OpenGL vs. Vulkan Linux Gaming Performance Ending Out 2017
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 22 December 2017. Page 1 of 5. 21 Comments

For those wondering how the Vulkan vs. OpenGL performance is for various Linux games as we near the end of 2017, here are some test results from the benchmark-friendly Linux games that offer both OpenGL and Vulkan renderers. Tests were done with two Radeon graphics cards and two NVIDIA graphics cards using the latest available Linux GPU drivers.

This article is focusing on the OpenGL vs. Vulkan Linux graphics API performance difference for the current Linux game renderers and also the driver performance. The NVIDIA tests were done using the current 387.44 driver while using a GeForce GTX 1060 and GeForce GTX 1080 Ti.

The AMD Radeon graphics card tests were done using the RX 580 and RX Vega 64 graphics cards. The driver stack in use was Linux 4.15 + Mesa 17.4-dev Git for the latest RadeonSI OpenGL and RADV Vulkan driver components. Yes, this morning the AMDVLK driver was released and those AMDVLK benchmarks will be published soon; this testing was done prior to the availability of AMDVLK, but keep in mind that driver isn't yet easily available from Linux distribution repositories and also has issues with games like Dawn of War 3 and F1 2017. For right now, RADV remains the popular AMD Vulkan driver with gamers.

OpenGL vs. Vulkan benchmarks were done with Steam on Linux for Dota 2, Dawn of War 3, Mad Max, and Serious Sam 3: BFE. There are also Vulkan results for F1 2017, the recent Vulkan-exclusive Linux game port, just for those curious about the latest performance numbers there. Benchmarking was done via the Phoronix Test Suite and the games generally were tested at both 1080p and 4K.

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