Dota 2 Vulkan vs. OpenGL Numbers For Intel Skylake On Linux 4.8 + Mesa 12.1-dev
Written by Michael Larabel in Intel on 18 August 2016 at 08:33 PM EDT. 19 Comments
Last month when I was trying Intel's open-source Vulkan driver with Dota 2 and The Talos Principle the Linux gaming experience didn't go well, it didn't even really work even when experimenting with Mesa Git and toggling items like the Steam Overlay. With my fresh Git testing today, it went a bit better.

Dota 2 now ran fine with the Mesa 12.1-dev Git stack for me on the Core i5 6600K system! Last month on Mesa 12.1-dev Git on Ubuntu 16.04, I had no such luck even when disabling the Steam Overlay, but during my tests today on a clean install of Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS + Mesa 12.1-dev Git + Linux 4.8 Git, all the pieces came together...

Thus there are some Dota 2 OpenGL vs. Vulkan benchmarks on the Intel Mesa driver below. But no results to share today for The Talos Principle. The Talos Principle menus were no longer rendering far of course as they had been up until at least one month ago, but the in-game benchmark mode was really choppy even with the "lowest" settings. When increasing the settings and restarting the game, the visuals still looked different from their renderings with OpenGL, so this game was omitted from testing today.

Below are Dota 2 OpenGL vs. Vulkan benchmarks for the test system described above with Linux 4.8 Git and the newest Mesa code from this HD Graphics 530 Skylake system:

At least for this i5-6600K system, the Intel OpenGL driver remained faster at all tested resolutions over the current Vulkan Linux driver. Then again, Dota 2 still wasn't too playable even with the OpenGL driver on the current HD Graphics hardware unless you plan on running at a very low resolution -- with Iris Graphics it's probably a different story.
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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 or contacted via

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