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Valve continues to improve Linux Vulkan Shader Pre-Caching

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Recently we wrote about a new feature for Linux in the Steam Client Beta, where Steam can now sort out Vulkan shaders before running a game. With the latest build, it gets better.

The idea of it, as a brief reminder, is to prepare all the shaders needed for Vulkan games while you download and / or before you hit Play. This would help to stop constant stuttering seen in some games on Linux, mostly from running Windows games in the Proton compatibility layer, as native / supported Linux games would usually do it themselves. Just another way Valve are trying to get Linux gaming on Steam in all forms into tip-top shape.

Here's what's changed in the latest Steam Beta:

Linux Shader Pre-Caching

  • Added support for merging NVIDIA per-thread cache files after processing new Vulkan pipelines and after a game exits
  • Adjusted core count of background Vulkan pipeline processing to a quarter of logical cores by default
  • Changed processing tasks to idle priority
  • Updated Vulkan layer API version

Want to try out the latest Steam Beta? Go into Settings on Steam and it's on the first section you see:


Steam will then restart to do the update.

Will be great when this is rolled out to everyone, as it's a very clever way to get around the Proton shader stuttering issue using the open source Fossilize library and Vulkan layer.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Beta, Steam, Update, Vulkan
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44 comments
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Shmerl 31 May
With aco, shader compilation stuttering became a non issue practically anyway.
I'm waiting CS:GO with Source 2 under Vulkan to thank them :3
Leopard 31 May
ShmerlDo they cache it for each existing GPU architecture?

Foz pipelines are gpu and driver agnostic , which client utilize them to build shaders.

There is also shader cache sharing system too. That is gpu and driver specific. Mostly viable for OGL games because they don't have a shader building mechanism like Vulkan has on the client.
Leopard 31 May
ShmerlWith aco, shader compilation stuttering became a non issue practically anyway.

I can't agree to this statement.

Games like Quake Champions ( has absurd amount of shaders and game is online ) are still a pain without Fossilize.

For my case ( i'm on NV but ACO and NV are not too far when it comes to shader compiling ) , Quake Champions basically gone from stutter fest to perfectly smooth. Literally at first run ; it is perfectly smooth.
Shmerl 31 May
LeopardFor my case ( i'm on NV but ACO and NV are not too far when it comes to shader compiling

How did you compare that? In my experience ACO made stutter a non issue. Especially combined with general shader cache and dxvk pipeline cache.


Last edited by Shmerl on 31 May 2020 at 3:07 pm UTC
Leopard 31 May
Shmerl
LeopardFor my case ( i'm on NV but ACO and NV are not too far when it comes to shader compiling

How did you compare that? In my experience ACO made stutter a non issue. Especially combined with general shader cache and dxvk pipeline cache.

Do you play a game like QC , Overwatch , Warframe,Dishonored etc?

If you don't , try one of them without any cache and see if ACO is enough or not.

Clearly not enough.
Shmerl 31 May
LeopardIf you don't , try one of them without any cache and see if ACO is enough or not.

Star Citizen is pretty shader heavy. Before aco it was stuttering a lot, with aco it became very playable. I don't have access to any others you mentioned.


Last edited by Shmerl on 31 May 2020 at 5:17 pm UTC
Leopard
ShmerlDo they cache it for each existing GPU architecture?

Foz pipelines are gpu and driver agnostic , which client utilize them to build shaders.


I am using an optimus laptop with prime render offload (Which means my desktop and Steam runs on intel gpu but games run on Nvidia), does that mean my system will benefit from this as well?
jens 31 May
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Shmerl
LeopardFor my case ( i'm on NV but ACO and NV are not too far when it comes to shader compiling

How did you compare that? In my experience ACO made stutter a non issue. Especially combined with general shader cache and dxvk pipeline cache.

As far as I understood that is exactly the point: to provide an already built-up shader- and/or (not sure) dxvk pipeline cache for games that have never been touched. Of course the effect differs per games, but for some the already built-up cache can make quite a difference when starting for the first time or entering certain areas for the first time (and only then afaik).


Last edited by jens on 31 May 2020 at 6:34 pm UTC
kuhpunkt 31 May
vivian-botteI'm waiting CS:GO with Source 2 under Vulkan to thank them :3

Probably very soon.
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