PowerVR Vulkan demo delivers lots of gnomes per second


— 5:36 PM on August 10, 2015

Imagination Technologies has made a demo showcasing Vulkan's performance on one of its GPUs, alongside a blog post with all of the details . The demo compares Vulkan's performance to OpenGL ES in the same gnome-filled scene, and it's quite impressive. See the video for yourself:

Yep, that's a lotta gnomes per second. The Gnome Horde demo is running on an Intel-based Nexus Player set-top box, which packs a 1.8Ghz quad-core Atom along with a PowerVR G6430 GPU. The box ran the demo using the latest Vulkan prototype driver. Impressive performance aside, the company emphasizes that this scenario is meant to bring out the best in Vulkan, aiming to be as GPU-limited as possible. It also warns that it's using OpenGL ES "in a way that it was not designed for."

If you follow the graphs along the bottom left corner of the video on the Vulkan side, CPU load is pretty evenly distributed evenly across all cores, and that's no mistake: Imagination Technologies says Vulkan is much better at multi-threading than OpenGL ES. CPU usage also remains minimal in the parts of the demo with slow pans, where framerates appear steady and smooth. Once the camera goes into full-blown insanity mode, though, the OpenGL ES version nearly stops dead, while Vulkan continues to run smoothly.

There is one hitch here: the company points out that taking advantage of Vulkan requires more complex code, but the results look to be well worth it.

   
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