iD Software added compatibility with the Vulkan API in their most recent patch for DOOM, so we’ve take some time to see the type of performance improvements we can realistically see. The most recent other Vulkan enabled games haven’t quite been a shining example of the utility of the API, so we were skeptical going into re-benchmarking with Vulkan enabled. This has been a long and very much anticipated release.
Vulkan might remake DOOM into an even better game
Adding a next-generation API to the game helps to let iD Software and Bethesda truly realize their dream visually. The most obvious, and one of the most beneficial features, of Vulkan is having asynchronous compute enabled. Vulkan also has better multi-threading capabilities as well, letting the developer potentially use more than the usual four cores that most games utilize. Vulkan also enables something known as shader intrinsic functions, something we’ve covered before. That allows for even lower level access, which, as we’ll see soon, seems to make quite the drastic difference in performance.
NVIDIA’s offerings have traditionally not had a hardware scheduler in recent memory to allow for more fine-grained control over the context switching between the traditional rendering and compute pipeline, meaning it’s suffered in the past with asynchronous compute enabled, even losing performance. They’ve addressed that somewhat by enabling async compute in the driver, though we’re unsure how that will actually play out. AMD has had a native solution that’s done quite well in next generation API workloads so we’re expecting a healthy increase in performance.
To test, we run through the Foundry level as it’s one of the more complex, making great use of lighting, shadows and speculate effects. And like all levels, there’s potentially for a plethora of enemies as well. Each run through goes to the same locations, though there are some differences. It’s difficult to keep things completely similar for each run, unfortunately.