Steam Client Stable vs. Beta Tests With Vulkan On AMDGPU-PRO

Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 10 June 2016 at 08:19 AM EDT. 54 Comments
Here's the impact of benchmarking Dota 2 with Vulkan using the stable Steam client versus the Steam client beta.

The Steam client beta a while back introduced some Steam overlay fixes explicitly for Vulkan. It turns out that these fixes currently in the Steam beta are very important for better AMDGPU-PRO Vulkan performance.

With yesterday's Latest AMDGPU-PRO Ubuntu Linux Performance vs. NVIDIA, Including The GTX 1080 testing, all of the benchmarking was done with the stable Steam client due to a simple oversight. I've since re-run the Vulkan test from there, Dota 2, using the latest Steam beta to show the performance difference. Note that the Steam beta won't affect the performance of the common OpenGL benchmarks.

Below are the Dota 2 results showing all of the original NVIDIA/AMD numbers using the stable Steam client versus the AMDGPU-PRO tests when switching to Steam beta. The good news is that I'm told by a Valve developer that these beta changes should be reaching the stable channel very soon -- likely today, so then there will be these overlay fixes for Vulkan without having to resort to using the client beta.
AMDGPU-PRO Cards vs. GTX 1080 + NVIDIA Friends Dota 2

The performance of the R9 285, R9 290, and R9 Fury was clearly better with the Steam beta, but still not enough to fully compete with NVIDIA.
AMDGPU-PRO Cards vs. GTX 1080 + NVIDIA Friends Dota 2

For the benchmarks at 4K, there was finally better competition to the NVIDIA driver.

It's good to hear that these changes should be hitting Steam stable very soon. These Dota 2 results are via this result file.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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