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Please Note: The benchmarks were re-done here, as Feral had an OpenGL performance regression which caused Vulkan to look at lot better than it was.

Mad Max [Feral Store, Steam] from Feral Interactive has been updated with a public beta as the Linux version is now able to use Vulkan and it brings some mighty performance changes.

Note: The beta does not support SteamOS currently, only normal desktop Linux distributions. Vulkan is only available in the Linux version, it is not in the Windows version.

To access the Beta, you need the password "livelongandprosper". Enter that into the games Betas tab on Steam to get in on the action. Once done, select "vulkan_beta." to update to it. See more info on this post from Feral.

First up, here’s a small comparison video that shows the very clear difference (Very High preset):
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This is one of the few areas in the game where you can basically guarantee all affects (weather, AI) being the same. So it’s a good point to compare for a video.

I’ve tested it out myself privately before release and I’m really impressed with the difference it makes. It’s night and day in some areas the performance jump is quite impressive! Every part of the game feels massively smoother. I didn’t notice it before, but in the OpenGL version even moving the camera is slower than in the Vulkan version.

Places that previously dropped to 60FPS and below have been sailing at over 100FPS for me, keeping the action amazingly smooth. This is especially important for all the car chases and general combat on foot, previously some of the battles were a real struggle, but now it’s effortless.

You can turn Vulkan off to go back to OpenGL using the "Use Vulkan" tickbox in the Advanced section of the Feral launcher. I'm impressed by how solid the switching is after going back and forth too many times to count I haven't had an issue.

Note: If you turned off the Feral launcher, you can bring it back by holding down CTRL while it loads.

Here’s a few random screenshots showing again how the performance really is different (OpenGL left, Vulkan right - noted in each picture).
As you can see, no matter the area, weather, lighting and so on Vulkan destroys OpenGL in Mad Max.

Driver support: It works across NVIDIA, AMD and Intel, but there are some specific bits to be aware of. You can read about them on this post from Feral.

I should note, that the amount of difference you see will of course depend on what CPU and GPU combination you have. Lower-end CPU/GPU combinations will still see an improvement, but it likely won’t be as drastic as what I see here.

New benchmark mode
Feral have also put in a benchmark mode for the Linux version, which you can access by doing “--feral-benchmark” in their advanced launcher options. It will take whatever your in-game settings are for the benchmark. This is a unique feature for the Linux version, as the Windows version does not have a proper benchmark mode.

Warning: If you plan to play it through, you should be aware the benchmark uses cut-scenes from late in the game and may spoil a scene or two for you.

You will find the benchmark output in time and dated folders inside ”.local/share/feral-interactive/Mad Max/VFS/User/AppData/Roaming/WB Games/Mad Max/FeralBenchmark”.

Each single run of the benchmark takes about five minutes, so you might want to go make a coffee while it runs.

These benchmarks show how some of the worst performing parts of the game perform differently on Vulkan. Not all of the game will see such an increase.
OpenGL Vulkan Mad Max: Camp - Hollow PointAntergos Linux, 1080p, i7 5960x, 980ti NormalHighVery High Vulkan 239OpenGL 113Vulkan 162OpenGL 65Vulkan 145OpenGL 47 2391131626514547 04896144192240 Average FPS

OpenGL Vulkan Mad Max: Stronghold – Tyrant’s LashAntergos Linux, 1080p, i7 5960x, 980ti NormalHighVery High Vulkan 79OpenGL 50Vulkan 68OpenGL 35Vulkan 59OpenGL 34 795068355934 01632486480 Average FPS

OpenGL Vulkan Mad Max: Cutscene - Hope, Glory, and Dog is DeadAntergos Linux, 1080p, i7 5960x, 980ti NormalHighVery High Vulkan 254OpenGL 74Vulkan 153OpenGL 57Vulkan 130OpenGL 50 254741535713050 051102153204255 Average FPS

OpenGL Vulkan Cutscene - LandmoverAntergos Linux, 1080p, i7 5960x, 980ti NormalHighVery High Vulkan 271OpenGL 89Vulkan 168OpenGL 65Vulkan 146OpenGL 58 271891686514658 055110165220275 Average FPS

This isn’t just showing the power of Vulkan, this is also showing the level of commitment Feral Interactive have for their Linux ports overall. I continue to respect the work they do in bringing games to Linux, supporting and sending in patches to Mesa and giving me fantastic games to play. Not only that, but updating their games to use the Vulkan API is obviously extremely welcome. Article taken from
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STiAT Mar 30, 2017
Requires latest Mesa 17.1-dev (as of this post) compiled with Vulkan support.

Nej. Need to update Mesa :D. For my GPU/CPU combination it's playable, but really hard dropping in some areas where you get stuttering. If just that goes away it would be so great.

Last edited by STiAT on 30 March 2017 at 2:09 pm UTC
Leopard Mar 30, 2017
Whoa,i was expecting that Vulkan update to Deus Ex MD but Feral done good job what i understand from your charts
Eike Mar 30, 2017
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I love that Feral has got its hands wet on Vulkan, which is very good news for future ports.
Max Max with its frae drops is a title (not the only one, though :) ) that for sure can benefit.
The performance numbers are huge!
Citiroller Mar 30, 2017
Great Job Feral, can't wait to see Vulkan on other Feral titles in action too :D
FredO Mar 30, 2017
The future is here! I will give this a test drive soon - I'm very excited about the possibilities here, especially after the impressive improvements I got with the Talos Principle.

Edit: Here are my results on very high - just crazy:

Camp - Hollow Point: 46.82
Stronghold - Tyrant's Lash: 26.56
Cutscene - Hope, Glory, and Dog is Dead: 62.55
Cutscene - Landmover: 68.71

Camp - Hollow Point: 138.33
Stronghold - Tyrant's Lash: 58.95
Cutscene - Hope, Glory, and Dog is Dead: 135.73
Cutscene - Landmover: 151.14

Edit: GPU load:
OpenGL between 40-55%
Vulkan: 100% baby!

Last edited by FredO on 30 March 2017 at 4:52 pm UTC
ogon_bat Mar 30, 2017
Best news ever! I'm just playing this game in OpenGL and suffering some frame drops here and there with a GTX 970... Can't wait to see the difference!
Citiroller Mar 30, 2017
It would be nice to see how it compares to the Windows version of the game as this doesn't have Vulkan or dx12 I think. So this might finally be a(nother) game which performs better on Linux than on Windows?
m0nt3 Mar 30, 2017
Everything needs the vulkan. There were some spots I would get into the low 20's. This game should be awesome now. Glad I waited to beat it. It is now next on my list. Hopefully Deus Ex would be next.
Corben Mar 30, 2017
Am I right and this is a Linux exclusive? Like, there is no Vulkan version of Mad Max on Windows?
Faattori Mar 30, 2017
Those FPS gains look just plain ridiculous.
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