Tag Archives: Vulkan

Quake 2 RTX Now Supports Vulkan Ray Tracing!

Quake 2 RTX Now Supports Vulkan Ray Tracing!

Quake 2 RTX now supports Vulkan Ray Tracing, which means it will also work on AMD graphics cards! Here are the details!

 

Quake 2 RTX : What Is It?

Initially released in June 2019, Quake II RTX revamps the classic first-person shooter game with ray-traced lighting, shadows and reflections.

In addition to the ray tracing effects, NVIDIA also introduced new path-traced visual effects, improved texturing and dozens of other changes and improvements.

 

Quake 2 RTX Now Supports Vulkan Ray Tracing!

Quake 2 RTX originally supported only NVIDIA RTX cards, but the newly-released version 1.4.0 adds support for the new Vulkan Ray Tracing API.

Quake 2 RTX 1.4.0 will dynamically between the pre-existing NVIDIA VKRay and the new Khronos Vulkan ray tracing extension, making it the world’s first cross-vendor ray tracing Vulkan game!

This means it can now run on any GPU that supports the “VK_KHR_ray_tracing_pipeline” extension, including the recently-launched AMD Radeon RX 6000 series graphics cards.

The Quake 2 RTX 1.4.0 also adds temporal upscaling, TAAU, for improved image quality at lower resolution scales.

 

Quake 2 RTX : Vulkan Ray Tracing Requirements

To try out its new Vulkan Ray Tracing capability, this is what you require :

  • Download and install Quake 2 RTX 1.4.0 or newer
  • AMD
    – Requires Radeon RX 6000 series, or future RDNA 2, cards.
    – Upgrade to Radeon Software Adrenalin 2020 Edition 20.11.2 Beta or newer
  • NVIDIA
    – Requires GeForce RTX / Quadro RTX graphics cards.
    – Upgrade to Game Ready Driver 460.89 (Windows) or 460.27.04 (Linux), or newer

 

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NVIDIA Image Sharpening Guide for DirectX, Vulkan, OpenGL!

NVIDIA Game Ready drivers now support Image Sharpening for Vulkan and OpenGL, as well as DirectX games. However, you will need to manually turned it on, and set it up.

In this guide, we will share with you the benefits of turning on NVIDIA Image Sharpening, and how to turn it on for your DirectX, Vulkan and OpenGL games!

 

NVIDIA Image Sharpening For DirectX, Vulkan + OpenGL

NVIDIA first introduced Image Sharpening as a NVIDIA Freestyle filter. They then built it into the NVIDIA Control Panel, enabling it for all DirectX 9, 10, 11 and 12 games in the Game Ready 441.08 driver onwards.

Starting with Game Ready 441.41, they officially added NVIDIA Image Sharpening support for Vulkan and OpenGL games too.

Image sharpness can be adjusted on a per-game basis, or applied globally for all supported titles, with per-game settings overriding global settings.

In addition, you can use your NVIDIA GPU to render at a lower resolution for improved performance, and scale it to the monitor’s native resolution, using Image Sharpening to improved the clarity of the upscaled images.

However, this is a global setting, and cannot be disabled or enabled on a per-game basis.

Note that if you are using a GeForce RTX or GeForce GTX 16-series graphics card, they will leverage the Turing GPU’s 5-tap scaling technology for better image quality.

Recommended : Learn How To Add ReShade Filters To GeForce Experience!

 

NVIDIA Image Sharpening : How To Enable It Globally

  1. Download and install GeForce Game Ready 441.41 driver or newer.
  2. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel, and click on Manage 3D settings.
  3. Scroll down the Global Settings tab to Image Sharpening.
  4. Select the On option, and you will have three further options.
    GPU Scaling : All resolutions below the monitor native resolution will be upscaled by the GPU
    Sharpen (0 to 1.0) : This controls the amount of image sharpening
    Ignore film grain (0 to 1.0) : This reduces any film grain that is generated by image sharpening
  5. Click OK and you are done!

Note : GPU Scaling is only available as a Global setting.

Recommended : How To Enable NVIDIA NULL For G-SYNC Monitors Correctly!

