VKD3D-Proton Working On Variable Rate Shading
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 4 February 2021 at 05:36 AM EST. 2 Comments
In addition to VKD3D-Proton working on support for DXR ray-tracing another high profile Direct3D 12 feature being implemented on top of Vulkan is support for variable rate shading.

Variable Rate Shading allows for changing the quality of the rendering based upon the region of the frame (screen). This variable rate shading is about allowing for greater performance when not needing consistent rendering quality across the entire frame -- such as for racing games if opting for lower quality rendering outside of the main area/focus of the frame.

Basically, game developers can also use Variable Rate Shading to reduce the shading rate in areas of the frame where the visual quality doesn't matter all that much. Variable Rate Shading has become increasingly popular with Windows titles for helping with performance.

DXVK / VKD3D-Proton developer Joshua Ashton has been working on implementing "TIER_1" variable rate shading support into VKD3D-Proton for allowing D3D12 VRS games work with Vulkan and its similar functionality.

Tier 1 Variable Rate Shading is for adjusting the per-draw shading rate. It's the Tier 2 functionality that allows for adjusting the shading rate within a draw, which isn't yet implemented by VKD3D-Proton. The Tier 1 VRS support for VKD3D-Proton can be found currently via this pull request.
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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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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