Doom OpenGL VS Vulkan Graphics Performance Analysis

/ 3 years ago

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Doom OpenGL VS Vulkan Graphics Performance Analysis

The Doom series popularised the first-person shooter genre and is still held in high regard decades after the original title’s release. While hyperbole is often used to describe games, it’s evidently clear that Doom deserves the critical acclaim and its place in video gaming history. The franchise’s magical formula is based on an impeccable non-linear level design, fun gunplay, hidden secrets and a stunning soundtrack. Modern franchises including Arma, Call of Duty and Battlefield all take inspiration from Doom. Additionally, the innovative mechanics set a solid foundation for other games to replicate and add a modern twist. Sadly, most first-person shooters opt for an overly restricted level design with invisible walls and provides the player with little freedom to explore. This theme doesn’t honour the Doom legacy and prioritises storytelling over the gameplay.

After a long hiatus, Doom has finally been rebooted and the latest entry received overwhelmingly positive reviews from both consumers and professional critics. Initially, there was some concern since the press embargo didn’t lift until launch which typically means the publisher is trying to maximise sales before poor reviews are published. This wasn’t the case with Doom and Bethesda didn’t feel the online component was ready to be assessed during the short review time frame.

On another note, ID Software’s rich pedigree as a PC developer has made Doom really interesting from a technical perspective. More specifically, Doom was unleashed using the OpenGL 4.5 engine before adding Vulkan support at a later date. This is significant because Vulkan offers reduced driver overheads which result in lower CPU demands. As a result, Vulkan should make CPU bottlenecks less of an issue through lower loads as the API employs batching. Also, Vulkan is optimised for multi-threaded scaling and utilises each core much better than OpenGL. It’s important to note that Vulkan’s programming stems from AMD’s Mantle API and improved upon by the Khronos Group over time. Please note, AMD doesn’t own Vulkan because it’s an open-source project but their GCN architecture (1.0-4.0) is able to leverage extra performance remarkably well. Unlike DirectX 12, Vulkan can be deployed on a huge range of operating systems including Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, Mac OS X and Linux.

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17 Responses to “Doom OpenGL VS Vulkan Graphics Performance Analysis”
  1. Ninja Squirrel says:

    OMG! What’s wrong with the Titan X? It should perform as the 980 Ti. It got beaten by 390X and just 2-3 fps faster than the $260 RX 480, Lol. Titan X owners must be pissed off right now. BTW, AMD’s mid-range cards’ performance are fantastic, especially the RX 480’s performance.

  2. JonasTone says:

    I have a ASUS R9 290 DCII OC (4GB not the X version) and for the Demo on steam, both Open GL and Vulkan ran flawlessly, max settings with no AA and my FPS never went below 100 except for in the menus. All gameplay was between 100 and 200 fps. How can these numbers for AMD cards be so low?

    • John Williamson says:

      The benchmarks are run with TSSAA (x8) which is much more demanding than using no AA.

      • JonasTone says:

        Yes but the Ultra defaults are not as high as the maximum settings i used. Ultra defaults used quite a few High/Medium settings.

    • Orlando Caba says:

      LOL.. I have a 290X and Doom Vulkan is with ultra/TSSAA x8 never goes below 120fps and his 200fps. I will record video of this.

      • JonasTone says:

        290x is the better card, im totally not surprised that it runs that well with AA on, im pretty sure mine would still be around 80-100 with AA on, i just dont need it to enjoy the game, and like with other fast paced shooters, more FPS is better 😀

  3. Kenny Rucka Jarvis says:

    WoW the 1060 beat the R9 nano just wow.

  4. GameLifter says:

    Nice analysis! Basically it falls in line with what other sites have shown which is AMD cards showing a huge boost while Nvidia cards show a smaller or no boost at all. Since the crashes in Doom are finally fixed I’ve been able to actually play it more on my 1080. I have to say that OpenGL is the better option for my system. With Vulkan I noticed a few areas got a pretty big fps boost but other areas showed a performance decrease when compared to OpenGL. Also, Vulkan has terrible frame-pacing on my PC which causes a constant stutter at the bottom of the screen while moving forward. It’s a deal breaker. Not sure if Vulkan doesn’t play well with G-Sync but it clearly needs work on the Nvidia side. If they can fix the bad stuttering with Vulkan and fix the areas of the game where Vulkan performs worse than OpenGL then it would be perfect. Then if they could get Async Compute working on Pascal cards on top of that I could see the 1080 showing a larger increase in benchmarks. Then again we don’t know if Async will help Pascal cards in all games. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  5. Robert Thorneycroft says:

    This video might be some help with configuring PresentMon and calculating min/max/ave figures.

  6. Sizzor says:

    Amd’s future looks bright with Vulkan and DX12.

  7. Badelhas says:

    Great analysis. I dont understand one thing, though:
    I have a 1070 GPU with a OCed 2500K CPU and get almost constant 120FPS on Ultra @1440p with Vulkan enabled. Your benchmarks are lower than that.


  8. I think for Vulkan you should have the RX 400 series graphics cards from AMD for best performance. RX 480 is the perfect choice.

  9. S.O.T.O.S says:

    Nvidia has better high end gpus right now both 1070 and 1080 reign supreme with most games

    AMD desperately needs Vega…

  10. Charles says:

    Excellent analysis. Love your information, it helped me.

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