id Software - Using DirectX 12 Over Vulkan 'Literally Makes No Sense'

Written by Stuart Thomas on Tue, Jul 12, 2016 1:36 PM

Over the years id Software has become quite the fan of OpenGL and its successor Vulkan, recently patching DOOM to add Vulkan API support. A competing graphics API to DX12, Vulkan offers developers low level abstraction for greater control over GPU and CPU hardware. Speaking after the DOOM Vulkan update, Axel Gneiting, engine programmer at id, has said that developers using Microsoft’s DirectX 12 over Vulkan makes “literally no sense”.

DX12 support is of course becoming extremely widespread, with big hitters like Rise of the Tomb Raider, Total War: Warhammer and Hitman already supporting it, along with upcoming juggernaut Battlefield 1. Despite its ubiquity though, Gneiting says this doesn’t make it the best choice.

“I'm really getting annoyed by everyone adopting DX12 instead of Vulkan even for PC exclusives. This literally makes no sense,” Gneiting said as he settled into his Twitter rant.

Citing DirectX 12’s exclusivity to Windows 10, Gneiting said “Availability [of Vulkan] is now not an issue anymore, you will need two [DirectX] code paths on PC for Win 7 compat making the Xbox stuff invalid. Xbox needs special path anyway. Xbox DX12 is not Windows DX12. At least not if you want full performance.”

In essence Microsoft’s big selling point of DX12 is that the code base is unified, but Gneiting says this isn’t in fact the case. Xbox One DX12 and PC DX12 run on two separate code bases, whilst a large percentage of PC gamers are still using Windows 7 which doesn’t even have DX12 capability.

“Vulkan on Windows 7 has no higher driver overhead than on Windows 10”, explains Gneiting, inferring that DirectX 12 should also be capable of running on Windows 7.

Both DirectX 12 and Vulkan offer a similar set of benefits, albeit Vulkan is an open standard whereas DX12 is closed. It’s only early doors, with just DOOM to go on, but the performance improvements while using Vulkan look to be considerably more impressive than the jump to DX12.

What do you make of Gneiting’s comments? Do you think more developers should go the Vulkan route? Let us know what you think!

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04:06 Jul-15-2016

I am hoping that Vulkan is a smashing success. DirectX 12 being proprietary to Windows 10 is horrible and should not be condoned by us, the consumers.
This Windows Universal Platform idea the MS has concocted is the cause of this madness and is madness in itself.

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06:57 Jul-13-2016

Vulkan is going to erupt in 2017 and 2018 will be very, very hot :D

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05:53 Jul-13-2016

Is there a way i can check if people reacted on my post? I often miss those because i have to scroll though every old article trying to find my post.

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10:37 Jul-13-2016

Well you get notifications when there are new posts where you commented, there was an option before to find your post in that thread, now i dont see it and i also dont see another way for what you want, and i was wondering that too :/

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17:40 Jul-13-2016

actually i looked at my global notification and I had 7 reactions. Meaning I checked them out all 7 scrolling a lot. There wasn't a reaction on this topic. I checked nonetheless and saw your reply. I hope GD fixes this, it's inconvenient.

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01:42 Jul-13-2016

Well after watching several benchmark videos comparing Vulkan to OpenGL4.3 it appears that most people using AMD or nVidia are getting a 15fps to 40fps boost when using the exact same settings and resolution. However there are a few videos of GTX 1080 users actually getting worse performance. So I am wondering if that is because of a driver issue on the new Pascal cards. Seems strange to see everyone get a performance boost except GTX 1080 users. Any GTX 1080 owners here at Game Debate tried this yet? Seems RX-480 is getting the biggest bump with a minimum boost of like 24fps and up to 45fps

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23:32 Jul-12-2016

Well you say it makes no sense but some bean counter saw that porting a game to or from xbox one will cost alot less if game already supports dx 12, so your right from a developers viewpoint it makes no sense, but to a publisher it does.

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23:37 Jul-12-2016

not trying to choose sides I really dont care what api they use, but i have no brand loyalty whatsoever if a new os came out tomorrow with better compatibility and dev support its goodbye windows from there on out.