 

NVIDIA Image Sharpening : How To Enable It On A Per-App Basis

  1. Download and install GeForce Game Ready 441.41 driver or newer.
  2. Open the NVIDIA Control Panel, and click on Manage 3D settings.
  3. Click on the Program Settings tab and select the game you want to apply image sharpening.
    If you cannot find the game, click Add, choose the desired game and click Add Selected Program
  4. Scroll down to Image Sharpening.
  5. Select the On option, and you will have two further options.
    Sharpen (0 to 1.0) : This controls the amount of image sharpening
    Ignore film grain (0 to 1.0) : This reduces any film grain that is generated by image sharpening
  6. Click OK and you are done!

Note that the per-app setting will override the global settings.

 

NVIDIA Image Sharpening : Current Limitations

As of 26 November 2019, NVIDIA Image Sharpening has the following limitations :

  • Scaling is not supported on MSHybrid systems.
  • HDR displays driven by pre-Turing GPUs will not support scaling
  • Scaling will not work with VR
  • Scaling will not work with displays using YUV420 format.
  • Scaling uses aspect ration scaling and will not use integer scaling
  • Sharpening will not work with HDR displays
  • GPU scaling engages when games are played only in full-screen mode, and not in windowed or borderless windowed mode.
  • Some G-SYNC displays have a 6-tap / 64-phase scaler which scales better than that offered by Turing’s 5-tap/32-phase scaler.
  • To avoid accidentally triggering scaling by applications or DWM, first change to the desired (non-native) resolution from the NVIDIA Control Panel and then launch the application.
  • Turing’s 5-tap upscaler may not engage on certain monitors, based on the monitor’s vblank timing.
  • Turing’s 5-tap upscaler may not engage if the input resolution is greater than 2560 pixels in either the x or y dimension.
  • Scaling is turned off automatically when switching display devices.
  • “Restore Defaults” option in the control panel currently does not revert the upscaling resolution.

 

Death Stranding : Get It FREE With GeForce RTX!

From now until 29 July 2020, you will receive a Steam code for the PC digital download edition of Death Stranding with the purchase of these selected GeForce RTX graphics card, laptop or desktop!

 

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Red Dead Redemption 2 : Use These AMD + NVIDIA Drivers!

Red Dead Redemption 2 for PC is out, and both AMD and NVIDIA have new drivers to deliver Day 1 support!

This is important, because RDR2 apparently refuses to run properly with older drivers. So make sure you use these AMD and NVIDIA drivers for Red Dead Redemption 2!

 

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the best selling games in 2018, and the PC edition with enhanced graphics, uncapped frame rates, new content and a raft of enhancements has just been released!

Here are some online purchase options for PS4 and Xbox One :

Here are the online purchase options for PC :

We will have more PC purchase links up shortly.

 

Red Dead Redemption 2 Issues

Once it was unlocked for the PC, gamers immediately encountered issues with Red Dead Redemption 2.

The most common problems – the launcher not initialising, or the game crashing with the vacuous error message

Red Dead Redemption 2 Exited Unexpectedly

The solution? Update your graphics driver, which was what we have been trying to tell you guys for a whole day now! 😀

 

AMD Day 1 Driver For Red Dead Redemption 2

AMD just released Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition 19.11.1 to support Red Dead Redemption 2, as well as new Vulkan Extension Support and a slew of other fixes :

New Game Support

  • Red Dead Redemption 2

New Vulkan Extensions

  • VK_KHR_timeline_semaphore
  • VK_KHR_shader_clock
  • VK_KHR_shader_subgroup_extended_types
  • VK_KHR_pipeline_executable_properties
  • VK_KHR_spirv_1_4
  • VK_EXT_subgroup_size_control
  • Clustered Subgroup Operations

Fixed Issues

  • Some users may be unable to connect their Twitch account through the Connect page in Radeon Settings for live streaming.
  • The Outer Worlds may sometimes experience an application crash when opening the characters inventory screen.
  • The Outer Worlds may experience character models being rendered incorrectly on the inventory screen.
  • Frame Rate may cap or remain limited to 60 fps in some Vulkan API games.
  • OBS streaming may experience heavy frame drops when using AMF encoding

Download Links

 

NVIDIA Day 1 Driver For Red Dead Redemption 2

NVIDIA just released their Game Ready 441.12 driver, which not only supports Red Dead Redemption 2, but also new optimisations for Need for Speed Heat and Borderlands 3.

