DXVK 2.1 Released With HDR Support, Many Game Improvements

Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 24 January 2023 at 03:14 PM EST. 27 Comments
DXVK 2.1 has just been released as this Direct3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan API translation layer that is most notably used by Valve's Steam Play (Proton) for helping to run Windows games with great speed on Linux.

DXVK 2.1 is the first new tagged release for the open-source project since November and thus there is a lot in store. The most notable new feature is DXVK 2.1 having initial support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) when activated via the "DXVK_HDR" environment variable or the configuration file. In conjunction with VKD3D-Proton 2.8+ this allows for using the HDR10 color space for supported games. However, it also currently depends upon using Valve's Gamescope compositor with its newly-added HDR support. There still is more Linux desktop work to do for HDR support both in user-space and lower down the stack with the Linux graphics drivers... Good progress is being made and thanks to Valve if using Gamescope it's becoming possible, while hopefully later in the year we finally see HDR becoming more readily available on the Linux desktop.

DXVK 2.1 also has shader compilation improvements, the ability to enable sample rate shading for all shaders in older games, a GLFW back-end for DXVK native Linux builds as an alternative to the SDL2 back-end, and many other game fixes and improvements.

DXVK 2.1 brings fixes/improvements for games like Ashes of the Singularity, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Gujian 3, Resident Evil 4 HD, Saints Row: The Third, Sonic Frontiers, Supreme Commander: Forged Alliance, and other games. There are also a number of general Vulkan fixes, improved D3D11 command submission logic to help provide more consistent overall performance, and other changes.

Those building DXVK from source can find v2.1 up on GitHub while Valve will likely be readying a new Proton release soon for Steam Play gamers to enjoy.
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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 20,000 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, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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