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In an effort to make things as clear as possible, I decided to do some additional testing with Mad Max [Steam, Feral Store]. More specifically, in OpenGL for Mad Max at release vs the beta.

This is important, since our previous benchmarks (and every other website and person who ran benchmarks) will be affected by this.

Why was this not tested before? Well, we weren't made aware of any changes to the OpenGL renderer in Mad Max. There should have been no need to do tests like this since the whole idea behind the Beta was to test Vulkan specifically, but hopefully this will help clear things up a bit.

I ran some of my own tests using GLXOSD's benchmarking tool coupled with my speedy SSD on the Very High preset (with no extra game adjustments) and here's what I found. The results, sadly, speak for themselves. Done in two completely different areas to be sure it wasn't a fluke.

OpenGL 1.0 OpenGL Beta Vulkan Mad Max Stable vs Beta - Outer GravesAntergos Linux, 1080p, i7 5960x, 980ti Very High Vulkan 126OpenGL 1.0 110OpenGL Beta 49 12611049 0265278104130 Average FPS

OpenGL 1.0 OpenGL Beta Vulkan Mad Max Stable vs Beta - The Big NothingAntergos Linux, 1080p, i7 5960x, 980ti Very High Vulkan 145OpenGL 1.0 129OpenGL Beta 68 14512968 0295887116145 Average FPS


As always, benchmarks should always be taken with a grain of salt. It will depend heavily on your system setup. Not just hardware, but the exact distro and libs you have too all affect the numbers.

This was tricky to do, since the Beta version does have other issues with OpenGL, which is in the form of crash bugs. I've had a few crashes I've reported to Feral in the beta version when using OpenGL, so hopefully those can also get fixed. It's also tricky since the original release didn't feature a benchmark mode, so it had to all be done manually.

The good news is that Feral Interactive are aware of it, so they can look to fix it. The other good news, is that Vulkan is still performing better than both versions of the game when using OpenGL.

This regression might also be affecting the Vulkan renderer, so it's possible when fixed both the OpenGL and Vulkan versions could see a boost, although the OpenGL boost would likely only be putting it back to normal levels.

Finally, something to remember: This is exactly what a Beta test is for. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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28 comments
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Eike 31 March 2017 at 7:45 pm UTC
I fear these are more realistic numbers. Would be happy to be wrong, of course. I think we can be happy when Mad Max runs without its frame rate drops and in weaker processors.
Kohrias 31 March 2017 at 7:47 pm UTC
For me the performance increase OpenGL vs Vulkan was definitely a lot more significant. I'd still say it probably doubled or more. Maybe it is because I have quite low single-core performance with my AMD CPU.
rustybroomhandle 31 March 2017 at 8:12 pm UTC
I am running Manjaro and have noticed on kernel 4.9 this game stutters terribly, with frame rate wildly fluctuating. I booted up with kernel 4.5 and all of a sudden it's smoother than suppository dipped in Vaseline.
dmantione 31 March 2017 at 8:15 pm UTC
We also have to keep in mind that benchmarks are often run with fast CPUs. Vulkans brings more than just fps: It significantly decreases the load on the CPU, and therefore the system requirements on the CPU side. Feral games have high CPU requirements, in case of Mad Max lists 3.4 GHz as a minimum, which is really high. As the CPU load is now significantly lower with Vulkan, the game should run with a lower CPU.

And because the CPU in the average PC is a lot weaker than the CPU in the average benchmark, I expect the user benefit to be much more significant than the few fps difference that the benchmarks are showing us.


Last edited by dmantione on 31 March 2017 at 8:15 pm UTC
natewardawg 31 March 2017 at 8:18 pm UTC
Which benchmarking expert was it on the BSD Now show that said something to the affect of, "The first thing to remember about benchmarks is that your benchmarks are incorrect"

I did a little bit of [informal] testing on this as well. My Bonobo Extreme laptop has the following specs for my testing.

1920x1080
Normal quality
i7-4810MQ Quad Core @ 2.8 GHz
GTX 860M 4GB

I concluded my results by staring at Steam's FPS counter, haha

Stable branch:
~20-22 FPS OpenGL

Beta branch:
~15-17 FPS OpenGL
~25-30 FPS Vulkan

So on this particular machine, regardless of this regression, it changed Mad Max from being a noticeably unplayable experience under OpenGL to being a noticeably playable one under Vulkan.

I will eventually (tonight?) test the same thing with my i7-6700K with a 960 GTX.


Last edited by natewardawg on 31 March 2017 at 8:19 pm UTC
aFoxNamedMorris 31 March 2017 at 8:20 pm UTC
I think it's worth mentioning that Mad Max's Vulkan backend is in beta. Feral is likely to keep tweaking and eking out as much performance as they can. Give it time.
Mountain Man 31 March 2017 at 8:28 pm UTC
As someone pointed out on reddit, are we sure there's not a bug that is affecting both OpenGL and Vulkan to the same degree?

But anyway, it's a beta build, so the kinks will undoubtedly be ironed out as development moves forward.
Adam_eM 31 March 2017 at 8:32 pm UTC
I am generally experiencing some significant frame skips in Mad Max just recently, but it was ok earlier. It's worth to mention however, but the game performance seems far better when using Vulkan. Oh by the way, do you know any applications that can show FPS'es and stuff while running a game? I know of GLXOSD but it doesn't show any output when running the Vulkan beta. And also, it seems to stuck on 60fpses in any game.
EzyRhino 31 March 2017 at 8:51 pm UTC
rustybroomhandleI am running Manjaro and have noticed on kernel 4.9 this game stutters terribly, with frame rate wildly fluctuating. I booted up with kernel 4.5 and all of a sudden it's smoother than suppository dipped in Vaseline.

Spoken like someone who knows what he's talking about!
Liam Dawe 31 March 2017 at 8:52 pm UTC
rustybroomhandleI am running Manjaro and have noticed on kernel 4.9 this game stutters terribly, with frame rate wildly fluctuating. I booted up with kernel 4.5 and all of a sudden it's smoother than suppository dipped in Vaseline.
Is that with OpenGL or Vulkan, likely related to this if it's Vulkan.
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