Today, id Software announced the availability for the Vulkan version of DOOM that relies on innovative features to deliver incredible performance.
As many of you already know, the Vulkan API is a descendant of AMD’s Mantle that supports close-to-metal control across Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Linux. Compared to OpenGL, Vulkan substantially reduces “API overhead” – the background work a CPU does to interpret what a game asks of the hardware – to deliver meaningful features, performance, and image quality and expose GPU hardware features that wouldn’t ordinarily be accessible through OpenGL
DOOM benefits from Vulkan support by using several great features:
- Asynchronous Shaders: Using multiple command processors — the Asynchronous Compute Engines in AMD’s Graphics Core Next and Polaris GPU architectures — each queue can submit commands without waiting for other tasks to complete.
- Shader Intrinsics or Shader Intrinsic Functions, also called built-in functions, provide a way for game developers to directly access graphics hardware instructions in situations where those instructions would normally be abstracted by an API. This approach has been used successfully on gaming consoles to extract more performance from the GPU — and now AMD is enabling PCs with the same capability.
- Frame Flip Optimizations which basically pass the frame directly to the display once it’s ready, i.e. skips the copy and save.
As Robert Duffy, Chief Technical Officer of id software pointed out at the AMD event at Computex 2016, “Vulkan is a modern API, with roots to AMD’s Mantle technology, and it provides real benefits to both us as developers and the large community of gamers using a wide range of hardware. When you factor in additional AMD features, like true Asynchronous Compute, custom intrinsic instructions, and combine those with a raw speed of idTech 6, we believe the experience on AMD will be hard to beat.”
Performance numbers produced by AMD internal testing show the performance benefits of Vulkan versus OpenGL implementation:
- Up to 27% faster performance at 1920×1080 using Radeon Software 16.7.1 and DOOM Vulkan on Radeon RX480 than with Radeon Software 16.7.1 and DOOM OpenGL.1
- Up to 23% faster performance at 2560×1440 using Radeon Software 16.7.1 and DOOM Vulkan on Radeon RX480 than with Radeon Software 16.7.1 and DOOM OpenGL.2