Valve Backs Vulkan over DX12

Valve Backs Vulcan over DX12

Valve Backs Vulkan over DX12


DirectX has always had one major disadvantage over other graphical APIs, that being that it can only work on Microsoft Operating systems. While this is one of the major reasons that Microsoft has remained the top operating system for gaming, this may be about to change with the launch of the Khronos Groups new Vulkan API. 

Vulkan was born from the ashes of AMD’s Mantle, with AMD providing the Khronos group with all of their work and code so that they could build their own Next generation API. Unlike DirectX 12 or other graphical APIs this API will not be hardware or software specific, allowing the API to be used by not just Windows 10, but Windows 7, Linux,  Android and even be used on any hardware, not just AMD, Intel and Nvidia. 

The Vulkan API has the potential to start a gaming revolution on Linux, since this will be the first time that an Open API will have a level playing field in terms of features when compared to DirectX and will offer developers with a much wider potential userbase.


KHRONOS Reveal the Vulkan API



When speaking at SIGGRAPH 2015 Valve’s Dan Ginsburg made a very aggressive statement, saying that Vulcan was superior to DirectX 12 in many ways and argues that unless a developer was very keen to get onto a modern API this year that there is no real reason to create a back end for DirectX 12 in you game given the fact that Vulkan exists.  

Below is a full transcript of what Dan Ginsbury says at SIGGRAPH, which is also in the below video at the following time (1:41:01);


Since hosting the first Vulkan face-to-face meeting last year, we’ve been really pleased with the progress of the API and we think it’s the right way forward for powering the next generation of high performance games.

Here’s why we think Vulkan is the future. Unless you are aggressive enough to be shipping a DX12 game this year, I would argue that there is really not much reason to ever create a DX12 back end for your game. And the reason for that is that Vulkan will cover you on Windows 10 on the same class of hardware and so much more from all these other platforms and IHVs that we’ve heard from. Metal is single platform, single vendor, and Vulkan; we are gonna have support for not only Windows 10 but Windows 7, Windows 8, we’re gonna have it on Android and all of the IHVs are making great progress on drivers, I think we’re going to see super rapid adoption. If you’re developing a game for next generation APIs, I think it’s clear that Vulkan is the best choice and we’re very pleased with the progress and the state of the API. We think it’s gonna power the next generation of games for years to come.  


With next generation API’s like DirectX 12 and Vulkan around the corner PC gaming is in for some very interesting times. With these new API’s unlocking a lot of extra potential from our hardware our games will both look and run better and with Vulkan’s wide platform and hardware coverage we will likely be seeing more games on Linux and on other non-Microsoft platforms.


You can join the discussion on Valve’s  support of the Vulkan API on the OC3D Forums.