NVIDIA also shared their recommended graphics cards that will deliver 60+ fps in Red Dead Redemption 2 :

It also adds G-SYNC support for the LG B9, C9 and E9 4K OLED TVs.

Download Links

 

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NVIDIA RTX 2060 SUPER Vulkan Performance Examined!

Here is a quick look at the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER‘s performance with the Vulkan API! Find out whether you should use Vulkan or DirectX in your games!

 

Vulkan API Primer

Build upon the AMD Mantle API, Vulkan is a cross-platform 3D graphics API. Designed to offer low driver overhead, it promises to offer these benefits :

  • reduced CPU overhead, with better management of CPU workloads
  • support for multi-threaded processing, allowing for better scaling on multi-core CPUs
  • close-to-metal control, for better performance and image quality
  • cross-platform support across Windows, Linux, macOS

NVIDIA supports Vulkan in their Game Ready drivers, for their graphics cards based on the Tesla, Fermi, Kepler, Maxwell, Pascal, Volta and Turing microarchitectures.

 

NVIDIA RTX 2060 SUPER Vulkan Performance

In our NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER review, we used the Vulkan API where possible. But what’s the performance impact? Let’s take a look…

World War Z

Based on the 2013 movie, World War Z is a relatively new third-person shooter game, released in April 2019.

We tested it on three resolutions using the Vulkan and DirectX 11 APIs at the Ultra High settings :

The performance gap is HUGE! The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER running on Vulkan was much, MUCH faster than DirectX 11 :

  • 1080p : Vulkan was 42% faster than DirectX 11
  • 1440p : Vulkan was 60% faster than DirectX 11
  • 2160p : Vulkan was 66% faster than DirectX 11

Notably, Vulkan enabled the RTX 2060 SUPER to deliver an average frame rate in excess of 80 fps at the 4K resolution.

Strange Brigade

Strange Brigade is a third-person shooter game, released in August 2018. We tested it on three resolutions using the Vulkan and DirectX 12 APIs at the Ultra High settings :

DirectX 12 is closer-to-the-metal than DirectX 11, reducing driver overhead. So the performance impact of using the Vulkan API for the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER was much less pronounced.

  • 1080p : Vulkan was 7.5% faster than DirectX 12
  • 1440p : Vulkan was 6.5% faster than DirectX 12
  • 2160p : Vulkan was 6.6% faster than DirectX 12

Strange Brigade Frame Time Analysis

Strange Brigade also gives us the minimum, maximum and average frame times, allowing us to compare the frame times for both Vulkan and DirectX 12.

Generally, using Vulkan reduced frame times. The only exception was at 1080p, where its maximum frame time was higher than DirectX 12 :

  • 1080p : Vulkan had 7.4% lower average frame time than DirectX 12
  • 1440p : Vulkan had 6.5% lower average frame time than DirectX 12
  • 2160p : Vulkan had 5.8% lower average frame time than DirectX 12

 

RTX 2060 SUPER Vulkan Performance Summarised

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The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 SUPER is a great 1440p gaming platform, but with some help from the Vulkan API, it can make 4K gaming possible.

You will see a much greater performance boost switching from DirectX 11 to Vulkan, as we saw in the case of World War Z.

There is a much smaller, but still significant, performance boost going from DirectX 12 to Vulkan.

 

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The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition Tech Report

AMD has been on a yearly update cycle of Radeon Software, ever since they introduced the first version – Crimson Edition on 2 November 2015. This was followed by the Crimson ReLive Edition on 9 December 2016. On 12 December 2017, they introduced the third iteration – Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition.

In addition to enhanced performance, there are over 30 new or improved features in Adrenalin Edition. So join us for a tour of what’s new and what’s improved in the new AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition!

