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DOOM adds Vulkan support on PC to improve performance on old hardware

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DOOM adds Vulkan support

DOOM was an incredibly well-optimised game at launch, and since then has only improved with some small tweaks for developers iD Software. It was the game Nvidia used to showcase the insane 200 FPS demo on the GTX 1080, and stands still as one of the most visually stunning titles of the year. But iD Software feels they can do better, especially for those of you out there without the absolute cutting edge setups.

iD has officially added Vulkan support to their shooter, which should stabilise performance and improve it in most cases. The API gives iD low-level access to some of the more graphical features of the game, allowing them to deal with the driver overhead rather than being locked out. That requires support from both AMD and Nvidia, and both have been working closely with iD since March to ensure smooth support.

What it means for you is that DOOM will probably run a little better now. The 158MB update adds an option in the Advanced Menu, which will let you switch between OpenGL and Vulkan at will. iD Software says that players on older hardware will see a greater impact on performance, but that they’re also working on ironing out existing issues.

When we were looking to adopt Vulkan for DOOM, the main question we asked ourselves was: “What’s the gamer benefit?” Ultimately the biggest benefit will be high framerates. There are a number of game-focused reasons super-high framerates matter, but primarily its movement and player feel. The game just feels amazing running that fast, so we made it a priority to try to really exploit the available hardware on PC.

We also anticipate some older GPUs will now be able to play the game at good framerates. We hope the range of GPU support widens with additional game and driver updates. That said, this is the first time a triple-A game is releasing on a brand-new API and brand-new drivers so there may be a few bumps, but our testing is showing really great performance and stability.

I fired up DOOM last night to give it a go, and found performance pretty much on par at high resolutions. I am playing on a GTX 1080 however, so as iD stated there might not be a massive discernible difference for higher end systems. But it’s great news if you were just a few frames off a locked 60FPS.

Now you can slay demons from hell without a hitch on-screen, and things will only improve from here on out.


Last Updated: July 12, 2016

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