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Valve updates Portal to improve Steam Deck performance

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Valve sure do give a lot of love to their games (okay, most, I hear the rumbling of TF2 fans in the background) and a new update has rolled out for the original Portal to help the Steam Deck.

Portal is one of the titles that Valve updated with DXVK-Native, which allows the classic to run using Vulkan instead of OpenGL, an update for this title I somehow missed from back in late February. They did the same for Portal 2, Left 4 Dead 2 and the Half-Life 2 series. The problem with DXVK for both Native Linux titles and Windows games in Proton, is that it can stutter while it builds up a shader cache.

The new update for Portal lists that it "Added DXVK cache priming for the Steam Deck", which should reduce any stuttering to a minimum for Steam Deck. You can use DXVK to get Vulkan on a Linux desktop too if you run "-vulkan" as a launch option.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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4 comments

soulsource 14 Apr
I cannot imagine that Portal would have performance problems on the SteamDeck when using OpenGL. Is using Vulkan just a battery usage optimization?


Last edited by soulsource on 14 April 2022 at 3:17 pm UTC
ridge 14 Apr
Quoting: soulsourceI cannot imagine that Portal would have performance problems on the SteamDeck when using OpenGL. Is using Vulkan just a battery usage optimization?

AFAIK, before it was updated to use Vulkan, it was using ToGL; Direct3D to OpenGL layer.
I don't think it stuttered as much with ToGL, but performance and battery life should be improved with Vulkan as long as the shader cache is built. Basically a necessary evil, and now that the shaders can be built before the game is launched, it's just a big win win.
soulsource 15 Apr
Quoting: ridge
Quoting: soulsourceI cannot imagine that Portal would have performance problems on the SteamDeck when using OpenGL. Is using Vulkan just a battery usage optimization?

AFAIK, before it was updated to use Vulkan, it was using ToGL; Direct3D to OpenGL layer.
I don't think it stuttered as much with ToGL, but performance and battery life should be improved with Vulkan as long as the shader cache is built. Basically a necessary evil, and now that the shaders can be built before the game is launched, it's just a big win win.

Oh, I wasn't aware that the OpenGL rendering didn't have a dedicated backend in the engine.
MayeulC 15 Apr
Hmm, I didn't find the releases notes, but that sounds like a vulkan pipeline cache, mostly, not a shader cache. It could also be indexing vulkan shaders according to their DX conterparts, to avoid a first DXIL (IIRC) to SPIR-V pass.

AFAIK, actually caching *vulkan* shaders should be automatic.
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