We heard you like performance and it seems the new OpenGL over Vulkan driver Zink is going to bring some FPS friends whenever the next release lands. Developer Mike Blumenkrantz who has been contracted by Valve has continued hacking away at the code, and in a new blog post detailed a massive change to the driver to improve gaming performance.
Don't know what Zink is? It's "an OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan. Or to be a bit more specific, Zink is a Mesa Gallium driver that leverages the existing OpenGL implementation in Mesa to provide hardware accelerated OpenGL when only a Vulkan driver is available" - Collabora.
One of the improvements Blumenkrantz has mentioned in the past is getting Zink up to scratch for gaming, something that hasn't been the focus of blog posts lately. However, this latest one shows two screenshots and the difference between them with the old slow code left and new fast code right (click to enlarge):
Blumenkrantz is making use of MangoHud too, which recently added support for picking up Zink as the driver.
Going from 9FPS to 91FPS is a massive difference, as is the frametiming too so it's not just higher FPS it looks like it will be smoother overall too. How is it done? With the addition of a suballocator that was created by pinching some ready-made code from other parts of Mesa. The result is about 700 lines of code to create the performance booster. The gist of it is that Zink is now a lot smarter and knows when something is busy or can be used elsewhere so Zink can now really do its thing. The code is live in the "zink-wip" branch on GitLab if anyone wanted to be brave and try it out.
See the blog post for the full details.