Vulkan API Performance Review – The Talos Principle

Vulkan Performance Overview - The Talos Principle



Graphics APIs have been a huge topic of discussion for PC enthusiasts over the past few years, with AMD’s recent Mantle API and Microsoft’s DirectX 12 API already having proven performance advantages on the PC platform. These two new APIs only benefit a small number of people, with DirectX12 only working for those using Windows 10 and AMD’s mantle only Working on AMD users on Windows.  

Those outside of the Windows platform desperately needed a new graphical API with these next generation features, allowing gaming workloads to be carried out in a more efficient and a faster way. Here is where Vulkan comes into the picture.  

Vulkan is the first Multiplatform Next Generation API, not being locked to one hardware manufacturer like AMD’s Mantle or Apple’s Metal API, or locked to a single OS like Microsoft’s DirectX, allowing gamers to benefit from the improvements made in modern APIs regardless of what gaming platform you are using, be it Android, Apple, Linux or Windows.  

Yesterday the Vulkan Specification launched, with driver support from all major graphics manufacturers and even an update to Croteam’s The Talos Principle that allowed the game to use the new API. 

Now that we have drivers and a game to test, let’s have a look at how Vulkan performs. 




For this game we will be using the newest drivers that were available when the game released, which is Nvidia’s Vulkan Ready Geforce 356.39 Beta driver and AMD’s Radeon Software Vulkan Bata driver, both of which became available to the public yesterday.  


Test Setup  

We will be testing this game on our dedicated GPU test rig using the current flagship GPUs from both AMD and Nvidia. Both GPUs will be the reference design and will be ran at stock settings. 


ASUS R9 Fury X & ASUS GTX 980Ti
Intel Core i7 6700K @ 4.7GHz
ASUS Maximus VIII Hero
G.Skill Ripjaws 4x4GB DDR4 3200MHz
Corsair HX1200i
Corsair H110i GT
Windows 10 x64 

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Nvidia GTX 980Ti (Left), AMD R9 Fury X (Right)