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Vulkan is a low-overhead, cross-platform API, open standard for 3D graphics and computing developed by Khronos Group, a successor to OpenGL.

Source Source exclusively uses Direct3D for rendering and does not support Vulkan. However, as of recent updates, some games include a built-in copy of DXVK, a library used to translate Direct3D calls to Vulkan. This is disabled by default, but can be enabled in supported games by passing -vulkan into the game's launch options.

Source 2 Source 2 has implemented a native Vulkan renderer, used by default on Linux; it can also be enabled on Windows by passing -vulkan into the game's launch options.

DXVK notes

  • Vulkan requires NVIDIA Kepler-based cards (GeForce 600 series) or AMD GCN 1.0 or later.
    • Note.pngNote:NVIDIA Kepler-based and AMD GCN 1.0 - 3.0 cards only support Vulkan 1.2, so some Source/Source 2 games that requires Vulkan 1.3 may not work for these cards.
    • Vulkan 1.3 is supported on NVIDIA Maxwell-based cards (GeForce 900 series, aswell as 745, 750 and 750Ti) and AMD GCN 4.0 cards.
  • On Windows, Direct3D is supported natively, so in most cases there is no reason to enable DXVK and doing so may do more harm than good. It should only be used as a last resort to work around graphics driver bugs.
    • Portal 2 in particular is known for having issues with projected textures on various graphics drivers, especially with newer version of graphics drivers: AMD drivers will fail to render all shadows cast by them, while Nvidia drivers will occasionally cause a static-like effect to appear on certain materials being hit by one. Enabling DXVK circumvents these issues.
    • Using DXVK on Windows may break borderless window mode, causing it to behave identically to exclusive fullscreen. This "feature" appears to be a part of the graphics drivers themselves and not fixable by the game.
  • On Linux, where Direct3D is not supported, the Source Engine defaults to using Valve's in-house library ToGL to translate Direct3D calls to OpenGL. Using DXVK on Linux is usually recommended if the game supports it, as ToGL is known for having somewhat poor performance and causing some graphical issues.
  • On macOS, DXVK is not supported, due to Vulkan itself not being supported by Apple. Source Engine games on Mac include ToGL as their only rendering mode.
  • In all games by Valve that support the -gamepadui launch argument, using it will also enable DXVK automatically, including on Windows. Use -dx9 if you don't want this.

Games that support Vulkan

Source (DXVK)

Source 2 (Native)

See also

External links