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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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Ardje 5 April 2017 at 10:57 am UTC
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liamdaweIt's hard to hit Windows levels with games that were never designed with Linux or anything but DirectX in mind.
The biggest thing Linux excels in (according to a windows game player/linux for work user) is disk I/O. He said that pressing quicksave is not noticable on linux (using wine), while on windows the whole system freezes during the save.
All my encounters with windows confirm this: disk I/O, swap and network I/O is what linux excels in. Any windows virtual machine on a linux system (using KVM) is also pretty fast. Windows native usually needs a few gig's extra RAM to cope with bad design.
The bad swapping behaviour can be handy in loading. Although a good mmap should work wonders.
Mohandevir 5 April 2017 at 4:15 pm UTC
MaCroX95I'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

I see something taking shape here...

Speculation alert!

Vulkan becomes the defacto solution giving Linux a lot more support from game studios and modern i3 cpus able to handle older titles... We will see a new generation of i3 gaming rigs thus lowering the costs and giving better competition to traditional consoles... Linux SteamVR in thee pipeline... Steam Machine 2.0 confirmed!

Just the wishfull thinking of a Linux fanboy.
edddeduck_feral 5 April 2017 at 4:17 pm UTC
MohandevirWe will see a new generation of i3 gaming rigs thus lowering the costs and giving better competition to traditional consoles

Or (more likely?) developers will think we have all these unused CPU cycles now, lets increase the complexity and make use of them! ;) History shows if you have spare cycles people don't make lower powered devices they make more complex games


Last edited by edddeduck_feral on 5 April 2017 at 4:20 pm UTC
Mohandevir 5 April 2017 at 4:20 pm UTC
edddeduck_feral
MohandevirWe will see a new generation of i3 gaming rigs thus lowering the costs and giving better competition to traditional consoles

Or (more likely?) developers will think we have all these unused CPU cycles now lets push up the complexity some more make use of them! ;) History shows is you have spare cycles people don't make lower powered devices they make more complex games

For sure, but isn't it going to be handled by the gpu?

I see some kind of Nvidia Tegra (Nintendo switch, Nvidia Shield) pattern being replicated in the PC space, in that case. Big GPU, small cpu.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 5 April 2017 at 4:22 pm UTC
Eike 5 April 2017 at 4:22 pm UTC
edddeduck_feralOr (more likely?) developers will think we have all these unused CPU cycles now, lets increase the complexity and make use of them! ;) History shows if you have spare cycles people don't make lower powered devices they make more complex games

... or just less optimization.
edddeduck_feral 5 April 2017 at 4:25 pm UTC
Mohandevir
edddeduck_feral
MohandevirWe will see a new generation of i3 gaming rigs thus lowering the costs and giving better competition to traditional consoles

Or (more likely?) developers will think we have all these unused CPU cycles now lets push up the complexity some more make use of them! ;) History shows is you have spare cycles people don't make lower powered devices they make more complex games

For sure, but isn't it going to be handled by the gpu?

If you have lots of free resources you can always find something for them to do. I also guess the point is games don't ever go backwards in terms of resource demands only forwards. Finally i3 CPUs are already underpowered for certain games (even with Vulkan) so I can't see low powered CPUs suddenly playing high end games at high settings. It will make certain games with certain limitations more playable but it won't suddenly change everything and make an i3 a gaming CPU. The lack of cores for one is a big factor on i3 CPUs.
Mohandevir 5 April 2017 at 4:34 pm UTC
edddeduck_feral
Mohandevir
edddeduck_feral
MohandevirWe will see a new generation of i3 gaming rigs thus lowering the costs and giving better competition to traditional consoles

Or (more likely?) developers will think we have all these unused CPU cycles now lets push up the complexity some more make use of them! ;) History shows is you have spare cycles people don't make lower powered devices they make more complex games

For sure, but isn't it going to be handled by the gpu?

If you have lots of free resources you can always find something for them to do. I also guess the point is games don't ever go backwards in terms of resource demands only forwards. Finally i3 CPUs are already underpowered for certain games (even with Vulkan) so I can't see low powered CPUs suddenly playing high end games at high settings. It will make certain games with certain limitations more playable but it won't suddenly change everything and make an i3 a gaming CPU. The lack of cores for one is a big factor on i3 CPUs.

Thanks for your insight.

Still the Mad Max experience seem to demonstrate that lower end cpu gains a lot more from Vulkan than i7 cpus. I'm not saying that i3s are going to dethrone i5 or i7. I just think that it will make them valuable entry gaming rigs when it was nearly unplayable not log ago. Also, I have in mind the i3-7320 or i3-7350k and futur iterations with High clock frequencies.

But I'm probably wrong.
edddeduck_feral 5 April 2017 at 4:39 pm UTC
MohandevirThanks for your insight.

Still the Mad Max experience seem to demonstrate that lower end cpu gains a lot more from Vulkan than i7 cpus. I'm not saying that i3s are going to dethrone i5 or i7. I just think that it will make them valuable entry gaming rigs when it was nearly unplayable not log ago.

It'll certainly help for quite a few games.

MohandevirAlso, I have in mind the i3-7320 or i3-7350k and futur iterations with High clock frequencies.

But I'm probably wrong.

We'll see I'm just guessing too. Check back in a year and you can tell me if you were right
Mohandevir 5 April 2017 at 4:42 pm UTC
edddeduck_feral
MohandevirThanks for your insight.

Still the Mad Max experience seem to demonstrate that lower end cpu gains a lot more from Vulkan than i7 cpus. I'm not saying that i3s are going to dethrone i5 or i7. I just think that it will make them valuable entry gaming rigs when it was nearly unplayable not log ago.

It'll certainly help for quite a few games.

MohandevirAlso, I have in mind the i3-7320 or i3-7350k and futur iterations with High clock frequencies.

But I'm probably wrong.

We'll see I'm just guessing too. Check back in a year and you can tell me if you were right

Lol!

That's why I wrote: "Speculation Alert!"

Thanks, I totally respect your inputs, you have much more knowledge than I do about game development.

Edit: Btw, keep doing your awesome work! With the exception of strategy games, I bought all the one you ported. The next and only one on my wishlist, atm, is Dirt Rally. It's just a matter of time. My backlog is full! #Thumbsup.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 5 April 2017 at 5:03 pm UTC
OlliC 5 April 2017 at 5:07 pm UTC
I was wondering why there was still one core with 100% on Vulkan. That explains it.
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