DOOM MSI GTX 1060 Vulkan vs OpenGL Frame Rate Benchmarks

Written by Jon Sutton on Wed, Jul 20, 2016 12:00 PM
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Yesterday we got a pair of GeForce GTX 1060 reviews up, but due to time constraints we weren’t able to squeeze out any Vulkan performance benchmarks. Well now we’ve got time, so we’ve been putting MSI’s GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G through its paces in DOOM, which was recently updated with optional Vulkan graphics API support.

Boot up DOOM and you’re now presented with two options - the original OpenGL 4.5, or the newer Vulkan standard. Vulkan is low overhead API which builds on the achievements of AMD’s ill-fated Mantle, offsetting CPU usage to the GPU and more effectively distributing workloads across multiple CPU cores. It’s been likened to a console-like level of optimisation, squeezing out the maximum potential performance out of the hardware available to a user.

Unfortunately (or fortunately I guess) I’m sat here with a very beefy Intel Core i7-5820K processor. Where Vulkan really thrives is in CPU bottlenecked scenarios, so it’s impact won’t be as keenly felt here. Nevertheless, the 5820K is backed up by 16GB DDR4 memory and the aforementioned MSI GeForce GTX 1060 Gaming X 6G. Let’s see how it performs…

 

  OpenGL 4.5 Vulkan
Average FPS 97.6 100.3
Minimum FPS 62 59
Maximum FPS 165 163

Whichever way you slice it, DOOM runs like a dream at 1080p on Ultra with the 1060. Both OpenGL and Vulkan have average frame rates around 100 FPS, perfect for DOOM’s silky smooth gunplay. In fact, those averages are incredibly similar, with just 2.7 frames per second in it. That’s marginal at best, and not a clear indicator of Vulkan’s benefits in action.

Throughout the gameplay, both the minimum and maximum FPS are in fact lower using Vulkan, with OpenGL reaching a high of 165 frames per second at one point. That said it feels like the frame rate swings are slightly less wild in Vulkan, maintaining more consistent performance.

You can see in the GPU optimisation numbers that it rarely if ever strays from green frame times, indicating that for the GTX 1060 this really is a stroll in the park. Despite this it would have been nice to see some more significant performance gains from team green. 3% isn’t really a game changer, particularly considering the newer Radeon cards are seeing FPS boosts as high as 40%. This could be down to the particular hardware setup we’re using, or it could demonstrate Nvidia’s naivety in not supporting Vulkan effectively right out the gate.

DOOM Vulkan Dual-Core Processor Performance Benchmarks

  OpenGL 4.5 Vulkan Vulkan Advantage
Intel 5820K 3.3 GHz 6-Core 97.6 100.3 2.76%
5820K 3.3 GHz 2-Core (4 Cores Disabled) 87.4 92.1 5.37%

Disabling four of the cores and running DOOM with a dual-core CPU yields similar results. Frame rates take a 10% drop overall, but there is a small advantage to running with Vulkan - just over 5%. This is nothing compared to what we've seen in some RX 480 benchmarks, but every little counts.

Regardless of these results, there’s unquestionably a lot of buzz surround Vulkan, and rightly so. It’s going to be fascinating to see just when and which devs opt for Vulkan, ditching DX12 support in the process. Because say what you want about Vulkan, but our DX12 benchmarks on the GTX 1060 have actually shown dips in performance, however more on that later.

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16:12 Jul-21-2016

Hah never gonna buy new gpu, only used, because in my country prices went up for no reason. GTX 1060 cheapest cost 360euros and most expensive 480euros, i wouldn't care about those prices, but in my country you can earn for averang 550euros per month , and our minimal monthly wage is 310euros, you guys understand that with this you mustn't eat drink or do whatever to save some money. So f* nvidia and ** my country. Skipping 1000series and probably gonna stick with my gtx 770 for 2-3years.

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10:45 Jul-22-2016

GTX 770 is still enough for most todays games :) If you really want to upgrade just give yourself some time. Try to save 30EUR every month and after a year you'll be able to buy yourself a great GPU.

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19:33 Jul-22-2016

And whatever you do DONT upgrade to newer drivers i found my GPU ( GT 520M ) works best with drivers from 2-3 years ago

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21:13 Jul-22-2016

Nvidia is known for drivers lowering performance in older GPUs so this is quite normal. A few months ago I had an GTX 560Ti and also used older drivers because of that.

