You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page.
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.

Zink, the OpenGL implementation on top of Vulkan continues to be an exciting development for Linux open source graphics drivers, with some new code landing in Mesa to improve its performance.

The code in question relates to a Suballocator, something that developer Mike Blumenkrantz who has been contracted by Valve blogged about that we covered back in June. Even back then, Blumenkrantz showed how Tomb Raider running on Zink with this new code went from 9FPS to 91FPS (those are the last specific numbers given).

Only recently this code actually landed in Mesa, so it should appear in the next major release being 21.3 due later this year. In the commit message, Blumenkrantz mentioned how "performance in games like Tomb Raider has been observed to increase by over 1000%".

Keep in mind this is not an increase compared with running the game normally, but between the original Zink code and Zink with the Suballocator. Not all games are going to see such a dramatic increase either. Still, the point is that Zink as a driver is starting to really mature and eventually you may be able to run many more OpenGL games with Vulkan instead by just using the Zink driver on Linux.

Additionally, Zink also now supports OpenGL compatibility contexts which some games use, so running even more with Zink should now be possible.

Article taken from
Tags: Drivers, Mesa, Misc, Vulkan
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
Page: «2/2
  Go to:

Arten Aug 18, 2021
Quoting: chelobaka
Quoting: ArtenI don't think that Deck is totaly unrelated. If it can get you better performance, you can limit max framerate and get more battery life on Deck.

How can you get more performance by adding extra translation layer between hardware and userspace application? Well, you won't ;-)

Because translation is not 1:1. For example with this, machine code of shaders is created by ACO in the end.
Similar situation is with Proton/DXVK. In some cases it is better then Windows.
Marlock Aug 19, 2021
Valve invests upfront in compatibility layers so it can ensure its huge catalog of games doesn't suffer later, eg. when OpenGL gets axed from new GPU drivers... they are the proverbial man with a plan.

It also already helps in another scenario (though I'm not sure Valve has plans to leverage this or if it's just an unintentional positive side-effect)... OpenGL is deprecated in OSX, but Zinc allows for OpenGL >> Zink >> Vulkan >> MoltenVK >> Metal... which has already been tested in more than one occasion IIRC and actually works!
TheRiddick Aug 19, 2021
Valve has decided to work with AMD for making a fast lane way to get Steam Deck setup with windows. I suspect valve took a closer look at the EAC and BE situation and was like, HOLY F$%K we not going to fix this.. hope I'm wrong.
CatKiller Aug 19, 2021
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: TheRiddickValve has decided to work with AMD for making a fast lane way to get Steam Deck setup with windows. I suspect valve took a closer look at the EAC and BE situation and was like, HOLY F$%K we not going to fix this.. hope I'm wrong.
Being able to install Windows on the device is a security blanket for all those Windows gamers that they're trying to persuade to buy the thing. Saying, "nah, fuck M$, we're not gonna let you install their OS," is just going to make people not buy the device. Which means they won't get to see how awesome Linux is, and Linux won't get up to the, say, 30-40% gaming marketshare where Valve are safe from Microsoft.

Valve are OK with gamers using Windows, as long as Linux is a viable and visible alternative, so they get their escape hatch and deterrent.
Ardje Sep 13, 2021
Quoting: x_wing
Quoting: ArdjeThere is no fast opensource opengl implementation for AMD. And the closed ones suck.
You may want to take a look on some benchs before saying such thing:

Deus Ex & Hitman are both OpenGL titles. If this isn't fast, then I'm not sure what you define as "fast" for OpenGL.
It sounds like high end hardware vs high end hardware and open source vs proprietary vendor lock in.
This wasn't the case 2..3 years ago.
Not that I cared, because in all other respects, open source drivers had so much more benefits than that proprietary vendor lock in beast.

But I am glad to be proven wrong, that currently open source can outperform proprietary. And that everyone wins with that: from hardware manufactures, to game publishers to game distributors to 3d designers.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone! Patreon supporters can also remove all adverts and sponsors! Supporting us helps bring good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.