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OpenGL vs Vulkan in Mad Max, re-tested

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Since Feral Interactive have fixed up the OpenGL renderer in the Mad Max [Steam] Beta, here are some fresh OpenGL vs Vulkan tests.

I already cleared up the issue before and included some manual testing, see here.

These new tests are re-done using their benchmark feature, which is unique to the Linux version. This should now give a much more accurate look at how OpenGL fares against Vulkan in some heavy areas of the game.

Also, Feral have now made public how they have worked around a Linux performance issue. You might remember my post about tuning your CPU performance governor for Vulkan games, well this is partly where that came from (as well as Serious Sam). Essentially, to prevent the CPU performance being reduced due to less CPU use with Vulkan, Feral are spinning their rendering thread while waiting for the GPU (see here).

Benchmarks
OpenGL Vulkan Mad Max - Camp - Hollow Point (redone)Antergos Linux, 1080p, i7 5960x, 980ti NormalHighVery High Vulkan 241OpenGL 225Vulkan 171OpenGL 148Vulkan 136OpenGL 121 241225171148136121 04998147196245 Average FPS

Here we have a performance difference of between (approx) +6% to +15% when using Vulkan.

OpenGL Vulkan Mad Max - Stronghold – Tyrant’s Lash (redone)Antergos Linux, 1080p, i7 5960x, 980ti NormalHighVery High OpenGL 96Vulkan 77Vulkan 70OpenGL 48Vulkan 60OpenGL 43 967770486043 020406080100 Average FPS

Here we have a performance difference of between (approx) -20% to +45% when using Vulkan. Looks like there's an odd issue with Vulkan performance there, but I'm not the only one who has seen Vulkan sometimes do a little worse.

OpenGL Vulkan Cutscene - Hope, Glory, and Dog is Dead (redone)Antergos Linux, 1080p, i7 5960x, 980ti NormalHighVery High Vulkan 253OpenGL 228Vulkan 161OpenGL 149Vulkan 135OpenGL 131 253228161149135131 051102153204255 Average FPS

Here we have a performance difference of between (approx) +3% to +11% when using Vulkan.

OpenGL Vulkan Cutscene - Landmover (redone)Antergos Linux, 1080p, i7 5960x, 980ti NormalHighVery High Vulkan 277OpenGL 260Vulkan 180OpenGL 170Vulkan 155OpenGL 153 277260180170155153 056112168224280 Average FPS

Here we have a performance difference of between (approx) +1% to +6% when using Vulkan.

Some thoughts: A fair amount of their time during the Beta so far has likely been spent fixing up the regressed OpenGL side and when taking into consideration Vulkan is considered "Beta", it's likely Feral has optimizations left to do with Vulkan.

You might not think much of a 5% increase, but for people on lower-end hardware a 5% increase can mean a world of difference. I've seen a few people on GOL and Reddit say Vulkan has made it go from sluggish to smooth, which is a clear win.

We also have to consider that the OpenGL renderer in the Mad Max beta has also seen some optimizations since the original release. The original release doesn't have the benchmark mode, so we can't test that in the same way along side the beta.

Then there's also the drivers, Vulkan drivers are new and evolving and likely have their own sets of issues to be fixed. Some of which could affect performance. Sure Vulkan is supposed to have smaller drivers, but with so few Vulkan games out no driver has truly been tested.

Be sure to share your latest results in the comments, I'm keen to see what it's like on your systems too.

Finally, Feral are keen for feedback, email them direct here: vulkanfeedback@feralinteractive.com Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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49 comments
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jsa1983 5 April 2017 at 7:41 am UTC
fagnerlnYou can't measure a CPU overhead with an i7.

That's the point. The CPUs used in the testing seem quite beefy. I myself have noticed frame rate improvement and much more smoothness with a AMD FX 8370 (low single core performance). I haven't tested the fixed OpenGL of the beta, but will do once I get some free time.
MaCroX95 5 April 2017 at 8:10 am UTC
I'd like to confirm that on i5 6600 with gtx 970, the performance gain is enormous, from like 55-60 fps on OpenGL (original 1.0) on a very high preset to a constant 90+ fps which almost catches up with the dx11 version performance (approximately 105fps on average)

So in other words, worse the CPU, bigger the gain from vulkan


Last edited by MaCroX95 on 5 April 2017 at 8:12 am UTC
Kuduzkehpan 5 April 2017 at 8:16 am UTC
keep in mind beta stage of vulkan drivers and unmature vulkan coding + porting from directx codebase
this resaults are promising for future. just think about native vulkan coding and resaults.
it will be amazing.
elmapul 5 April 2017 at 9:28 am UTC
liamdaweIt's hard to hit Windows levels with games that were never designed with Linux or anything but DirectX in mind.
i know this, but the reasons dont matter, what matter is the facts.
linux is better, that is a fact, but the games run worse on it because porting without an major shift in the code (like rewrite from scratch in gl) will cost performance.
the end user will not care the reason the game run slow, if he can play the game on windows and cant on linux he will blame the system, or even if he understand, he will not use it.

