DirectX Vulkan ‘DXVK’ 2.0 Improves Performance, Adds Various Fixes Through Vulkan 1.3 Graphics Driver

Jason R. Wilson
DirectX Vulkan 'DXVK' 2.0 Improves Performance, Adds Various Fixes Through Vulkan 1.3 Graphics Driver 1
Image source: J. Wilson, Wccftech.

DirectX Vulkan or DXVK 2.0 was released yesterday and was feature-rich, with significant changes to utilize the newest Vulkan support. Dynamic Rendering, Null Descriptors, and Extended Dynamic States had to be altered and updated to not use the original paths for older drivers that initially supported these features.

DXVK 2.0 improves Direct3D gaming support within the Vulkan 1.3 driver

Looking at D3D9 changes, DXVK 2.0 improves memory management, especially in 32-bit games in D3D9. DXVK 2.0 uses explicitly mapped files to allow the system to collect shadow texture copies. For the user, they can free large amounts of address space to access "several hundred megabytes" of memory access that was previously inaccessible. The developer does note that this memory management modification will not work on games that are 64-bit, D3D10, and D3D11 APIs. The "render target feedback loops" in D3D9 are improved for new AMD hardware while requiring driver workarounds. One game affected by this issue is GTA IV, as noted by the developer of DXVK 2.0. Games using the option "d3d9.alphaTestWiggleRoom" have been removed, allowing the games to work more effectively.

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In D3D10, both the d3d10.dll and d3d10_1.dll files were shipped incompletely but not installed by default. Version 1.6 was the last time the files were used in a default manner, especially in the wine version. The wine implementation provided additional essential features for compatible games and the Effects framework. Since the two DLL files are not included, the DXVK API will still support D3D10 API through the d3d10core.dll file.

DXVK 2.0 will begin to utilize D3D11's Feature Level 12_1 feature support, bringing tiled resources and conservative rasterization up to Tier 3, and rasterizer-ordered views.

The new support is directed at game launchers and several games that require D3D11 support. The dev team notes that in games that do not require support, there is a chance of incompatibility during use. Intel and AMD cannot currently support the level 12_0 feature, which is not included in the Intel ANV and AMD Vulkan drivers. Intel's ANV support is limited to the previous level 11_1 and applies to DXVK and vkd3d-proton.

The ID3D11DeviceContext implementation has been altered to allow immediate contexts and deferred contexts not to rely on "common entry points," similar to behaviors seen in the Windows operating system. It should also increase the compatibility with third-party libraries and modifications that focus directly on "D3D11 immediate context." The processor is now capable of running more efficiently with less power drawn. This new implement assists gamers playing Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Origins and Sony's God of War.

Drivers supporting the VK_EXT_graphics_pipeline_library will now have the shaders compiled simultaneously with the D3D shaders, reducing hiccups in the shader compiler.

For more information about the new DXVK 2.0, check out the project's wiki and download the newest driver on the project's GitHub page.

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