SUGGESTION FOR ARTICLE - Vulkan vs DX11/12 (Pre Steam Deck)

Jun 19, 2020
As we all ponder the emergence of the Steam Deck and whether we really need a tiny portable version of our gaming world (you do, even if you don't), I find myself surprised to still see forums full of DirectX12 gaming related issues.

Regardless of the minuscule performance increase DX12 brought us over DX11 and also ignoring its hard tie into Windows 10, then also considering some of the latest DRM Windows Store forced issues such as the regional lock seen in Outriders recently, I will be truly intrigued to observe the sudden switch around as Steam Deck emerges using a Linux based OS that is Vulkan reliant.

So as pre-emptive experiment and informative article, I think it would not only be quite fun but highly educational to run a series of current AAA titles and some of the old stalwarts (think Destiny 2/LoL/TF2) through a benchmark and compatibility trail. The specific primary goals of course would to be see if they all run at all on Vulkan, and then to see what sort of performance difference we are looking at.

Why don't I just do it myself?

Primarily because I only have one PC I'd say! I think we need a Core i3-i9 and a 1650-3070 comparison to see how CPU/GPU bottlenecks are affected. I also don't have the patience to install a Win10/11 quad boot with Ubuntu and SteamOS.


Jan 31, 2020
I'm definitely no expert on API's but I believe a game has to be programmed using Vulkan for it to work with Vulkan, I'm pretty sure you cant just force something to run in it rather than DX11/12.

Or did I misunderstand something?


Community Contributor
You're right. It would be like telling a DirectX graphics program to run under OpenGL. You've got to re-program it, not just flip a switch. I'm guessing that Steam Deck has some sort of DirectX compatible API inside whatever it's using to emulate Windows. (I've got no need for a Steam Deck, so I haven't been paying much attention.)