Developer Faith Ekstrand has given a holiday update on the state of NVK, the unofficial open source NVIDIA Vulkan driver and how it's coming along that's worth a read as it's all quite exciting.
The progress on it has been quite ridiculous! At the end of 2022 they had a bare-bones Vulkan 1.0 implementation that only ran a few demos. Now a year later, not only does it have support for around 80 Vulkan extensions and major features but it also support nearly everything needed by DXVK and Zink.
How's performance? Ekstrand mentioned now there's "proper power management and performance improvements in NVK" they can hit around 40-60% of NVIDIA's proprietary driver in "several games". Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais also recently put up a post on X (formerly Twitter) recently noting:
Decided to try it.. Hat in Time 1080p, Very High, VSync OFF. NVK is vulkan-nouveau-git gddf2ca4, on kernel 6.7.0-rc5-1-mainline. Blob is 545.29.06. 3995WX+RTX3090. Proton Experimental.
Cpu-bound, but still :-)
What's to come in 2024 for the NVK driver? Get it bumped up to Vulkan 1.3 support and eventually pass conformance which should happen in the first part of the year. This involves a rewrite of the pipeline code and implementing the VK_EXT_shader_object extension, which should bring the driver out of Beta so that distributions can ship NVK by default. Sounds like everything it needs will be ready in Linux kernel 6.7 and potentially in the Fedora 40 release.
After that getting everything hooked up to support VKD3D-Proton, more focus on performance. As Ekstrand said "If 2023 was about making games playable, 2024 will be about making games fast.".
And of course more GPU support too as work continues on Maxwell GPUs. Full article here.