Bethesda PR has sent over a quick note this morning that the long-awaited Vulkan patch for Doom is now available, allowing the game to be played with either the OpenGL or Vulkan rendering backends. With this release – and although the distinction is somewhat arbitrary – Doom has become the first performance-intensive game released to use Khronos’s new low-level API, and arguably the first game where the rendering path is being implemented for performance reasons rather than proof-of-concept reasons (as was the case with The Talos Principle).

Notably, id is not calling this a beta release, and the Vulkan rendering path is otherwise not hidden. In a full announcement from id’s Robert Duffy, id notes that via the Vulkan rendering path “we also anticipate some older GPUs will now be able to play the game at good framerates.” Though at the same time it should be mentioned that when it comes to older cards, id is specifically recommending against using Vulkan under Windows 7 with 2GB NVIDIA cards, which rules out some early Kepler cards.

The full FAQ for the patch release can be found over on Bethesda’s forums. Meanwhile the patch itself will be distributed as a Steam update, and gamers will want to be sure to grab the latest AMD or NVIDIA drivers for use with the game.

Source: Bethesda

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  • ddriver - Monday, July 11, 2016 - link

    What I'd like to see is performance gains on full nextgen hardware, the demo saw massive performance boost on a 1080, which I suspect has gutted some hardware support for the sake of efficiency, optimizing the hardware for existing rather than upcoming games.
  • YazX_ - Monday, July 11, 2016 - link


    because PC hardware is too much powerful especially CPUs, so when using high end CPU, it will compensate the lack of low level access unlike consoles with crappy CPUs, so when converting to low level access it will just relax your CPU but not improve performance unless if Async compute is used which run shaders async and improves performance on GPU level, other than this it is CPU related, only people who benefit from this are those who have low/mid end hardware.
  • Samus - Monday, July 11, 2016 - link

    Yep. At the end of the day, consoles hold back PC gaming because they are where the profit base is. That isn't to say PC gaming isn't profitable (it is) but if anybody has wondered why the video game industry has grown as large as Hollywood in terms of profits, it simply comes down to console competition. Almost 2/3 of game sales (and over 3/4 of sports games) are for consoles. Not a single genre on PC outsells consoles simply because consoles are more accessible. This is literally the only reason AMD is still "competitive" with Nvidia. Even though their APU's are low margin, the volume keeps them afloat.

    Back to my point. The focus will always be on mainstream adoption, not bleeding edge hardware acceleration. Fortunately VR is going to push this focus more toward performance (because now two scenes need to be rendered simultaneously) but this is still big news. It would be interesting to see what Sony does. Microsoft is blindly pushing DX12 without a larger focus on low level rendering (it is a half assed implementation) but Sony is definitely in a position to take advantage of alternative rendering technologies, possibly extending the life of the PS4 for a few years.
  • althaz - Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - link

    2/3 of game sales *aren't* on consoles. Until 2014-2015, PC gaming was worth more money and moved more units than *every console combined* - and that's not including sales on Steam.

    Even if 2/3 of game sales were on consoles (which is not the case unless you mean retail-only game sales), that would still mean PC was the dominant platform - there are more than 2 platforms in console land, the PC snatching more than it's share of sales (which 2/3 would be) is pretty impressive.

    PC is actually more like 40-45% of sales (current gen consoles have boosted that industry quite a bit over the last couple of years) now - it's just that different games are sold on PCs.

    PC gamers play real-time strategy games, MOBAs, MMOs, sims and other genres generally not available on consoles. They also buy their games much more slowly than on consoles (for which sales are much more heavily front-loaded). The last makes consoles *very* important to developers - making games is fiendishly expensive and you need to recoup that money back ASAP.

    But there are still mountains of money to be made on PC - PC gamers just tend to spend money on "PC" games and their spending is vastly more spread-out (over time and variety of titles).

    AAA multiplatform games make more money on consoles (except for Mobas, which make all of the money), but almost everything else makes more money on PC.
  • JoeMonco - Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - link

    [citations needed]
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    I think you're citation request is needed more on Samus's exaggerated numbers.
    Yes cocaine gaming is profitable, at various levels. Just like PC gaming is profitable at various levels. Dismissing the biggest titles on PC just to make a point makes the whole argument sound silly.
    As to why optimizations like Vulcan is less noticeable with a top of the line GPU, I'd say it's more down to the fact that the rest of the hardware suddenly becomes the bottleneck and you're "left with" marginal differences when your tweak your GPU performance.
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    Autocorrect and this frigging ancient 20th century comment system.... What could go wrong? \o/
  • theduckofdeath - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

    *consoles, not cocaine.
    In case anyone was wondering. :)
  • tunapirate - Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - link

  • anubis44 - Thursday, July 21, 2016 - link

    @Samus: 'consoles hold back PC gaming.' Actually, it's just the opposite, now that consoles are basically x86-powered PCs.

    It's more like consumers not having lots of money 'holds back' gaming. Consoles actually provide a real service to gaming in general by creating a baseline platform upon which games can be written. Game makers won't make a game unless they have a good idea that they'll make money on their investment. By having a minimum spec, baseline platform in the form of consoles, they can predict with much greater accuracy what their target market size will be. With PCs, on the other hand, there is so much variability in terms of hardware (CPUs, GPUs, quantity of ram, ram speed, storage sizes, etc.) that game makers are much more tempted to just target the lowest common denominator and avoid the risk that not enough people will be able to play their game.

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