Thanks To Vulkan, We Should Be Seeing More 64-bit Linux Games
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 17 February 2016 at 04:09 PM EST. 30 Comments
LINUX GAMING --
One of the positive side effects of Vulkan is that hopefully we're going to be seeing more 64-bit Linux games.

Many Steam Linux games right now are only 32-bit, but Vulkan looks like it will be ushering in more 64-bit games. I haven't seen anything preventing Vulkan from 32-bit x86 and the NVIDIA Linux Vulkan driver is still offered in 32-bit and 64-bit flavors. With Vulkan mandating newer GPUs, game developers can at least make better assumptions that the gamer is running a modern 64-bit Intel/AMD GPU.

Croteam in their Vulkan port of Talos Principle is only exposing the renderer option via their 64-bit build. Their explanation with this Q&A is, "64-bit is the future. And present!"


I've had access to the private beta of Talos Principle for the past few days where the Vulkan code has been landing first prior to being made available through the public beta. As I reported this morning via Twitter, the Intel Vulkan driver is running into problems with the loading screen when switching over to Vulkan. The NVIDIA Linux driver meanwhile is showing a black screen with the NVIDIA 355 driver when switching the game over to Vulkan.


While waiting for the latest round of Vulkan fixes, I decided to at least do a 32-bit vs. 64-bit Talos Principle comparison with the OpenGL renderer, since this is the first time the game is shipping a 64-bit build. The initial results are good that the 64-bit version of the game is delivering a nice performance boost. The visual/graphics settings were maintained during testing.

With these 32-bit vs. 64-bit tests I did today with the Talos Principle IHV beta, the 64-bit performance was noticeably better for the high-end GTX 780 Ti, GTX 980, and GTX TITAN X graphics cards. The GTX 960 performance appeared unchanged between the two builds. Of course, outside of games, x86_64 usually wins in our 32-bit vs. 64-bit Linux benchmarks. Let's hope in 2016 we see more Linux games become 64-bit-only or at least offer a 64-bit build by default where applicable.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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