Normally we don’t cover news posts that often, but I think the latest version of
vkd3d-proton – a project that allows Direct3D 12 titles to run through Proton – deserves a spot in the sunlight. In this release we’re specifically looking at GPU improvements. According to the patch notes, the image layouts “for color and depth-stencil targets” have been re-written in a way that allows the developers of the project to remove “a lot of dumb barriers.” They claim that with the removal of these barriers Horizon Zero Dawn has a “GPU bound uplift” of 15%-20%, Death Stranding by 10%, and 5%-10% in “many other titles.”
To put this claim to the test, I ran a few benchmarks with Horizon Zero Dawn: some with the new VKD3D release, the others without it. Have a look at the results below. This was using Proton Experimental (6.29.2021) and benchmarked at 1080p resolution. The only launch parameter I’m using for this game is
PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=60; I am not using GameMode. As always, hardware is as follows:
- GTX 1660 Super (graphics driver 465.31)
- 24 GB RAM
It looks like the developers really lived up to their claim. We’re seeing a 6 FPS increase on the average framerate on the highest preset, from 47 to 53; that’s about a 15% increase. On the opposite end of the spectrum, on the lowest graphics preset, we’re seeing a 20% increase, from 75 FPS to 90 FPS. Great!
The patch notes don’t say whether AMD also benefits from this or not, but I can assume they’ll also be able to enjoy the framerate increase.
VKD3D 2.4 comes with not only GPU framerate improvements, but a whole lot of other goodies too, particularly bug fixes. Certain black screen triggers in Cyberpunk 2077 have been fixed, and random hanging in the inventory screen has also been fixed for RADV users. GravityMark can now run. Alt-Tab handling for Horizon Zero Dawn has been fixed. Black grounds should no longer be rendered on DiRT 5. For more info, including a few extra development features, have a look at the patch notes.
Want to upgrade your version of VKD3D? Download the pre-compiled DLL files on the Releases section. Extract the 64-bit DLL file (or 32-bit if the game is 32-bit) to your game’s install directory. Alternatively, if you want to compile from source, check out the README for compilation instructions.