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Nintendo 3DS emulator Citra adds Vulkan support

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Nintendo 3DS emulation is about to get a whole lot better, as Citra now has Vulkan support bringing better performance for players. This follows on from the devs teasing Vulkan back in an earlier progress report in March.

Joining many other emulators in modernising their rendering systems like Dolphin, Ryujinx, RPCS3 and yuzu. In the announcement they showed the difference with an Intel Core i3-1005G1 going from 75FPS to 115FPS. It's currently in their nightly releases and will eventually be in their main downloads.

Pictured - Super Mario 3D Land

This brings with it improved Android support, support on macOS once again thanks to translation to Metal via MoltenVK, users on older AMD GPUs and more.

Since it's still early days though, it won't be anywhere close to perfect so you should expect to see issues. They have a few noted things to be aware of:

  • Do not expect Vulkan to fix old emulation bugs that are not related to graphics or rendering.
  • Do not expect Vulkan to render games correctly that our OpenGL backend does not render correctly. Aside from OpenGL or Vulkan driver bugs, switching between the APIs shouldn’t show any visual difference. If that is the case for you, please report this to us!
  • Do not expect Vulkan to be an improvement over OpenGL in every aspect, on every device. Whilst Vulkan provides better performance than OpenGL in most cases, that is not always the case.
  • As of writing, Vulkan does not have full feature parity with our OpenGL backend. We will list some of the missing features below.
  • Whilst Vulkan currently has a disk pipeline cache, as well as runtime shader caching, an actual Disk Shader Cache for it is not yet implemented. As such, you may still experience some shader stutter at the start of each session until that is properly implemented.
  • Recording your gameplay using Video Dumping is not yet implemented.
  • Texture Filtering and Post-Processing Shaders are not yet implemented.

Nice to see more projects pick up Vulkan support, should keep it running nicely into the future. Especially when they add in all the features, the performance should be great.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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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. Find me on Mastodon.
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3 comments

MaCroX95 Sep 18, 2023
This is much bigger than it looks! Not only does it translate to better performance across all devices but indirectly also offers better battery life for Steam Deck 3DS players as it strains the hardware less. Great work Citra team!
legluondunet Sep 19, 2023
Very nice emulator!
mrdeathjr Sep 19, 2023
At simple seek in my tests run similar (use 3x native resolution aka 1200x720)

OpenGL



Vulkan






Last edited by mrdeathjr on 19 September 2023 at 11:56 pm UTC
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