Vulkan API Gains Multi-GPU and Virtual Reality Support

cageymaru

Fully [H]
Joined
Apr 10, 2003
Messages
21,480
The Khronos Group has added Vulkan Multi-GPU and Virtual Reality Support to the Vulkan API. This is a big step forward as developers and consumers have been waiting for this support for a long time. Unlike the DX12 API which is tied to Windows 10, the Vulkan API is cross-platform.

One of the most anticipated features added by Vulkan patch 1.0.42 is Explicit Multi-GPU. It is characterized as a "Building Block approach provides explicit level of control." The article explains that the Explicit Multi-GPU extension set will "Treat multiple GPUs as a single logical device and the application can implement Alternate Frame Rendering, Split Frame Rendering or VR SLI." I'm hoping that this means that owning two 8GB video cards will show as a single card with 16GB of accessible VRAM. Also they are trying to make Multi-GPU easy which is a huge plus for developers.

Vulkan Multi-GPU and Virtual Reality Support



    • WDDM must be in “linked display adapter” mode
    • The most common use case – does NOT support dGPU/iGPU
Explicit control of how GPUs cooperate to enable a variety of operating modes



    • AFR (alternate frame), SFR (Sequential frame) and VR SLI Stereo view rendering
A “device group” is a set of physical devices that support multi-GPU rendering



    • Acts as single logical device - makes adding device group support as easy as possible
    • Only access each physical GPU in a device group when need explicit control:
    • Memory allocation and binding resources
    • Command Buffer Recording/Submission
    • Synchronization
 

Probleminfected

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Dec 20, 2013
Messages
1,404
I hope it makes it so if your system is getting a little old/slow all you'd have to do is add another gpu and boom back to ultra settings. Wishful thinking probably.
 

BulletDust

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
6,057
This is great news and defiantly a step in the right direction, benefiting everyone including Windows users.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,583
Sounds exactly like DX11 SLI/crossfire.

I do like the idea of being able to do SFR though. Split frame rendering is so much superior in terms of minimum FPS to alternate frame rendering, and scales better with more than 2 GPUs. At least theoretically.

Now, if only all of my old games and visual novels would work on Linux…
 

Teenyman45

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 29, 2010
Messages
3,050
Takings odds on whether Vulkan suddenly becomes limited to Win 10+, Kabbly Lake or newer, and Ryzen or newer...
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
Vulkan is doing amazingly. i hope it will win more game developers over so we dont have to be tied to win10 for dx12.

Vulkan in Doom 2016 did an amazing job to spread out cpu load and reudce CPU bottlenecks

It's interesting how people praise Vulkan because of one game that showed improvement really only with AMD GPUs from about 8 months ago. Even if Vulkan because more popular for PC games than DX 12, it's going to be a number of years before Vulkan would displace DX 11. We're kind of at the same stage with both Vulkan and DX 12 right now, and that is the beginning.
 

Simmonz

2[H]4U
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
2,506
It's interesting how people praise Vulkan because of one game that showed improvement really only with AMD GPUs from about 8 months ago. Even if Vulkan because more popular for PC games than DX 12, it's going to be a number of years before Vulkan would displace DX 11. We're kind of at the same stage with both Vulkan and DX 12 right now, and that is the beginning.

I would agree that Vulkan and DX12 are both at the beginning but I would say Vulkan is off to a better start. It supports more operating systems and the games that use it show a tangible FPS increase as opposed to most DX12 games running worse than their DX11 modes.
 

SvenBent

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
3,319
It's interesting how people praise Vulkan because of one game that showed improvement really only with AMD GPUs from about 8 months ago. Even if Vulkan because more popular for PC games than DX 12, it's going to be a number of years before Vulkan would displace DX 11. We're kind of at the same stage with both Vulkan and DX 12 right now, and that is the beginning.

Sorry I don't know what benchmarks you are referring to. I did it based on my own experience with Vulkan in my intel i7 3770 +gtx970 system, where it removed a CPU bottleneck.
I would mostly run at 60FPS (vsync on) but some place dip into the 30 (naturraly with vsync beeing on).

I pulled out process explorer and looked at the game thread utilization and found 1 thread that was hitting above 12% when the FPS drops occured.
i then enable Vulkan and no longer did any threads hit 12% they where mostly about 8% at tops.
i actually think that the total CPU load came up a tiny bit but due to the even spread across cores, no thread was ever bottlenecked by corespeed anymore.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
Sorry I don't know what benchmarks you are referring to. I did it based on my own experience with Vulkan in my intel i7 3770 +gtx970 system, where it removed a CPU bottleneck.
I would mostly run at 60FPS (vsync on) but some place dip into the 30 (naturraly with vsync beeing on).

