Latest 'Doom' Update Now Supports Vulkan API

Alongside the release of Nvidia’s GTX 1080 and 1070 GPUs recently, the company showed off id Software’s Doom running on the Vulkan API. At launch, the game supported OpenGL only, but the latest update just added support for Vulkan.

Developed by the Khronos Group, Vulkan gives developers more control over GPU resources while also reducing driver overhead. On the player side, the API provides better performance whether you’re using a high-end GPU or a graphics card that merely meets the game’s minimum requirements.

According to Robert Duffy, id Software’s chief technology officer, the studio has worked with Nvidia and AMD since late March to bring Vulkan to Doom.

"When we were looking to adopt Vulkan for Doom, the main question we asked ourselves was: ‘What’s the gamer benefit?’ Ultimately the biggest benefit will be high framerates,” he said. “There are a number of game-focused reasons super-high framerates matter, but primarily it's movement and player feel. The game just feels amazing running that fast, so we made it a priority to try to really exploit the available hardware on PC."

With the latest update, which is already live, you can choose between OpenGL or Vulkan before you start the game. You can also switch APIs in the game’s menu, but it will need to restart.

The addition of Vulkan doesn’t change the game’s system requirements, but id Software noted that in some specific cases, Vulkan isn’t supported on some systems, such Windows 7 PCs that use Nvidia GPUs with 2 GB of RAM or the GTX 690. Users in both camps will have to resort to OpenGL in order to play Doom. In addition, asynchronous compute, a GPU feature that further increases performance, works only in AMD cards in conjunction with Vulkan. The studio is currently working with Nvidia to make sure that the API works with Team Green’s version of asynchronous compute, and an update on the issue is coming “soon.”

Obviously, you’ll need to update your GPU drivers in order to use Vulkan on Doom. For Nvidia GPUs, you’ll need to download WHQL version 368.39. If you’re using an AMD GPU, you’ll need to get the Radeon Software Crimson Edition version 16.7.2.

Developerid Software
PublisherBethesda Softworks
PlatformsWindows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Where To Buy
Release DateMay 13, 2016

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  • neblogai
    It seems that both AMD and nVidia have massive gains on Vulkan, and some users report latest patch gains in OpenGL as well. It would be great if Toms made a comparison of low and high end CPU and GPU performance on Doom. And maybe use it as one of the benchmark games for GPU reviews, for Vulkan performance.
  • megajynx
    And then it was declared that today would be Doom benchmarking day!
  • megajynx
    Update: It's been a slightly disappointing experience for me. When it runs, it runs.... and its so so so good. However, it now crashed a lot on Vulkan. 0% blame on developers because my 760GTX has 1.5GB ram, so it shouldn't run anyway seeing they want 2+.

    Neblogai: I'll try OpenGL and see if theres a boost there.