Tagged With vulkan

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It's still very early days for DirectX 12 and Vulkan, the main graphics APIs fighting for superiority. It's not quite Blu-ray versus HD-DVD; even if one does pull ahead with developers, the other won't suddenly vanish. A lot of factors can decide the battle, with one of the more interesting being support for mixed hardware, multi-GPU setups. On this front, Microsoft scored points with DirectX 12, but Vulkan has done one better by supporting multi-GPU on all the important platforms, not just Windows 10.

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Part of the fun of building and upgrading a PC is seeing just how fast games can run. But in a world where developers and games are moving to the DirectX 12 and Vulkan renderers, there's a small problem -- traditional benchmarking tools don't work.

And while some games, such as Rise of the Tomb Raider and HITMAN, come with their own in-built benchmarks, they're not the same as monitoring moment-to-moment gameplay. And if you want a way to reliably record how well your PC copes with games using DX12 or Vulkan, here's how you do it.

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After the early performance issues people had during the closed beta, NVIDIA and id came out and blew everyone away during the GTX 1080 launch with footage of DOOM running on the fancy new Vulkan render.

And then DOOM launched. It ran amazingly well -- but Vulkan support was nowhere to be seen. But now it has arrived, and it's a bit great.

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Part of the fun and games in the graphics sector over the next couple of years is the rise of low-level programming APIs. They're interesting because they allow developers to access hardware at a much lower level than before, reducing the amount of overheads and resulting in faster performance for you, the gamer. Nvidia and id software made a big deal of this at the GTX 1080 launch when they showed DOOM running using drivers for one of these fancy APIs -- the open-source Vulkan.

But Vulkan's aiming for bigger and better things. And at their I/O annual conference today, Google announced that the next version of Android would also support the Vulkan API.

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When NVIDIA showed off their GTX 1070 and 1080 not too long ago, they brought some help to show off just how powerful the card really was. Part of that help arrived in the form of DOOM, running at super-high frame rate.

The only video available was what people recorded from the audience, either on their own cameras, phones, or footage from the livestream. But NVIDIA's published two versions of the in-game footage today, ahead of DOOM's launch tomorrow.

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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.

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The first release version of Vulkan is finally out, and while the performance gains on PC aren't quite there yet the low-level graphics API has got an awful lot of developer support.

Part of the appeal is thanks to the platform-agnostic nature of the API, and that was something Epic helped show off this morning at the World Mobile Congress. As part of the presentation for the Samsung Galaxy S7, the Unreal Engine makers showed off a tech demo showcasing -- with the help of Vulkan -- just how far mobile graphics have come.

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I was surprised with how nice and optimised the engine behind The Talos Principle was, so it's kind of a surprise to see Croteam say that they won't be using it for the next iteration of the Serious Sam series.

But that's OK, you see, because the next engine will be even better.

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The next few years are going to be interesting for 3D graphics APIs. With Microsoft's DirectX 12 (or more accurately, Direct3D 12) and Khronos' Vulkan on the horizon, both offering lower driver overhead and "to the metal" access to hardware, developers will have more headroom than ever to build resplendent (and hopefully fun) games. Which API will prove the most popular? Valve reckons Vulkan is the way to go, if only because it's multi-platform.