When IDsoftware and Vulkan claimed that there would be at least a 25-27% increase in framerate in DOOM 2016, I wasn’t sure if it would be possible. We all saw the performance gains when they showed off DOOM running off the Vulkan API a few months ago. And sure, it was definitely hitting pretty high rates, but it was also running off of Nvidia’s flagship GPU, the GTX 1080. Many, including myself, merely brushed off those claims due to that GPU. 

That said, now that Vulkan support has been added to DOOM and now that it has been pushed live, I’m definitely a believer now. While I didn’t have much to do more specific testing, I did do a short test between the OpenGL and the Vulkan API. This was tested on a PC with the following specs:

Intel 5820k
Nvidia GTX 980Ti Classified
16GB DDR
240GB SSD

Testing was done with following settings:

1920×1080
Ultra settings
AA: disabled
Vsync: disabled

Upon firing up DOOM and running on the Nvidia 368 drivers, I noticed my framerate between 90-120fps with Vsync off. Pretty typically and I’ve seen a few framerate increases due to Nvidia’s recent drivers. However, the big difference was noticed when firing up the Vulkan enabled Doom executable. The moment when you switch from OpenGL to Vulkan, the game shuts down and fires up a new executable with Vulkan enabled. And holy shit, the differences are amazing, to say the least.

When Vulkan was running, the framerates were hovering between 150-210fps! No change to the settings at all. Now, if we can get more games to support Vulkan, you may finally see an end to OpenGL . I don’t know what is needed or how long it takes to get Vulkan onboard but I hope it’s sooner than later. Now while this was running off of a NVidia favored GPU, I also have access to AMD’s RX 480 8GB reference card and will be putting it through the same test. I’ll be updating the article with those framerates, later today.

Update: I was able to grab 30 minutes of testing with the RX 480. Since this is connected to a different PC, I’m adding those specs of that PC below.

RX 480 Test Rig
Intel E3 1231 v3 Xeon
Sapphire RX 480 8GB
16GB DDR3
240GB DDR3

Testing was done with following settings:

1920×1080
Ultra settings
AA: disabled
Vsync: disabled

Same as the Nvidia testing, all of the settings were set to ultra, while AA and Vsync were disabled. With  the OpenGL API enabled, I average between 75-100fps. Once I changed it to the Vulkan API, frame rates hovering at 120-157fps. That said, while I was either in combat with multiple enemies on the screen, the framerate dropped to 110-130. Once I moved to an area with no enemies or with no moving stage elements, it shot up to 157fps and stayed there. That’s nearly a 50% increase and that’s insane!

Sadly I was only able to grab a screenshot of the maximum framerate, as Vulkan isn’t supported by OBS or Xsplit at the moment. If you have access to DOOM on PC, definitely fire it up and see the differences for yourself.

doom-vulkan-200fps

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.