I pulled out process explorer and looked at the game thread utilization and found 1 thread that was hitting above 12% when the FPS drops occured.
i then enable Vulkan and no longer did any threads hit 12% they where mostly about 8% at tops.
i actually think that the total CPU load came up a tiny bit but due to the even spread across cores, no thread was ever bottlenecked by corespeed anymore.

These are the kinds of results I was referring to: http://www.guru3d.com/news-story/new-patch-brings-vulkan-support-to-doom,6.html
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
I don't follow how it in anyway is a counterargument to me praising vulkan ? or did you not mean to reply to my post to begin with ?

I'm not saying there's anything not to be praise about Vulkan. It's just that EVERYONE doing so is doing it based on one game that added it months ago and the results were not exactly anything for nVidia GPU users to write home about. It's still VERY early with both Vulkan and DX 12.
 

Simmonz

2[H]4U
Joined
May 14, 2008
Messages
2,506
I'm not saying there's anything not to be praise about Vulkan. It's just that EVERYONE doing so is doing it based on one game that added it months ago and the results were not exactly anything for nVidia GPU users to write home about. It's still VERY early with both Vulkan and DX 12.

I'f it makes you feel any better Nvidia and AMD saw declines in DX 12 for BF1. So if it is between an API where both suck or an API where one shines I know which I will pick.

http://www.hardocp.com/article/2016/10/24/battlefield_1_video_card_dx12_performance_preview/3
 

SvenBent

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
3,319
I'm not saying there's anything not to be praise about Vulkan. It's just that EVERYONE doing so is doing it based on one game that added it months ago and the results were not exactly anything for nVidia GPU users to write home about. It's still VERY early with both Vulkan and DX 12.

OK i can follow you on the one game thingy. But its not that there is that many options out there, and that does not neglect the facts that Vulkan did show a huge improvement over OpenGL.
that you benchmakr you are reffering to does not show it does not mean its not there.. grraihpcsi benhmarks are finicky and any improvement on the CPU side can eaisly be masked bu runnign it under a GPU bottleneck situation.

So now that i tell you that in fact there IS improvement in doom2016 on an intel/nvida system when you are NOT in a GPU bottlenecked situation. Then why do you still claim there is not and basing it on GPU bottlenecked system?
The benchmarl you are linking to is just badly done to show the improvements on the CPU side.
 
  • Like
Reactions: N4CR
like this

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
OK i can follow you on the one game thingy. But its not that there is that many options out there, and that does not neglect the facts that Vulkan did show a huge improvement over OpenGL.
that you benchmakr you are reffering to does not show it does not mean its not there.. grraihpcsi benhmarks are finicky and any improvement on the CPU side can eaisly be masked bu runnign it under a GPU bottleneck situation.

So now that i tell you that in fact there IS improvement in doom2016 on an intel/nvida system when you are NOT in a GPU bottlenecked situation. Then why do you still claim there is not and basing it on GPU bottlenecked system?
The benchmarl you are linking to is just badly done to show the improvements on the CPU side.

Not discounting any of this. Be it Vulkan or DX 12, we're at the BEGINING. Neither Vulcan or DX 12 have done much yet, which ever one wins we're looking at years of development effort yet to come to see how this all plays out.
 

SvenBent

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
3,319
Not discounting any of this. Be it Vulkan or DX 12, we're at the BEGINING. Neither Vulcan or DX 12 have done much yet, which ever one wins we're looking at years of development effort yet to come to see how this all plays out.

Whatever we are in the beginning or not does not really matter on the results. on the contrary it means it can only become better/more widespread. so using it an an argument to not praise it seems counter effective. and it is kinda not really a relevant for what i said which you replied to.
I don't know what you mean by not done much. if you meant not showing improvement I again would have to disagree.
if you are talking about how many games are using it I agree, but again that has nothing to do with my post you quoted.

If you are making a general statement that's fine. it just think it seems weird to quote a post and then debate about something with no relevant for the content of the quoted post.
In fact i did evne mention i hoped it would win over more developers which would only be a point if it was not widespread.

