It's been a bit silent over the last few months with regard to the new graphics APIs, but Basemark is here today to remind us that they haven't been forgotten. The Finnish company has been working hard to build a new benchmark suite specifically for Khronos' upcoming Vulkan API.
The Vulkan API follows the trend that AMD's Mantle API started. It is being crafted to address the massive overhead that higher-level APIs face on GPUs, thereby offering much better performance. While on current GPUs, for gaming purposes at 1080p there isn't a particularly urgent call for more power, the moment that VR strikes, we'll need much more GPU power in order to ensure smooth performance. One solution is to make bigger and faster GPUs, but another solution is to make GPUs work smarter. That's what APIs such as Mantle, DirectX 12, and Vulkan are designed to do.
Details on the new Benchmark are scarce. It is called Basemark GPU Vulkan, and according to Basemark, it's been developed closely with the GPU manufacturers, ranging from the desktop-oriented AMD and Nvidia to mobile-focused Qualcomm, and more.
Basemark's philosophy with this benchmark is that, "Our customers require relevant Vulkan API performance tests as opposed to theoretical workloads," according to the company's CEO, Tero Sarkkinen. The idea there is that the benchmark will give users a good impression of what actual in-game performance would be like.
At this time, Basemark expects to have the benchmark available in Q2 2016 for both desktop and mobile platforms. It's a bit of a ways out, but it looks like 2016 will be an exciting year for PC graphics and VR.
Niels Broekhuijsen has been with Tom's Hardware since 2012, and works as a Contributing Editor on the news team. He covers mostly hardware, components, and anything else that strikes his fancy. Outside of work, he likes to travel, cook, and fix things that are broken.