driver OpenGL 4.5 perf has increased overall a tiny bit, however with Vulkan activate in WQHD and UHD there even is a tiny bit of negative scaling. I have re-tested both OpenGL and Vulkan with the 368.69 WHQL driver.

My bet is that we'll see another driver released by Nvidia soon enough.

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