 

AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition

The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition is named after the Adrenalin Rose, not the hormone adrenaline (also known as epinephrine). That’s Adrenalin without the e. The Adrenalin Rose is a rich velvet red rose with long thornless stems and deep green foliage.

Before we go into the details, here is a summary of the new features being introduced in Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition :

Radeon Overlay

Radeon Overlay allows gamers to fine-tune their game experience, and monitor, record and share their gameplay without ever leaving the game. It provides one-click access to Radeon ReLive, Performance Monitoring, Radeon Chill, Frame Rate Target Control (FRTC), Radeon FreeSync and Color settings.

AMD Link Mobile App

Available for Android and iOS platforms, the AMD Link is a mobile app that complements Radeon Software on the desktop, at home as a convenient second screen, or on the go. The AMD Link dashboard features streaming and replay with Radeon ReLive, GPU and PC performance monitoring, an AMD news feed, and notifications for new driver releases.

Improved Radeon Software Core Technologies

Radeon ReLive : Radeon ReLive now includes a chat integration feature that allows gamers to engage with their communities while streaming on Facebook, Twitch, Mixer, YouTube, Weibo and more.

Radeon Chill : With Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, Radeon Chill now supports games based on the Vulkan API, along with DirectX 9, 10, 11, and 12.

Radeon WattMan : With Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, custom GPU profiles can be saved, reloaded at a later point and shared with the Radeon user community

Enhanced Sync : With improved compatibility and an even wider field of view, Enhanced Sync extends its support to Vulkan API-based games, Radeon GCN architecture-based products, Multi-GPU and AMD Eyefinity Technology.

 

Operating System Support

The AMD Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition will support Windows 10 and Windows 7. AMD no longer supports Windows 8, but says that the Windows 7 driver works perfectly fine in Windows 8.

 

The Adrenalin Edition In Detail

If you want more in-depth details on Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition, we split them up into separate sections :

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Next Page > Performance Boost, BWMG Support, FRTC Vulkan Support, Compute Profiles, Linux Support

 

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The Adrenalin Edition Performance Boost

The Adrenalin Edition is not meant to be a “performance driver update”. In fact, Terry Makedon was amused to read claims that AMD promised big performance update after the Adrenalin Edition name was revealed. That was probably because they mistakenly thought the name was based on the hormone adrenaline…

He clarified that performance optimisation is an on-going concern, with a focus on getting specific optimisations out in time for new game launches. There will be general performance optimisations that will be delivered over the year. But AMD won’t be holding back optimisations just to deliver a major driver update with large performance boost.

With that in mind, this chart does not show a sudden performance boost with Adrenalin Edition. Instead, it shows the cumulative performance gains since the last major release – Crimson ReLive Edition.

They also managed to reduce latency across the board in all DirectX 11 titles.

 

Borderless Windowed Multi-GPU Support

The Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition introduces a new Borderless Windows Multi-GPU Support, to complement the existing Fullscreen Multi-GPU Support.

 

Frame Rate Target Control Now Supports Vulkan

Frame Rate Target Control reduces GPU power draw by throttling it to maintain a 60 fps limit. It now supports Vulkan.

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Compute Profiles

Compute Profiles was released in an optional update a few weeks ago, and is now part of Adrenalin Edition. The Compute Profile optimises workloads on the GPU to deliver better compute performance for cryptocurrency mining.

In this example, they quoted a 15% boost in Ethereum mining performance with the Compute Profile over the default Gaming Profile on a Radeon RX 570 graphics card.

 

Radeon Software For Linux

AMD will start offering a single suite containing both open- and closed-source software stacks for Radeon Software. You will be able to choose between the consumer (AMDGPU) or workstation (AMDGPU-PRO) drivers, with the flexibility to mix-and-match open- and closed-source components.

AMD is working to deliver an open-source AMD Vulkan driver for Linux.

