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Valve just recently published a new Steam beta, and they have fixed up the Steam Overlay rendering issue that was causing it to bring down Vulkan performance.

I've run some fresh tests as requested on my Nvidia 980ti to show you the difference now with the Steam Overlay on and being used (FPS counter) vs before.

You can click the spoiler tags to expand the full output if that tickles your fancy.

Just Vulkan

All together
You can see Valve has made the Steam Overlay not impact performance really at all, so that's fantastic news. This is great, as when more games begin to use Vulkan there shouldn't be issues like this (hopefully).

The OpenGL performance has stayed the same as there wasn't really an issue with the Steam Overlay and OpenGL.


Vulkan Average: 112.5 FPS (before it was 75.1 FPS)
Spoiler, click me
20:56:53 INF: Gfx API: Vulkan
20:56:53 INF: Duration: 60.0 seconds (6747 frames)
20:56:53 INF: Average: 112.5 FPS (113.8 w/o extremes)
20:56:53 INF: Extremes: 267.8 max, 20.9 min
20:56:53 INF: Sections: AI=6%, physics=2%, sound=1%, scene=70%, shadows=13%, misc=7%
20:56:53 INF: Highs: 612 in 4.3 seconds (141.5 FPS)
20:56:53 INF: Lows: 743 in 8.3 seconds (89.8 FPS)
20:56:53 INF: > 60 FPS: 100%

OpenGL Average: 91.8 FPS
Spoiler, click me
20:28:12 INF: Gfx API: OpenGL
20:28:12 INF: Duration: 59.3 seconds (5444 frames)
20:28:12 INF: Average: 91.8 FPS (100.7 w/o extremes)
20:28:12 INF: Extremes: 226.5 max, 4.5 min
20:28:12 INF: Sections: AI=5%, physics=2%, sound=1%, scene=70%, shadows=16%, misc=6%
20:28:12 INF: Lows: 352 in 8.8 seconds (40.2 FPS)
20:28:12 INF: 30-60 FPS: 7%
20:28:12 INF: > 60 FPS: 92%


Vulkan Average: 136.4 FPS (before it was 82.7 FPS)
Spoiler, click me
20:43:11 INF: Gfx API: Vulkan
20:43:11 INF: Duration: 60.0 seconds (8186 frames)
20:43:11 INF: Average: 136.4 FPS (138.9 w/o extremes)
20:43:11 INF: Extremes: 261.2 max, 29.5 min
20:43:11 INF: Sections: AI=7%, physics=2%, sound=1%, scene=66%, shadows=15%, misc=9%
20:43:11 INF: Highs: 942 in 5.6 seconds (167.2 FPS)
20:43:11 INF: Lows: 1216 in 11.0 seconds (111.0 FPS)
20:43:11 INF: > 60 FPS: 100%

OpenGL Average: 102.7 FPS
Spoiler, click me
20:32:07 INF: Gfx API: OpenGL
20:32:07 INF: Duration: 60.0 seconds (6163 frames)
20:32:07 INF: Average: 102.7 FPS (111.7 w/o extremes)
20:32:07 INF: Extremes: 229.7 max, 19.1 min
20:32:07 INF: Sections: AI=6%, physics=2%, sound=1%, scene=67%, shadows=18%, misc=6%
20:32:07 INF: Highs: 530 in 3.2 seconds (166.2 FPS)
20:32:07 INF: Lows: 936 in 14.8 seconds (63.4 FPS)
20:32:07 INF: 30-60 FPS: 5%
20:32:07 INF: > 60 FPS: 95%

When there are other games available that use Vulkan, I will most likely take a look at benchmarking them. Article taken from
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pete910 15 Apr, 2016
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Serious improvement then !
ThePierrasse 15 Apr, 2016
Wow Vulkan is just murdering OpenGL
Liam Dawe 15 Apr, 2016
Added in a chart for them all together. Vulkan is clearly leading the way now for my testing, which is great news, and this isn't even final.
Liam Dawe 15 Apr, 2016
Quoting: Guest
Quoting: ThePierrasseWow Vulkan is just murdering OpenGL

While this is all nice for one particular game, and I'm sure there will be performance benefits across the board anyway, it's a bit early for such a generalised statement. Especially when the OpenGL version is of such importance. At least on my rig, Talos is using GL3.0, GLSL 130. Modern OpenGL (i.e GL4.5) would allow much greater performance improvements.

Again though, that they have something nicer with Vulkan is good. Just don't expect it everywhere.

While true, it depends on what they are doing. Using a higher OpenGL version wouldn't always result in higher performance.
z3ntu 15 Apr, 2016
hmmm... Arch Linux, Kernel 4.5.0, Nvidia 364.16, GTX850M ...
22:43:59 INF:  - benchmark results -
22:43:59 INF:  
22:43:59 INF:    Gfx API: Vulkan
22:43:59 INF:   Duration: 60.0 seconds (3117 frames)
22:43:59 INF:    Average: 52.0 FPS (52.8 w/o extremes)
22:43:59 INF:   Extremes: 266.2 max, 15.0 min
22:43:59 INF:   Sections: AI=4%, physics=1%, sound=1%, scene=83%, shadows=8%, misc=3%
22:43:59 INF:      Highs: 110 in 1.4 seconds (80.3 FPS)
22:43:59 INF:       Lows: 260 in 6.6 seconds (39.3 FPS)
22:43:59 INF:  30-60 FPS: 89%
22:43:59 INF:   > 60 FPS: 10%

22:41:41 INF:  - benchmark results -
22:41:41 INF:  
22:41:41 INF:    Gfx API: OpenGL
22:41:41 INF:   Duration: 60.0 seconds (11336 frames)
22:41:41 INF:    Average: 189.0 FPS (204.4 w/o extremes)
22:41:41 INF:   Extremes: 354.0 max, 12.7 min
22:41:41 INF:   Sections: AI=14%, physics=3%, sound=2%, scene=72%, shadows=0%, misc=9%
22:41:41 INF:      Highs: 51 in 0.1 seconds (344.3 FPS)
22:41:41 INF:       Lows: 856 in 8.8 seconds (97.1 FPS)
22:41:41 INF:   > 60 FPS: 100%

Last edited by z3ntu on 15 April 2016 at 8:47 pm UTC
luis 15 Apr, 2016
Liam, thanks for your work. Amazing benchmark, also the graphs are looking more professional and easy to read. Keep up!

Now, it would be nice to have a post on how to install this new driver. Is there a ppa? Should it be used together with bumblebee? This kind of stuff.

ElectricPrism 16 Apr, 2016
If we could keep crap out of the punch bowl that would be great.

Grats to Valve on the very needed fix.

Last edited by ElectricPrism on 16 April 2016 at 4:47 am UTC
mao_dze_dun 16 Apr, 2016
Where does the bottleneck come from, though? There is about 20% performance difference between 1080p and 4K which makes zero sense.
Armand Raynal 16 Apr, 2016
If by changing the resolution there's not much difference, then it should be a CPU botteneck.
Well, vulkan is supposed to be way less CPU dependent, as much as an i3 would give more or less the same results as an i7 on CPU demanding games.
But still Talos isnt really CPU demanding and show that 'lack' of differences between 1k and 4k, I don't have any idea and i'm wondering too.

Last edited by Armand Raynal on 16 April 2016 at 10:30 am UTC
tuubi 16 Apr, 2016
Resolution is only one part of the performance equation unless you're doing extremely simplistic rendering. Both tests shuffle the same amount of textures and geometry and much of the processing and memory bandwidth requirements are the same, unless Liam changed other settings as well.
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