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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.
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The comments on this article are closed.
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musojon74 30 March 2017 at 7:46 pm UTC
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Feral, you guys are amazing. :-)
1xok 30 March 2017 at 7:54 pm UTC
Happy to have payed full price for this game.

This are amazing news, Liam. I just started the game. Can not wait to play it again. Unfortunately, just no time. But that will be streamed next.

The performance of DiRT Rally was already impressive. Feral is getting better and better.

I think it absolutely great that Feral is also concerned about already published games. They already fixed problems with Shadow of Mordor. But this is now again a completely different category. Vulkan support for Mad Max. Who would have thought of that?

What can I say, it is a pleasure to play with Feral.

Last edited by 1xok at 30 March 2017 at 9:24 pm UTC
Power-Metal-Games 30 March 2017 at 7:56 pm UTC
Feral guys, you are writing history
crt0mega 30 March 2017 at 8:07 pm UTC
Me, looking at these results:
That's just ... crazy! Holy sh*t!
natewardawg 30 March 2017 at 8:11 pm UTC
Does anyone else remember just a couple of months ago when this list only had three games on Vulkan? Dota 2, Doom and The Talos Principle?

There are now 12 games on the list with a current working Vulkan implementation:

DirectX12, despite being released nearly 2 years ago still only has 20 games on the list:

The thing that strikes me is that many of the Vulkan ports are in beta, which as a developer says to me, "We really care about quality and feedback and want to give as good of an official release (first impression) as possible."
Redje 30 March 2017 at 8:15 pm UTC
I have tested this on my system:
This are the results for me with nvidia 760 card and driver 378.13
Hollow Point: 67,66FPS openGL - 118,41FPS vulkan + 75,01%
Stronghold : 30,91FPS openGL - 73,49FPS vulkan +137,75%
Hope, Glory : 70,43FPS openGL - 103,44FPS vulkan + 46,87%
Landmover : 89,35FPS openGL - 126,95FPS vulkan + 42,08%

So far the game seems stable for me.

Thanks you Feral!
Luke_Nukem 30 March 2017 at 8:20 pm UTC
SkiskiI just tried the game last week and my CPU (i5-2400 3.1GHz) can't handle the game. It was between 10 and 30 FPS. Could vulkan help the CPU and use more the GPU? Because my GTX 960 is more than enough for this game.

Err, I played the whole game through on an i3-6100 + GTX950. On openGL, never an issue.
Are you using the proprietary drivers?
nocri 30 March 2017 at 8:23 pm UTC
Ok, I was not going to buy this, as it doesn't look like my kind of game... But damn! These are some impressive results, so just to say thank you for the effort -- it is in the basket
Salvatos 30 March 2017 at 8:28 pm UTC
SkiskiI just tried the game last week and my CPU (i5-2400 3.1GHz) can't handle the game. It was between 10 and 30 FPS. Could vulkan help the CPU and use more the GPU? Because my GTX 960 is more than enough for this game.

Err, I played the whole game through on an i3-6100 + GTX950. On openGL, never an issue.
Are you using the proprietary drivers?
Wouldn't a sixth-generation i3 fare better than a second-generation i5 with a CPU-bound game?
khalismur 30 March 2017 at 8:34 pm UTC
My laptop can't handle it well and I'm not so interested in the game. But I have to say: "Bravo"! Purchased the game and will clock a few hours to trully count as a Linux sale to support you guys. Keep'em coming..
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