Vulkan Continues To Show Its Gaming Strength On Low-End Hardware

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 26 January 2018. Page 1 of 6. 30 Comments

As we have shown in past benchmarks, while current generation Linux games with current Linux GPU drivers using the Vulkan API rather than OpenGL may not be significantly faster with higher-end hardware right now, the impact of this newer Khronos graphics API tends to be more profound on lower-end hardware, especially when it comes to lightening the load on the CPU. Following the recent Pentium vs. Ryzen 3 Linux gaming tests, I carried out some fresh benchmarks looking at OpenGL vs. Vulkan on the Ryzen 3 1200 quad-core CPU with NVIDIA and Radeon graphics.

This article offers a fresh look at the OpenGL vs. Vulkan performance on low-end hardware in the form of the Ryzen 3 1200 quad-core at 3.1GHz (3.4GHz boost) and using the Radeon RX 560 and GeForce GTX 1050 graphics cards. The latest Linux drivers from each vendor were in use: the NVIDIA 390.12 driver and on the Radeon side was Mesa 17.4-dev built against LLVM 7.0 SVN via the Padoka PPA> Linux 4.15 Git was in use for both driver configurations. The OpenGL vs. Vulkan performance was then compared in current comparable Linux games like Mad Max, Dawn of War III, Serious Sam 3: BFE, and The Talos Principle.

Not only are we comparing the raw frame-rate performance under these configurations, but via the Phoronix Test Suite the CPU usage was also automatically monitored and recorded during the automated benchmarking process.

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