VKD3D-Proton 2.2 Released With Tier 1 Variable Rate Shading, Preps For DXR Ray-Tracing

Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 19 February 2021 at 03:02 PM EST. 23 Comments
In addition to having DXVK 1.8 released for Direct3D 9/10/11 over Vulkan, Valve's VKD3D-Proton project also is enjoying a new release in time for weekend gamers wanting to run the latest Direct3D 12 titles via Vulkan on Linux with Steam Play.

VKD3D-Proton 2.2 is the new release today and is mostly on bug/regression fixes but also "unblocks significant future feature development" moving forward.

VKD3D-Proton 2.2 drops some old workarounds, continues work on improving the support for Cyberpunk 2077, fixes issues in Horizon Zero Dawn / Dirt 5 / other games, initial support for Variable Rate Shading Tier 1, and preps for future DirectX Ray-Tracing (DXR).

VKD3D-Proton's variable rate shading support is exciting and the functionality is being used by newer Windows games. However, for now this is just the initial tier for adjusting the per-draw shading rate. The Tier 2 support for adjusting the shading rate within a draw isn't yet supported.

Likewise the VKD3D-Proton work for DXR to handle DirectX 12 Ray-Tracing is exciting with the latest AMD Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs now supporting hardware ray-tracing along with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs. While the proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver has supported Vulkan ray-tracing from the start, the packaged AMDGPU-PRO driver is only seeing the Vulkan RT support in its next release, and there isn't yet any ray-tracing support at this time within AMDVLK or RADV. Intel meanwhile has been working towards Vulkan ray-tracing too but on the hardware side they will only see it premiere with Xe HPG. So it will be a bit longer before the VKD3D-Proton DXR support will be in good shape with this translation layer and by Linux drivers.

More details on the VKD3D-Proton 2.2 changes via the GitHub release. Given today's VKD3D and VKD3D-Proton updates, a new Proton release for Steam Play will presumably be coming out in short order.
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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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