Basemark GPU DX12 VS Vulkan Performance Review

Introduction - Vulkan VS DirectX 12

Basemark GPU DX12 VS Vulkan Performance Review


It's not often that we see a new benchmarking utility stroll into town, daring us to bust out some hardware and crunch a lot of numbers. This week, Basemark's Basemark GPU 1.1 benchmark has landed on our doorsteps, a multi-platform, multi-API tool that can give us yet another way to look at our hardware.

One of the main draws of Basemark GPU is its support for multiple graphical APIs, shipping with support for OpenGL, OpenGL ES, DirectX 12 and Vulkan in version 1.1. In version 1.2, Apple's Metal API will also be supported, allowing Basemark GPU to run on iOS and MacOS devices. This utility will allow us to see how much of an impact modern APIs can have on our hardware, though today our testing will be limited to OpenGL, DirectX 12 and Vulkan on our Windows 10 test system. We have no plans to test this benchmarking tool on Linux or Android operating systems. 

Basemark GPU is designed with Windows, Android and Linux support in mind, with MacOS/iOS support planned for a later version. As a PC-centric website, we will be using a Windows 10-based test system, the most popular OS amongst gamers today.

Basemark GPU DX12 VS Vulkan Performance Review

OpenGL VS Vulkan

A lot of our testing will be a showdown between the Vulkan, OpenGL and DirectX 12 APIs using Basemark GPU's High graphical setting and various resolutions within the benchmark, giving us a clear indication how much performance the newer graphical APIs can bring to the table. 

We will also be comparing gaming hardware from both AMD and Nvidia on each graphical API, allowing us to see which GPU brand this benchmarking tool favours. 

Game Test Rig

Intel i7 6850K @4.0 GHz
ASUS X99 Strix
Corsair Vengeance LP 4x8GB DDR4 3200MHz
Corsair HX1200i
Corsair H110i GT
Windows 10 x64 "October 2018 Update"


GPU Selection

No benchmark test would be complete without a selection of GPUs, which in this case covers Nvidia's GTX 10-series and AMD's RX Vega and RX 500 series graphics cards. We have replaced our RX 480 GPU with its RX 580 equivalent, giving us a fairer comparison point between AMD/Nvidia's modern graphics card lineups. 

Geforce GTX 10-series

- Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition
- Nvidia GTX 1070 Founders Edition
- ASUS GTX 1060 Strix Gaming OC

AMD RX Vega Series

- AMD RX Vega 56

AMD RX 500 Series

- AMD RX 580 Strix OC

Basemark GPU Performance Review


This is where things start to get a little tricky. While using Nvidia GPUs, we found that the benchmark ran flawlessly when utilising the company's latest Geforce 417.01 WHQL drivers, on the AMD side we made use of the company's 18.11.2 drivers. 

Thankfully, Basemark GPU has addressed their incompatibility issues with specific AMD Radeon drivers since the release of Basemark GPU 1.0. 

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Most Recent Comments

29-11-2018, 20:19:39

Given Vulkan is a direct evolution of Mantle's source code it's intriguing to see DX12 still hold a small advantage on AMDs cards. I guess it could be down to the Xbone's use of both GCN and DX12 putting more optimisation work into the combination than traditionally considered worthwhile(Low level APIs are much more dependant on game/app/API side optimisations than driver side; Most work AMD/NVidia do for DX12/Vulkan games are for the game code itself rather than their drivers).Quote

29-11-2018, 20:30:39

It's also quite closely related to modern OpenGL isn't it? Though I'm not a graphics developer, rather not a developer at all, but my understanding was that modern OGL allowed devs to operate with little abstraction, but the API is a convoluted mess overall.Quote

29-11-2018, 21:11:22

While Vulkan is the successor to OpenGL and is also maintained by Khronos group and has an externally similar syntax regarding the developer-facing API calls (Very C-like), the code-base itself was built entirely from scratch (By AMD) and I believe has no legacy code from OpenGL whatsoever.Quote

29-11-2018, 22:57:49

With some Google-fu it seems that the strongest (api) relation between the two is that there's a library which allows running OpenGL ES on top of vulkan using something called GLOVE. Quote

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