Doom PC Adds Vulkan Support, Which Helps It Run Better--Even on Older GPUs

Make sure your drivers are up to date and enjoy better frame rates.

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A new update for the PC version of Doom has introduced Vulkan support, which should help the game run more smoothly across a range of hardware.

Vulkan is an API first released earlier this year that provides developers with more extensive control over hardware, which can result in better performance. And indeed, that's what id Software says you can expect, provided you have a Vulkan-capable GPU (of which there are many--if your card meets Doom's requirements, it should fit the bill). Vulkan is something that will benefit both those with high-end hardware and those with older video cards.

You might remember an impressive demonstration of Doom earlier this year, when it was seen running on a GTX 1080--that was with the game running on Vulkan.

"Ultimately the biggest benefit [of Vulkan] will be high frame rates," CTO Robert Duffy said in a new blog post. "There are a number of game-focused reasons super-high frame rates matter, but primarily its 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.

"We also anticipate some older GPUs will now be able to play the game at good frame rates. We hope the range of GPU support widens with additional game and driver updates. That said, this is the first time a triple-A game is releasing on a brand-new API and brand-new drivers so there may be a few bumps, but our testing is showing really great performance and stability."

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Steam should automatically download an update for Doom that enables Vulkan support. With that installed, you'll now be asked whether you want to use Vulkan or OpenGL when first launching the game. (It's also an option in the Advanced settings, but changing APIs forces the game to restart.) Before choosing Vulkan, you'll want to make sure your drivers are up to date--you'll need to at least be on Nvidia's 368.69 drivers or AMD's 16.7.2.

An FAQ regarding Vulkan support lays out some known issues and highlights some of the cards that don't support the API. Those include Nvidia cards with 2 GB of memory on Windows 7, as well as the GTX 690.

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