Vulkan API Overhead Test Added to 3DMark

Futuremark has released a new version of 3DMark that adds the Vulkan support to the API Overhead test. We can now compare the API performance of Direct3D 11, Direct3D 12 and Vulkan.

Vulkan logo

Vulkan is a new graphics API that provides high-efficiency, low-level access to modern GPUs in a wide variety of devices from PCs to smartphones. APIs like Vulkan and DirectX 12 make better use of multi-core CPUs to streamline code execution and eliminate software bottlenecks, particularly for draw calls.

Games typically make thousands of draw calls per frame, but each one creates performance-limiting overhead for the CPU. Vulkan and DirectX 12 reduce that overhead, which means more objects, textures and effects can be drawn to the screen.

The 3DMark API Overhead feature test measures API performance by making a steadily increasing number of draw calls. The result of the test is the number of draw calls per second achieved by each API before the frame rate drops below 30 FPS.

The purpose of the test is to compare the relative performance of different APIs on a single system. The API Overhead feature test is not a general-purpose GPU benchmark, and it should not be used to compare graphics cards from different vendors.

More information and download links can be found HERE.

I tested this new version of 3DMark with two graphics cards:
MSI Radeon RX 470

– CPU: Intel Core i5 4670K
– Motherboard: GIGABYTE G1 SNIPER M5
– Memory: 16GB of DDR3-1600 G-Skill
– PSU: a noisy Corsair TX850
– Windows 10 64-bit
– Graphics drivers: NVIDIA R378.92 and AMD Crimson 17.3.3.

Here is the result for the Radeon RX 470:
– Direct3D 12 draw calls per second: 13’478’469
– Vulkan draw calls per second: 11’883’672

3DMark - Vulkan API Overhead test with a Radeon RX 470

Here is the result for the GeForce GTX 1070:
– Direct3D 12 draw calls per second: 13’900’334
– Vulkan draw calls per second: 14’455’215

3DMark - Vulkan API Overhead test with a GeForce GTX 1070