gamecube was more powerfull than ps2, that didn't matter because ps2 got all the 3rd party games.
its very unlikely some one will give up on windows for linux or even dualboot, if they have 0 reasons to do it.

liamdaweAny work they do on their Vulkan rendering will get it ready for future ports I'm sure.
i understand what you mean, you mean those parsers that translate Dx into Vulkan (like indirectX that translate Dx to GL, or rewriters...)
i dont know how feral do their job, maybe they can comment on it.
i hope you're right.

i guess they use some kind of auto translation tool, then futher improve it by tweeking the code by hand, starting by profiling it to see what functions take more time to complete or run more often...
elmapul 5 April 2017 at 9:37 am UTC
dubigrasuHm, the old OpenGL version is still faster than the new one, and in some places faster than Vulkan.
you can drive at 50Mp/h (80hm/h) to go faster.
/joke

GuestAs with Rise of the Tomb Raider on DX12, the difference is not going to be as noticeable on brute-force CPUs or GPUs as it is with older, lower-performing multi-cores.
we dont have rise of tombraider, we have tombraider 2013.
elmapul 5 April 2017 at 9:38 am UTC
ajgpIt would be nice to see the same benchmarks for a system with a less powerful CPU. No offence to Liam here the benchmarks are nice to see but his CPU is a beefy one and thus was probably less affected by the CPU bound issue when using OpenGL than someone using an i5 say, I think that could show even better gains as the benefit will release the GPU more from bottlenecks.
so you can donate am weak cpu to liam, so he can test it...
Tuxee 5 April 2017 at 9:57 am UTC
elmapulthis improvment is not enough to make the performance better than windows, so no one will install linux just to play an game that he/she cant play on windows due to weak hardware.

and feral could have spent this time porting other games, sure, it cost more, but they will not make many extra sales from improving the performance on this one, porting others they will...

I'm pretty sure that Feral people are smart enough to decide what to do next for themselves. If I was in Feral's position this patronizing would drive me mad.
Tuxee 5 April 2017 at 10:07 am UTC
elmapul
liamdaweIt's hard to hit Windows levels with games that were never designed with Linux or anything but DirectX in mind.
i know this, but the reasons dont matter, what matter is the facts.
Facts stained posting incoming...

Quotelinux is better, that is a fact, but the games run worse on it because porting without an major shift in the code (like rewrite from scratch in gl) will cost performance.
the end user will not care the reason the game run slow, if he can play the game on windows and cant on linux he will blame the system, or even if he understand, he will not use it.

And your point is? What do you expect? There is a certain market share of people who (solely) use Linux for whatever reason (attitude, ecosystem, tools, tasks, ...) Quite a few people also like to play games. They are served. Period. I don't expect people to switch to Linux because here "the games run just as fast as on Windows". The vendor lock-in is impossible to break for an open source operating system. (That doesn't mean a desktop OS can not successfully replaced by OSes on other devices - see Android.)
Eike 5 April 2017 at 10:15 am UTC
TuxeeAnd your point is? What do you expect?

It would be nice to have new reasons to switch to Linux to show to Windows users.
MaCroX95 5 April 2017 at 10:50 am UTC
TuxeeAnd your point is? What do you expect? There is a certain market share of people who (solely) use Linux for whatever reason (attitude, ecosystem, tools, tasks, ...) Quite a few people also like to play games. They are served. Period. I don't expect people to switch to Linux because here "the games run just as fast as on Windows". The vendor lock-in is impossible to break for an open source operating system. (That doesn't mean a desktop OS can not successfully replaced by OSes on other devices - see Android.)

None of the things that you mentioned drives me to use linux... it's just that there is no better alternative on the market, Windows 10 and all its' bad aspects like privacy concerns, closing things up, consolizing PC gaming and service OS is the future of Windows which is incredibly dangerous for users because MS can do anything with it once they get the marketshare... who knows push their Store even further, push proprietary standards and DX12, push their own shitty ecosystem (like Skype, OneDrive, Bing...), mess with your computer settings without your knowledge with ads and similar and users can literally do nothing but watch when it is too late. MS has lately become that one company without which computing would be a better place, instead of making it better they actually started holding things back just to keep their monopoly and expand their ecosystem.

Having that said it is important for Feral, Valve, Aspyr and other companies that develop software to embrace open standards, to prove people that Vulkan can be compared to DX12 and embrace the cross-platform availibility because Windows users do need a backup plan if things get too messy there just like I needed it back when I switched to linux (things were a lot buggier then though, now things are getting pretty serious and stable). And there is no better place where to embrace the open standards than linux, because it is beyond MS's reach.
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