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NVIDIA Launches Special Vulkan Drivers For GeForce Graphics Cards – Kepler and Maxwell Fully Supported on Windows / Linux


NVIDIA has announced full support for the Vulkan 1.0 API which has just been released by Khronos Group. The next generation API aims to deliver a better programming interface that allows more access to the hardware available on various platforms which include PCs, Smartphones and Consoles. After facing a short delay, the fully open source, cross platform, Vulkan API is now available with latest drivers pouring in from graphics card makers to support the OpenGL's successor.

NVIDIA's Special Vulkan Drivers For GeForce Graphics Cards Offers Full Support For Next Generation API

The Vulkan API is the successor to the OpenGL API and a rival to the Metal API from Apple and DirectX 12 API from Microsoft. The Vulkan API pushes for reduced API overhead and optimized multi-core and multi-threaded performance on current and upcoming hardware. The API is going to be the direct competitor to Microsoft’s DirectX 12 API which is also going to see wide-scale usage in 2016. While DirectX 12 is limited to Microsoft's Windows OS, Vulkan API has the edge of having cross platform and cross vendor support.

Vulkan on the other hand can work on multiple OS which range from Windows (XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10), Linux, SteamOS, Android. Also unlike Mantle, Vulkan will be able to run multiple GPUs from various vendors allowing a more wider support than any previous API. Another leverage over previous APIs is that Vulkan adopts the first open standard cross-API intermediate language for parallel compute and graphics known as SPIR-V, allowing developers to write programs for Vulkan in their own choice of programming language.

“The Vulkan API enables developers to get the best from NVIDIA GPUs, and we are proud of our role in its development,” says Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of content and technology, NVIDIA. “We are making Vulkan drivers available for Windows, Linux, and Android platforms, on the same day as the specification launch, and we’ll continue our work within Khronos to ensure Vulkan evolves to meet industry needs.”

NVIDIA had previously announced full support for the Vulkan API and today they have launched their latest drivers for Windows and Linux OS which adds support for the API on Kepler and Maxwell based GeForce cards so that users can have support for latest and upcoming titles that utilize the new API from the start. One such title is The Talos Principle which utilizes the Vulkan API and showcases the performance enhancement added through it. You can check out the game on Steam.

Vulkan, a new graphics application programming interface, launched today. With a simpler, thinner driver, and efficient CPU multi-threading capabilities, Vulkan has less latency and overhead than OpenGL or Direct3D, and can help your system reach new levels of performance. In simpler terms, Vulkan can help developers avoid CPU bottlenecks that limit performance, and can improve performance elsewhere, too.

If you’re a GeForce GTX gamer, simply download this special Vulkan driver and you can try the new API today in The Talos Principle, a critically-acclaimed puzzle game that’s been upgraded with Vulkan support. via GeForce

The latest drivers for NVIDIA graphics cards are now available. Windows driver version 356.39 and Linux driver version 355.00.26 provide support for the Vulkan 1.0 API. It should be noted that the drivers published by Intel, NVIDIA and Qualcomm have passed the conformance tests for Windows and Linux while the BETA drivers that AMD launched haven't passed the tests. You can find additional details in the following post by NVIDIA:

Vulkan Beta Driver Release Notes:

You will need any one of the following Kepler or Maxwell (both first and second generation Maxwell) based GPUs to get access to Vulkan functionality:

  • Quadro Series: Quadro M6000, Quadro M5000, Quadro M4000, Quadro K6000, Quadro K5200, Quadro K5000, Quadro K4000, Quadro K4200, Quadro K2200, Quadro K2000, Quadro K2000D, Quadro K1200, Quadro K620, Quadro K420
  • Quadro Series (Notebooks): Quadro K5100M, Quadro K5000M, Quadro K4100M, Quadro K4000M, Quadro K3100M, Quadro K2200M, Quadro K2100M, Quadro K3000M, Quadro K2000M, Quadro K1100M, Quadro K1000M, Quadro K620M, Quadro K610M, Quadro K510M, Quadro K500M
  • GeForce 900 Series: GeForce GTX TITAN X, GeForce GTX 980 Ti, GeForce GTX 980, GeForce GTX 970, GeForce GTX 960, GeForce GTX 950
  • GeForce 700 Series: GeForce GTX TITAN Z, GeForce GTX TITAN Black, GeForce GTX TITAN, GeForce GTX 780 Ti, GeForce GTX 780, GeForce GTX 770, GeForce GTX 760, GeForce GTX 760 Ti (OEM), GeForce GTX 750 Ti, GeForce GTX 750, GeForce GTX 745, GeForce GT 740, GeForce GT 730, GeForce GT 720, GeForce GT 710, GeForce GT 705
  • GeForce 600 Series: GeForce GTX 690, GeForce GTX 680, GeForce GTX 670, GeForce GTX 660 Ti, GeForce GTX 660, GeForce GTX 650 Ti BOOST, GeForce GTX 650 Ti, GeForce GTX 650, GeForce GTX 645, GeForce GT 645, GeForce GT 640, GeForce GT 630

NVIDIA GeForce Driver Downloads: