VKD3D-Proton 2.2 Released With Tier 1 Variable Rate Shading, Preps For DXR Ray-Tracing
Written by Michael Larabel in Vulkan on 19 February 2021 at 03:02 PM EST. 23 Comments
VULKAN --
In addition to having DXVK 1.8 released for Direct3D 9/10/11 over Vulkan, Valve's VKD3D-Proton project also is enjoying a new release in time for weekend gamers wanting to run the latest Direct3D 12 titles via Vulkan on Linux with Steam Play.

VKD3D-Proton 2.2 is the new release today and is mostly on bug/regression fixes but also "unblocks significant future feature development" moving forward.

VKD3D-Proton 2.2 drops some old workarounds, continues work on improving the support for Cyberpunk 2077, fixes issues in Horizon Zero Dawn / Dirt 5 / other games, initial support for Variable Rate Shading Tier 1, and preps for future DirectX Ray-Tracing (DXR).

VKD3D-Proton's variable rate shading support is exciting and the functionality is being used by newer Windows games. However, for now this is just the initial tier for adjusting the per-draw shading rate. The Tier 2 support for adjusting the shading rate within a draw isn't yet supported.

Likewise the VKD3D-Proton work for DXR to handle DirectX 12 Ray-Tracing is exciting with the latest AMD Radeon RX 6000 series GPUs now supporting hardware ray-tracing along with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX GPUs. While the proprietary NVIDIA Linux driver has supported Vulkan ray-tracing from the start, the packaged AMDGPU-PRO driver is only seeing the Vulkan RT support in its next release, and there isn't yet any ray-tracing support at this time within AMDVLK or RADV. Intel meanwhile has been working towards Vulkan ray-tracing too but on the hardware side they will only see it premiere with Xe HPG. So it will be a bit longer before the VKD3D-Proton DXR support will be in good shape with this translation layer and by Linux drivers.

More details on the VKD3D-Proton 2.2 changes via the GitHub release. Given today's VKD3D and VKD3D-Proton updates, a new Proton release for Steam Play will presumably be coming out in short order.
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