Next Page > Improved Core Radeon Technologies

 

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Improved Core Radeon Technologies

Radeon WattMan

The Radeon WattMan is the power management tool that doubles as an overclocking / underclocking tool. In Adrenalin Edition, custom GPU profiles can be saved, reloaded at a later point and shared with the Radeon user community

Radeon Chill

Radeon Chill saves power by dynamically regulating the frame rate based on your in-game movements. With Adrenalin Edition, Radeon Chill now supports games based on the Vulkan API, along with DirectX 9, 10, 11, and 12.

In addition, Radeon Chill now supports a lot more games. Radeon Chill used to work on a whitelist concept – it will only support games that have been profiled and tested. Thanks to improved algorithms and other changes, AMD is switching it to a blacklist concept.

With Adrenalin Edition, Radeon Chill will now work with all games. But if AMD discovers that Chill does not work properly with a certain game, it goes into the blacklist so Radeon Chill won’t run on it. Currently, there are no games in the blacklist.

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Enhanced Sync

Think of Enhanced Sync as pseudo-FreeSync, minimising screen tearing with non-FreeSync monitors. With Adrenalin Edition, Enhanced Sync is now enabled on all Radeon GCN-based graphics cards, and supports all Vulkan API-based games. They also added support for Multi-GPU and AMD Eyefinity Technology.

Radeon ReLive

Radeon ReLive now has a Connect section, which serves as a control center for your Radeon ReLive video library. In addition to browsing your recorded videos, you can queue and share them on social media.

Radeon ReLive will now allow you to integrate chats from Twitch, Facebook, Mixer, YouTube, Weibo and more, to your game play.

AMD has also reduced the performance impact of Radeon ReLive. Note that these examples are from an AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card.

With Adrenalin Edition, Radeon ReLive will also supports games based on the Vulkan API.

Radeon ReLive will also come with support for :

  • Borderless Region Capture – allowing you to capture only what you want to share, instead of the entire screen.
  • Chroma Key – allowing you to remove your background in your webcam or video stream
  • AMD Eyefinity Technology – allowing you to capture your game play across multiple monitors
  • separate audio tracks – recording mic audio separately from the game audio, for easier mixing and editing later

Radeon FreeSync & Themes

With Adrenalin Edition, you can now enable or disable Radeon FreeSync on a per-game basis. And Radeon Settings will have three UI theme options – Yellow, Crimson and Blue.

Next Page > Radeon Overlay & AMD Link

 

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Radeon Overlay

Radeon Overlay allows you to access Radeon ReLive, Performance Monitoring, Radeon Chill, Frame Rate Target Control (FRTC), Radeon FreeSync and Color settings from within the game. Just press Alt+R to activate Radeon Overlay. This key combination, incidentally, can be changed.

Performance Monitoring and Recording

Radeon ReLive

Radeon Chill

Radeon FreeSync

Frame Rate Target Control

Color Settings

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AMD Link

Available for Android and iOS platforms, the AMD Link is a mobile app that complements Radeon Software on the desktop, at home as a convenient second screen, or on the go.

You can link multiple PCs to AMD Link using a simple QR code, or you can do it manually. However, your mobile devices must (at least in this version) be on the same network as your computer.

The AMD Link dashboard features streaming and replay with Radeon ReLive, GPU and PC performance monitoring, an AMD news feed, and notifications for new driver releases.

AMD Link is now available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play. It supports smartphones and tablets running on iOS 10 (or better), and Android 5.0 (or better).

Next Page > Adrenalin Edition Summary & Complete Set of Slides

 

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Adrenalin Edition Summary

In summary, the Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition is a checkpoint when it comes to performance. Performance improvements is a continuous process, with Adrenalin Edition delivering up to 15% better performance compared to Crimson ReLive Edition a year ago.

More important are the 30+ new or enhanced features being introduced in Adrenalin Edition.

The summary includes three infographics created by Sasa Marinkovic and his team.

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The Complete Set Of Adrenalin Edition Slides

Here is the complete set of Radeon Software Adrenalin Edition slides, minus the legal boilerplate.

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The Radeon Technologies Group’s First Year Achievements

On September 9, 2015, AMD spliced off their Radeon graphics team into a separate Radeon Technologies Group. They also promoted Raja Koduri to Senior Vice President and Chief Architect of the new Radeon Technologies Group, reporting directly to AMD President and CEO Dr. Lisa Su.

