Dota 2 Vulkan Performance Across MacOS, Windows 10 & Linux Benchmarks

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 5 June 2018 at 01:30 PM EDT. Page 3 of 3. 22 Comments.

Also being monitored during the testing on macOS and Linux was the CPU usage during testing. Unfortunately, Windows numbers were not available with the utilized PCNTL extension not being supported on Windows for monitoring the CPU usage in parallel to the test execution. Here's how the CPU usage looks when running Dota 2 at 2880 x 1800 on both OpenGL and Vulkan.

The CPU usage between Ubuntu Linux and macOS was similar when using the OpenGL renderer at a 20~22% utilization for this Intel Core i7 Skylake CPU. When switching over to Vulkan, the macOS CPU usage dropped from 20% down to 16.7%. Meanwhile, the CPU usage with Vulkan on Ubuntu under the RADV driver dropped from 22.0% to 10.2%. So both operating systems / implementations saw lower CPU usage when running with Vulkan instead of OpenGL, but the Linux impact was more dramatic (and beneficial).

In large part, the macOS OpenGL support just sucks and has now been deprecated by Apple... For further illustrating that, a completely separate test is included for reference. In the open-source, cross-platform Xonotic game using OpenGL on all supported platforms and of roughly similar quality (not a game port), here's how that FPS difference looks:

The macOS OpenGL performance remained a great deal behind Windows 10 and Ubuntu. At the low quality settings, the Linux OpenGL performance was outpacing the AMD Radeon driver on Windows 10 but with the higher quality visuals, Windows was running ahead of Ubuntu 18.04 LTS with Mesa 18.0's RadeonSI driver.

Not only was the macOS performance a great deal slower, it was also more CPU hungry than Ubuntu.

Those are the latest numbers I have to pass along today. The numbers later this week between Windows 10, macOS, and various Linux distributions will be looking at the broader system performance. I'm still working on getting my hands on other Apple hardware as well for being able to run much more capable macOS gaming comparison benchmarks than this crippled MacBook Pro with Radeon Pro 450 graphics.

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Michael Larabel

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