I hope you guys did not miss the release of Proton 4.11 a few days ago. As mentioned in our previous post, one of the major additions is to provide a launch option to use D9VK, the DirectX9 renderer that uses Vulkan (and DXVK under the hood). Why use D9VK instead of the DirectX9 renderer included in WINE, do you ask?
Well, it’s mature enough now in terms of DirectX9 features support, and more importantly it performs better. Much better. So much that I tried it with Rocket League this evening, and oh my, the Windows version with D9VK runs MUCH faster than the OpenGL native Linux client. Native zealots won’t probably believe it since they assume all translation layers are slow and result in poorer performance versus native versions. Well here again they will be proven wrong, and it won’t be the last time.
While the following video is unfortunately not representative (blame OBS + a weak CPU) of the excellent frame rate I get (pretty much always 60 fps with no sight of stuttering, which was not the case with the very same settings in OpenGL), this will at least prove that D9VK renders everything correctly, and is completely stable now (at least on my configuration: OS: Solus, CPU: Xeon W3690, Nvidia GTX1060, Drivers 430.x).
How good is it? Well, it’s so good that even running OBS in the background for capture did not result in the frame rate dipping under 60FPS on my screen. The same thing with OpenGL would result in massive, visible stuttering. I can honestly say that Rocket League has never played better, and controllers are recognized exactly as they should be – everything was seamless it launched via the Proton layer. Note that my Xbox360 controller’s vibration feels a lot better now – for some reason the support on the native client had never been great, and now your hands will feel the difference too!
One more observation: in the native client, I have always experienced a micro stutter every single time my car exploded with a “BOOM!” on screen (seen that across different distros as well). This micro-stutter is completely gone with the Windows version running thru D9VK.
I am honestly amazed by how good this has become. I have also tried (with great success) Resident Evil 4 HD, which now renders perfectly too (it used to have weird artifacts) and with smooth-like-butter framerate.
It looks like we pretty much have flawless DirectX9 support at this stage… pending more testing!
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