So the logical behind quoting my post in the manner you did seems lost to me.
 

heatlesssun

Extremely [H]
Joined
Nov 5, 2005
Messages
44,154
So the logical behind quoting my post in the manner you did seems lost to me.

What you said has gone by the same pattern with Vulkan proponents, Doom 2016. An almost year old game, is there anything else to show the wonders of Vulkan beside that game? Just saying it would be nice to know of some other example.
 

SvenBent

2[H]4U
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
3,319
What you said has gone by the same pattern with Vulkan proponents, Doom 2016. An almost year old game, is there anything else to show the wonders of Vulkan beside that game? Just saying it would be nice to know of some other example.
I can agree with that. a broader testing would be nice
 

sirmonkey1985

[H]ard|DCer of the Month - July 2010
Joined
Sep 13, 2008
Messages
22,231
What you said has gone by the same pattern with Vulkan proponents, Doom 2016. An almost year old game, is there anything else to show the wonders of Vulkan beside that game? Just saying it would be nice to know of some other example.


agree, hopefully with the VR support being there it'll create more interest for the api.
 

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,675
I can agree with that. a broader testing would be nice

It's not even testing, we need more than just one game! DX12 has been implemented in a number of titles, and not all of them poorly (and many of the poor ones are works in progress, i.e. BF1).

The only bright spot for Vulkan was rumors that Bethesda was going to do future games on the new id engine. And that's dulled because Bethesda.

Both of these APIs (and low-overhead APIs altogether) got off to a lot of fanfare, but their implementations are generally weak next to DX11. The best hope will be for the engine developers to make good use of both, and to make using these APIs easier on game developers. Game developers don't generally have time to do DX12/Vulkan right.
 

BulletDust

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
6,057
https://www.guru3d.com/news-story/new-patch-brings-vulkan-support-to-doom,6.html

All this snippet highlights is how well Nvidia has managed to squeeze every bit of OpenGL optimisation out of their drivers, the work Nvidia have done under Linux alone is very impressive. It'd be interesting to see how well the Vulkan optimisations perform under the 378.13 drivers under Linux using Wine.

Judging by the increase in performance considering the latest update of The Talos Principle and Nvidia hardware I see no reason whatsoever to claim that Vulkan has years of development before it's benefits become more widespread:

https://hardforum.com/threads/talos...mprovements-and-improved-performance.1926290/
 
Last edited:

IdiotInCharge

NVIDIA SHILL
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
14,675
Judging by the increase in performance considering the latest update of The Talos Principle and Nvidia hardware I see no reason whatsoever to claim that Vulkan has years of development before it's benefits become more widespread:

https://hardforum.com/threads/talos...mprovements-and-improved-performance.1926290/

Years of development in terms of normalizing game engines to use Vulkan as well as DX11 and DX12, and of course ironing out issues like multi-GPU and VR to catch up with DX11. The benefits of the API are obvious, but they're not widespread; Vulkan has a miniscule footprint compared to DX12, and that isn't saying much.
 

BulletDust

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
6,057
Years of development in terms of normalizing game engines to use Vulkan as well as DX11 and DX12, and of course ironing out issues like multi-GPU and VR to catch up with DX11. The benefits of the API are obvious, but they're not widespread; Vulkan has a miniscule footprint compared to DX12, and that isn't saying much.

We'll see, however the benefits of a cross platform open API are obvious and highlighted in the performance of Doom under Wine on Linux.
 

dgz

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 15, 2010
Messages
5,838
We'll see, however the benefits of a cross platform open API are obvious and highlighted in the performance of Doom under Wine on Linux.

How does Doom run under Wine? SC2 is terrible :(

With id having the means to offer phenomenal Vulkan performance and with Quake Champions on the way, my concerns are growing.
 

N4CR

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Oct 17, 2011
Messages
4,948
Great. This can't happen any sooner and I hope more and more developers are seeing the light. I'd say we'll see more vulkan stuff in coming years as it takes a few years to write a game, after seeing the Vulkan success in Doom.

TLDR: Fuck windows 10 + DX12. I'm not going to dual boot that bullshit for just an overrated API, advertisements and useless 'security updates'. Everything has a fucking backdoor anyway so what's the point?
 

BulletDust

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
6,057
How does Doom run under Wine? SC2 is terrible :(

With id having the means to offer phenomenal Vulkan performance and with Quake Champions on the way, my concerns are growing.

Because Vulkan. SC2 needs Vulkan support.
 
Top