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17:02 Jul-12-2016

A bit off-topic,but what was the performance results on DOTA 2 with Vulkan?Was there a improvement?

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17:09 Jul-12-2016

i downloaded it to see what would happen but it looks like the fps is capped in that game. i just got 120 on opengl dx11 and vulkan so I have no idea how it does.

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16:35 Jul-12-2016

Microsoft will throw money at developers to develop their games on dx12 over opengl, this has always the case, which makes MS and devs who follow them scummy!

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17:28 Jul-16-2016

Capitalism at best xD
However this one is not on our side...

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15:42 Jul-12-2016

Hoping this becomes more mainstream so people don't have to forcibly upgrade to Windows 10 to play the latest games

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15:52 Jul-12-2016

Windows 7 and 8 users are feeling the pain Mac and Linux users have been feeling since 1995 xD

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18:42 Jul-12-2016

I dont get it what's the difference if u are gonna only play games on it? Security!? Privacy!? U get almost the same amount of it at win 10.
So really what's the difference why wait 2-3 more years for ure PC's destiny! Fear?

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18:54 Jul-12-2016

I'm on Windows 10 on every machine in my house except for my Linux file server, I generally like to keep my software up to date and find its performance to be acceptable enough.... having said that... it does feel incredibly forced, and it does feel like I was robbed of choice.

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21:00 Jul-12-2016

luckily so far there is no game worth moving to Windows 10 yet haha xD

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23:03 Jul-12-2016

Tzzsmk,personally I agree but know this:for saying this we are going to get a downvote storm.Brace yourself,downvotes are coming

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01:47 Jul-13-2016

Count me in. I'm your Huckleberry. We'll go to the loony bin together. XD

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09:41 Jul-13-2016

+1 more, Count me in!!
Happy acres is the place to be.
Dump Windows 10 & then I'll be happy!!
(sung to the tune of Green Acres)

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03:49 Jul-15-2016

Now that I know how the upgrade process/licensing works I'm going to install Windows 10, rollback to 7 and wait until the end of support(2020) to use the digital license for 10.
That way, I win either way.
I will never support a platform that holds my game files hostage and takes choice from me.

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15:30 Jul-12-2016

Totally valid.

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15:24 Jul-12-2016

I agree with him completely.... with DX12... you're limiting your audience to just Windows 10 users, Vulkan is a free and open source API that will run on about anything, using Vulkan means expanding your sales to Mac and Linux users.... maybe a Tiny portion of the population, but money is money.

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18:52 Jul-12-2016

He says that pc DirectX 12 is not the same with Xbox now most games are optimized and made for consoles so if it gives the developers easier time to port xbox games to pc then it's reasonable to use it most gamers use win 10 anyway.

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20:00 Jul-12-2016

Xbox one and PS4 can also use Vulkan.... and most gamers use windows 10 because they're forced to.

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22:52 Jul-12-2016

Well no game on it using vulkan yet well there is also the matter of popularity to be fair and also there is the fact that more GPUs support DirectX 12 than vulkan.

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23:00 Jul-12-2016

Every GPU that supports dx12 supports vulkan....... and vulkan is an open standard meaning anyone with a little coding experience can optimize for specific GPUs.... it's exactly like he said... there is no good reason to choose dx12 over vulkan.

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06:31 Jul-13-2016

Vulkan is not supported on NVidia's older than kepler and AMD older than gcn old cards but some have DirectX 12 support but overall it's good for gamers at least, who don't want better performance.

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00:04 Jul-13-2016

your not limiting your customer base at all dx12 all you have to do is make your game dx11 compatible to get them back, but what will happen is the windows 7 and 8 userbase will get so small that there no profit to made from them anymore.

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00:45 Jul-13-2016

Really? because there are a ton of Linux, Mac, and SteamOS users who might love to play a certain game but cannot since it was developed with a proprietary API(DX).... Vulkan just makes more sense all around, you can sell to users of every version of windows, every console on the market, mac, linux, and steam os.

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00:48 Jul-13-2016

all with a single API, and one having many of the features touted by DX12, that it can compete on the same level..... so again..... what reason is there for not wanting to choose Vulkan, except that the developers are being influenced somehow by microsoft?