It has now been a year since Raja Koduri took the helm of the newly-formed Radeon Technologies Group. Chris Hook, Senior Director of Global Marketing and Public Relations, Radeon Technologies Group, gave us a run-down of what the Radeon Technologies Group accomplished in just 12 months.

Then Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, gave us a 40 minute Q&A session – a rare opportunity as you can imagine. Check out the full Q&A session below!

Now, join us for a quick tour of their achievements in the first year! If you would like to peruse the slides from the presentation, you can check them out here. [adrotate banner=”5″]

 

The First Year Of The Radeon Technologies Group

Right after its formation, the Radeon Technologies Group dove straight into the melee, delivering the Radeon Software Crimson Edition in November 2015, and then launching GPUOpen in December 2015.

 

Then in March 2016, they released their first Vulkan-capable driver. They followed that up with the launch of the AMD Radeon Pro Duo graphics card.

Their efforts culminated in the AMD Polaris launch during Computex 2016.

A month later, they launched the AMD Radeon Pro family, featuring the Radeon Pro WX series and the Radeon Pro SSG.

Finally, AMD announced in August that the AMD FreeSync technology is now available in just over 100 gaming monitors.

Next Page > The Radeon Technologies Group First Anniversary Presentation Slides

 

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Here are the presentation slides used by Chris Hook, Senior Director of Global Marketing and Public Relations, Radeon Technologies Group, during his presentation :

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Vulkan Support For DOOM Now Available

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

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.”

 

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Faster Performance

Performance numbers produced by AMD internal testing show the performance benefits of Vulkan versus OpenGL implementation:

 

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NVIDIA Vulkan Drivers For Kepler & Maxwell GPUs Available

by Neil Trevett, NVIDIA

 

If you’re a GeForce gamer, you already have what you need to take advantage of what the Vulkan API can do. If you’re a developer, you will now have the choice of a new tool that will give you more control, and greater performance, on a broad range of devices.

Our support for Vulkan, on the day it launches, not just on multiple platforms, but in cutting-edge games such as The Talos Principle, has some of the industry’s most respected observers taking notice.

“To be able to play a game like The Talos Principle on the same day an API launches, is an unheard of achievement,” said Jon Peddie, president of Jon Peddie Research. “NVIDIA’s multi-platform compatibility and fully conformant driver support across many operating systems is a testament to the company’s leadership role in Vulkan’s development.”

 

What Is Vulkan?

[adrotate banner=”4″]Vulkan is a low level API that gives direct access of the GPU to developers who want the ultimate in control. With a simpler, thinner driver, Vulkan has less latency and overhead than traditional OpenGL or Direct3D. Vulkan also has efficient multi-threading capabilities so that multi-core CPUs can keep the graphics pipeline loaded, enabling a new level of performance on existing hardware.

Vulkan is the first new generation, low-level API that is cross platform. This allows developers to create applications for a variety of PC, mobile and embedded devices using diverse operating systems. Like OpenGL, Vulkan is an open, royalty-free standard available for any platform to adopt. For developers who prefer to remain on OpenGL or OpenGL ES, NVIDIA will continue to drive innovations on those traditional APIs too.

 

Who’s Behind Vulkan?

Vulkan was created by the Khronos Group, a standards organization that brings together a wide range of hardware and software companies, including NVIDIA, for the creation of open standard, royalty-free APIs for authoring and accelerated playback of dynamic media on a wide variety of platforms and devices. We’re proud to have played a leadership role in creating Vulkan. And we’re committed to helping developers use Vulkan to get the best from our GPUs.

Why You Should Care

Vulkan is great for developers. It reduces porting costs and opens up new market opportunities for applications across multiple platforms. Best of all, the NVIDIA drivers needed to take advantage of Vulkan are already here. On launch day we have Vulkan drivers available for Windows, Linux, and Android platforms. See our Vulkan drivers page for all the details.

