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Vulkan Support on the Raspberry Pi 4: Progress and Demo Pictures

(Image credit: Raspberry Pi Foundation)

The Raspberry Pi is well-known for its size and value, but soon it could be recognized for its considerable performance. A few months ago, the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced the development of Vulkan support on the Raspberry Pi 4. Today the team released an update regarding the current state of the project as well as demo pictures to show their progress. 

(Image credit: Raspberry Pi Foundation)

Vulkan is a cross-platform graphics API. In January, the team managed to render a colored triangle using just a small portion of the Vulkan 1.0 API, but today they're using the Khronos Conformance Test Suite to pass over 70,000 tests.

(Image credit: Raspberry Pi Foundation)

The demo pictures are visually impressive, especially when placed alongside the triangle rendered in January. However, the team has quite a bit of work ahead of them before the driver can be used in something as demanding as a video game. Until then, the workload is simply too complex to handle.

The team already has an action plan lined up for the next couple of months. They intend to provide basic support for the Vulkan 1.0 feature set and then move on to CTS conformance. If you want to read more about the current state of development, check out the full post on the official Raspberry Pi blog.

  • bit_user
    Too bad it can't play Crysis.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    bit_user said:
    Too bad it can't play Crysis.
    I figured it'd come up, so I thought I'd get ahead of it. But Crysis preceded Vulkan by about 8 years, so it's not remotely relevant.

    However, it does give me a chance to share some pertinent details about the Pi's GPU. So, let's compare it with the consoles and high-end cards at the end of 2007, and with entry-level PC iGPUs and dGPUs, available today.

    As there seem to be no theoretical specs published for the Pi, I've done the best with what I could find. Also, in an effort to be fair, I've used base clocks for compute performance. Finally, for consoles and iGPUs, I'm only looking at the theoretical performance of the graphics portion.

    MakeModelIntroducedMSRPGFLOPSGB/secPiv4 (2GB)2019-06
    $35

    32

    4.4
    SonyPS32006-11
    $500

    251

    22.4
    MicrosoftXBox 3602005-11
    $400

    240

    22.4
    Nvidia8800 GT 2007-10
    $200

    336

    57.6
    AMDHD 38702007-11
    $220

    497

    57.6
    NvidiaGT 10302017-05
    $70

    942

    48.0
    AMDRX 5502017-04
    $80

    1126

    112.0
    IntelHD 6302017
    $64

    441

    38.4
    AMDRX Vega 82019-07
    $100

    1280

    46.9

    Hopefully, this will establish some realistic expectations. Put plainly: the availability of Vulkan support will not magically transform the Pi into a console-class gaming machine. Not even on par with consoles of the Crysis era. Not even close.

    References:
    https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=244519&start=50https://magpi.raspberrypi.org/articles/raspberry-pi-4-specs-benchmarkshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_3_technical_specificationshttps://www.psdevwiki.com/ps3/RSXhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_technical_specificationshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nvidia_graphics_processing_unitshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_graphics_processing_unitshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_graphics_processing_unitshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_accelerated_processing_units
    Reply
  • misanthropic-gamer
    bit_user said:
    I figured it'd come up, so I thought I'd get ahead of it. But Crysis preceded Vulkan by about 8 years, so it's not remotely relevant.

    However, it does give me a chance to share some pertinent details about the Pi's GPU. So, let's compare it with the consoles and high-end cards at the end of 2007, and with entry-level PC iGPUs and dGPUs, available today.

    As there seem to be no theoretical specs published for the Pi, I've done the best with what I could find. Also, in an effort to be fair, I've used base clocks for compute performance. Finally, for consoles and iGPUs, I'm only looking at the theoretical performance of the graphics portion.

    MakeModelIntroducedMSRPGFLOPSGB/secPiv4 (2GB)2019-06
    $35

    32

    4.4
    SonyPS32006-11
    $500

    251

    22.4
    MicrosoftXBox 3602005-11
    $400

    240

    22.4
    Nvidia8800 GT2007-10
    $200

    336

    57.6
    AMDHD 38702007-11
    $220

    497

    57.6
    NvidiaGT 10302017-05
    $70

    942

    48.0
    AMDRX 5502017-04
    $80

    1126

    112.0
    IntelHD 6302017
    $64

    441

    38.4
    AMDRX Vega 82019-07
    $100

    1280

    46.9

    Hopefully, this will establish some realistic expectations. Put plainly: the availability of Vulkan support will not magically transform the Pi into a console-class gaming machine. Not even on par with consoles of the Crysis era. Not even close.

    References:
    https://www.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=244519&start=50https://magpi.raspberrypi.org/articles/raspberry-pi-4-specs-benchmarkshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PlayStation_3_technical_specificationshttps://www.psdevwiki.com/ps3/RSXhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_360_technical_specificationshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Nvidia_graphics_processing_unitshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_graphics_processing_unitshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Intel_graphics_processing_unitshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_AMD_accelerated_processing_units
    So.. offense meant, all of the Pi's are worthless for graphics; especially gaming anything. Raspberry Pi is a mostly-lame SoC that can run linux... and not much else. BTW, I own several, so I'm not disrespecting. I'm just throwing down the facts.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    misanthropic-gamer said:
    So.. offense meant, all of the Pi's are worthless for graphics; especially gaming anything.
    That's basically what I was trying to get at, but some people really don't like anything negative being said about the Pi.

    So, I thought I'd post up the data, and folks could see for themselves just how it stacks up.
    Reply