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11:12 Jul-13-2016

I see your point and agree with you mostly, but most devs dont care about linux or mac and no API is gonig to change that. there is just ins't as much profit to be made from non windows users.

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11:13 Jul-13-2016

Heres your "ton of Linux, Mac, and SteamOS users" http://venturebeat.com/2015/10/01/windows-10-grabs-6-63-market-share-linux-finally-passes-windows-vista/ .Barely over 5% and the question most devs will ask is how many of them play games

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14:24 Jul-13-2016
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01:49 Jul-13-2016

Vulkan could completely eliminate bad ports. Just think about that... Let that sink in...

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15:16 Jul-12-2016

He is speaking the truth. DX12 was "made" exclusive for win10 by Microsoft just to lure users into upgrading to it. DX12 implementation in Win7 is possible.

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16:15 Jul-12-2016

Of course it's possible.
But DirectX12 is LITERALLY the only advantage Windows 10 has to offer.
So implementing it into Windows 7 and 8 would be a retarded move by Microsoft, who is so desperately trying to push their sh*tfest of an OS.

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18:08 Jul-12-2016

Yep. But if MS did implement DirectX12 into Win7/8 they would've won the hearts of their consumers for their generosity proving that they aren't one of those stereotypical corporations.The reality is sad. A food for thought :D

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14:55 Jul-12-2016

he's right. omg he's so right. what about linux? that should support vulkan too. i only got windows 10 for dx12 but i was literally forced into it. if only all future games would use vulkan instead.

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14:54 Jul-12-2016

DX12 was supposed to be a massive leap, so far I don't see a lot more extra fps when using it. And in some benchmarks I've seen, you actually get less?

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15:35 Jul-12-2016

That's an Nvidia issue, not a DX12 issue.

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10:44 Jul-13-2016

Not really.
Nvidia might not support Async fully, but on the other hadn no game still have full DX12 support and wont have it in another year or two.
Nvidias are doing fine in DX12, and would do even better if devs werent lazy to properly study and implement DX12 promised features.

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10:45 Jul-13-2016

Also, when they start making proper DX12 support, Nvidia will start making proper DX12 stuff like Async and others.

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20:16 Jul-12-2016

To my understanding the new APIs are supposed to ease up the CPU by "shortening" the draw calls so it can spit them out faster, utilizing the full GPU potential and essentially eliminating CPU bottlenecks. In my case, at least from what I've tested, DOOM Vulkan implementation gave me a boost of exactly 0 fps. But I was testing with SLI, I'll try SLI off as well. If there's no difference, then maybe it's because I'm running a monstrous CPU already...

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14:48 Jul-12-2016

Vulkan all the way.

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14:39 Jul-12-2016

Well dx12 fixed the fps for me in Rise of the tomb raider, geothermal valley and soviet installation was dropping to 40fps on max settings but with textures to high in dx11, but dx12 i stay at 60fps


So tbh i dont care what devs use aslong as the fps is 60+, il be happy

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14:29 Jul-12-2016

Simple answer,cause money

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14:26 Jul-12-2016

I don't know why..


But I agree

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14:03 Jul-12-2016

I dont think we can assume yet that vulkan offers a bigger performance boost than dx12 (we have only seen 1 game lol) but comments like this tweet are good for us. This way microsoft will have to strive to further improve dx12 over vulkan in order to give extra incentive to use it because as its said in the article vulkan can run on much more platforms which is very important.

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14:31 Jul-12-2016

Umm, no need for assumptions. Check the new benchmark video for DOOM, there's a 30fps gain with Vulkan.

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08:45 Jul-13-2016

I know bro, I watched it. What I meant is that this is just 1 game as I said. It doesnt mean that vulkan will offer a bigger boost than DX12 in general. These APIs dont do stuff on their own because of the low abstraction. If the developer doesnt implement them well there will be no performance gain or it could get even worse. If he utilises it properly though we can get all kinds of great stuff. This is why we see different results in the various DX12 games. As uncle Ben used to say: "with great power comes great responsibility" xD. Rip uncle ben.

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14:02 Jul-12-2016

Looks like someone's gonna get my money.

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