Here’s what Vulkan will mean for you:

  • For gamers with GeForce GPUs: Vulkan’s low latency and high-efficiency lets developers add more details and more special effects to their games, while still maintaining great performance. Because a Vulkan driver is thinner with less overhead, application developers will get fewer performance surprises. This translates to smoother, more fluid experiences.NVIDIA is shipping fully-conformant Vulkan drivers for all GeForce boards based on Kepler or Maxwell GPUs running Windows (Windows 7 or later) or Linux. “We have been using NVIDIA hardware and drivers on both Windows and Android for Vulkan development, and the reductions in CPU overhead have been impressive,” said Oculus Chief Technology Officer John Carmack.GeForce gamers will be the first to play the Vulkan version of  The Talos Principle, a puzzle game from Croteam that also shipped today.

    “We’ve successfully collaborated with the NVIDIA driver support team in the past, but I was amazed with the work they did on Vulkan,” said Croteam Senior Programmer Dean Sekuliuc. “They promptly provided us with the latest beta drivers so we were able to quickly implement the new API into Serious Engine and make The Talos Principle one of the first titles supporting Vulkan. Smooth!”<

  • For professional application developers using Quadro: Our Vulkan and OpenGL drivers use an integrated binary architecture that enables the use of GLSL shaders in Vulkan. Developers also have the flexibility to continue using OpenGL or plan a smooth transition from OpenGL to Vulkan to take advantage of Vulkan’s new capabilities.For example, Vulkan’s multi-threaded architecture can enable multiple CPU cores to prepare massive amounts of data for the GPU faster than before. For design and digital content creation applications, this means enhanced interactivity with large models.
  • For mobile developers using Tegra: We’re making Vulkan available to developers for both Android and Linux. Vulkan will ship alongside OpenGL ES as a core API in a future version of Android. This means that standard Android will have a state-of-the-art API with integrated graphics and compute, ultimately unleashing the GPU in Tegra for cutting-edge vision and compute applications, as well as awesome gaming graphics. Developers can use Vulkan on NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV and SHIELD tablets for Android coding, and Jetson for embedded Linux development.

 

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AMD Vulkan API-Enabled Radeon Beta Driver Launched

AMD’s Radeon Technologies Group (RTG) is excited about the imminent release of the ratified Vulkan 1.0 Specification by the Khronos Group. We started this journey in June of 2014 when AMD submitted the XGL proposal based on our work on Mantle. Once accepted by the OpenGL Next working group, AMD helped steward it through committee via our role as spec editors.

With this transition to public availability of the Vulkan 1.0 API specifications, AMD will be releasing a beta version of our Vulkan API-enabled Radeon Software driver. This new driver, in-concert with Radeon graphics hardware, enables PC game developers to remove historical software bottlenecks which will unleash new, rich visual gaming experiences.

 

What Is AMD Vulkan?

As a complement to OpenGL, descended from AMD’s Mantle, and forged by the industry, AMD Vulkan is a powerful low-overhead graphics API that gives software developers deep control over the performance, efficiency, and capabilities of Radeon GPUs and multi-core CPUs.

Compared to OpenGL, AMD Vulkan substantially reduces API overhead, which is background work a GPU or CPU must do to interpret what a game is asking of the hardware. Reducing this overhead gives hardware much more time to spend on delivering meaningful features, performance, and image quality. AMD Vulkan API also exposes GPU hardware features not ordinarily accessible through OpenGL, and uniquely supports Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Android, and Linux.

With the consortium of hardware and software companies that make up the Khronos Group, AMD is looking forward to the delivering the latest and greatest game rendering technologies to millions of users and many operating systems simultaneously:

“The release of the Vulkan 1.0 specification is a huge step forward for developers. The AMD Vulkan API, which was derived from Mantle, will bring the benefits of low-overhead high-performance Graphics API to the benefit of cross-platform and cross-vendor targeted applications,“ said Raja Koduri, Senior Vice President and Chief Architect, Radeon Technologies Group, AMD. “The promotion of open and scalable technologies continues to be the focus at AMD, as a pioneer in the low-overhead API space. As a member of the Khronos Group, AMD is proud to collaborate with hardware and software industry leaders to develop the AMD Vulkan API to ignite the next evolution in PC game development.”

 

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