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00:53 Jul-21-2016

I'm still at a loss as to why DooM runs so much better for me using Vulkan than OpenGL. All the benchmarks I have seen and comments I have read have me so confused. Is anyone else experiencing amazingly better performance with Vulkan?


I used to get drops down to a locked 30fps at certain parts, and now I'm smooth 60fps 100% of the time.

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02:46 Jul-21-2016

It is because of your AMD FX CPU. The AMD FX CPUs handles multi thread applications better where as Intel handles single core performance better. With Dx11 your CPU was probably being bottle necked because most of the load was running through one core more than the others. With Vulkan the load gets split between all of the cores more evenly which is exactly what the AMD FX line was designed for. If you had a decent Intel CPU then the gain would have most likely been minimal or none at all.

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03:40 Jul-21-2016

There hasn't been a difference in load spread before or after using Vulkan on my end. :/

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04:35 Jul-21-2016

There should have been. You shouldn't see as many spikes on a couple of the cores as before.

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22:39 Jul-23-2016

vulcan is almost like mantle its takes that overhead off and indeed better spread on cores is much more efficient games are still more demanding on two primary cores

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12:23 Jul-20-2016

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/07/19/nvidia_geforce_gtx_1060_founders_edition_review/4\#.V49cnhKt-z4


okay i don't get it, considering 1060 doesn't have async hardware this result is outrageous, how would it go if the architexture had one?

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02:26 Jul-21-2016

It has a quick fix that gives it some preemptive thinking that helps it with async stuff but not the same way the hardware async allows amd cards to have a bigger increase. Where Maxwell would drop performance, Pascal keeps it about the same or slightly higher.

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09:19 Jul-21-2016

those guys are indeed good with their software..

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23:34 Jul-21-2016

but software will only get you so far, as we are seeing. the hardware to back up the api is better than any software.

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23:49 Jul-21-2016

based on the result here i think it's still good, i mean if without hardware they could still gain, it really won't look good for amd if nvidia implemented it on hardware.


good momentum for amd for now to step it up, but then again it all depends on developers..


btw, http://www.pcgamer.com/doom-benchmarks-return-vulkan-vs-opengl/2/


am i reading it wrong this whole time or was it actually the 1060 looses fps on 1080p instead with vulkan? man i'm confused..

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12:13 Jul-20-2016

Considering the average FPS is 100 FPS that puts it somewhere between R9 290 and a R9 295X2 with a whole 10 fps lower then a stock RX 480 ( this is using the Vulcan benchmark from a few days ago from GD site ) now Nvidia claims equal or better performance then a GTX 980 ( this pulls 105 fps average ). Nvidia did it again

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13:08 Jul-20-2016

Well, in other titles runs great, so I'd say, we got what was promised. Right now, idk if its the low quantities problems or something else, but the GTX 1060 (cheapest one) is equal or cheaper to the RX 480 (reference ofc, still no AIBs)

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17:27 Jul-20-2016

In Serbia here it costs 56k RSD ( aprox 520$ non founders edition ) while the RX 480 costs 36k RSD ( 320$ STOCK ) so not equal in terms of price here :/

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13:25 Jul-20-2016

Well it's not significantly slower than the 980. It's just 5 fps slower and there are games where it has pulled ahead of the gtx 980

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17:29 Jul-20-2016

So does the RX480 beat the 980 in some games still it is now ranked between GTX 970 and 980 ( which wont be the case in a few months )

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14:39 Jul-20-2016

RX480 will be much better with newer APIs. Only thing NVidia did in this new series is up the clock by a lot. 1000-1700MHz. Nothing else has changed in comparison to the 900 series. AMD is winning currently because they have much better Vulkan and dx12 support/optimization.

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16:08 Jul-20-2016

Doom does not support sli or cf even under vulcan so r9 295x gets same fps as single 290x

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17:27 Jul-20-2016

i know that but it was in the benchmark and the 1060 was between them so i put them there

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02:48 Jul-21-2016

ID said that they would add SLI support for Vulkan later on. So it should still happen, but no one knows when.

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