Doom Will Support Vulkan, With Massive Performance Gains

Doom Will Support Vulkan, With Massive Performance Gains

The Vulkan API is a simpler, more streamlined graphics processing driver for game developers, allowing more basic access to graphics components and cutting out the middle-man of older APIs like DirectX 11 and OpenGL.

It provides theoretically significant performance gains but it’s still in its infancy in terms of in-game support from actual games that you can play right now. Today, we found out that id Software’s new Doom will support Vulkan, and the extra frames it makes possible will be useful for the game’s ridiculously fast twitch deathmatch multiplayer.

Exec producer Marty Stratton from id Software appeared at Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1080 announcement to show off the tech for the first time. Doom running on a GeForce GTX 1080 running Vulkan — the first time this has been demonstrated — looks fast, on the video below. Anecdotally, there’s a big performance gain. This is apparently also the first time, too, that id has demonstrated official gameplay using a keyboard and mouse.

Excuse the shaky camera work; I didn’t have a tripod handy. It’s only a 25fps video, which means you don’t get anywhere near the full benefit of Vulkan’s speed boosts for graphics performance. The massive LED screen that the demo was being shown on was only 60Hz, too — so treat it more like a glimpse of how Doom plays when one of the devs sits down to do his magic with a keyboard and mouse.

The 1920x1080pixel display delivered 50-55fps results running on OpenGL, running on a id Software dev machine with a GeForce GTX 1080 handling graphics. The demo, though, ranged between 120 and 200fps once Vulkan was enabled, and remained above 120fps — a massive performance boost even within the likely carefully selected demo environment. Nvidia’s graphics cards for the last few years — all Kepler, Maxwell and Pascal parts — support Vulkan.

Vulkan support should be added “not long” after the game’s imminent launch, according to the devs, although OpenGL will be the only option straight out of the box. They didn’t stick around for questions, though, unplugging their dev machine straight after the demo and departing for id’s headquarters/mountain lair/Mars base in Richardson, Texas.


  • Can you confirm that this footage is from the game running Vulkan and prior to this footage was shown of the game running ultra @ 1080p on a GTX getting 50-55fps using openGL?

    • Well, yeah, it’s my video! 🙂

      It’s from the Nvidia demo of the 1080, in Austin, and it was all run on Vulkan. The 50-55fps on OpenGL was mentioned before I started the video, if I remember correctly.

      • Funny enough my 980TI runs Doom in ultra 1080p at 140-200fps using OpenGL.
        So as the new 1080 GPU is supposed to be faster than me 980TI I highly doubt that it can’t provide similar performance

        • I can back that up, even at 4k my Titan X can achieve a frame rate much higher than that, using the old OpenGL renderer.

  • Geez, 55fps @1080p on a new GTX 1080, So running this game at 1440p on a 980 i should expect about 10-15fps.

    • That’s running on balls-to-the-wall mode though, everything maxed out. I’m not surprised it’s struggling!

    • Means little without knowing what High and “balls-to-the-wall” mode is I mean all you have to do is up AA to some bullshit level get barely any noticeable improvement in visual fidelity but twice the performance hit. The demo was likely tailor made to show case vulkan.

      If it’s running on consoles it’s pretty safe to say we can have all the bells and whistles at reasonable levels with a constant 60fps if you’re running a 980 or higher (the same for every other game for ps4/xbone title this generation).

  • i saw the vid that PC Gamer put up and i gotta say… why the fuck did it take until 1 week before release for bethesda to show off proper gameplay footage. the movement is just so much faster than the live streams shown on console and its even faster than footage from the PC MP Beta.

    edit: here the link from PC Gamer: im not sure what type of camera was used but the footage is pretty damn smooth. its also front on instead from the side like campbell’s ( no offence intended )

  • See consolers? That’s why a controller will never compare to a keyboard and mouse.

  • Pretty good result considering NVIDIA hardware runs OpenGL VERY WELL compared to the sloppy attempts by AMD (I have a 390x, OpenGL on it is like headbutting a AXE)

    • Theoretically AMD cards won’t have that rather notable performance differential when compared to nVidia on Vulkan like they do with OpenGL. Will be interesting to see how it pans out.

  • Wow wow wow that’s some wrong info kotaku….all previous nvidia cards “support” vulkan and directx12…without the asynchronous shaders implementation there isn’t a real performance gain…that’s why I warn u out there nvidia fans: don’t get any previous cards,they don’t realy support next gen graphics APIs and they won’t.only these last two cards by nvidia realy support it,while and,have been supporting it for a year or so.actually,its a bit funny but ironic to see nvidia running a api made by khronos whose root of development started by AMD.anyway just saying,this year shall be saved in the pages of quadrappled amount of polygons in a year + games gameplay just go worse.dudes!you forget about the gameplay.I ihope that now,in the age of fancy graphics,game developers will start focusing more on gameplay.

  • Link some resources Barak. I have a EVGA 770 FTW running Vulkan just fine. In the article he didn’t say “all” past cards. Specifically Kepler, Maxwell, and Pascal. Learn to read please.

  • 150-200 fps, max settings, for an id game, on launch. That is pretty damned impressive.
    I know there is more to it than that, the trailer seemed light on enemies, the levels not as detailed as other trailers. And it’s with a new GFX card.
    But still. It’s pretty exciting to huge results like this, Vulkan is really in it’s element! I’m hoping Doom’s success with it is a major shot in the arm for it’s popularity with AAA studios.

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