18-Way NVIDIA/AMD Linux Performance For Dawn Of War III
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 8 June 2017. Page 1 of 5. 20 Comments

Today marks the highly anticipated debut of Dawn of War III for Linux (and macOS) ported by Feral Interactive. Here are a number of OpenGL and Vulkan benchmarks of NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards running Ubuntu Linux with this game.

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III was released for Windows back in April while the Linux/macOS release is today, thanks to the porting work by Feral Interactive. This real-time strategy game on Windows makes use of DirectX 11 while the Linux port has OpenGL and Vulkan rendering options and the macOS port makes use of Apple's Metal API.

With this newest Vulkan-supported Linux game, the Vulkan renderer is faster than OpenGL... But from our tests so far is primarily for the very CPU-bound cases, like well below 1080p. At higher resolutions and/or with more demanding visual quality settings, the Vulkan performance is on-par with OpenGL -- under NVIDIA. Currently with RADV, the Vulkan performance is short of OpenGL.

When using the Vulkan renderer though regardless of settings, the CPU usage is noticeably lower than dealing with the NVIDIA Linux driver. Feral's minimum GPU requirement on Linux is a GeForce GTX 650 Ti but they recommend at least a NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 Ti. They do all of their NVIDIA verification with the 375.66 driver and newer.

Even at higher resolutions/image quality, the CPU usage was still lower with Vulkan.

For launch-day there is not any official AMD support: the ARB_bindless_texture support for RadeonSI Gallium3D has yet to be merged to master. This support still should make it for Mesa 17.2, but likely won't be in Mesa Git for a few weeks. For those on Ubuntu 16.04/17.04 wishing to try out the experimental support can use this PPA tracking the bindless texture work for this game. There is experimental Vulkan support with RADV meanwhile on Mesa 17.1+. Intel also has experimental ANV Vulkan support with Mesa 17.2-dev Git while their OpenGL driver also lacks the bindless texture support.

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