Intel adds official support for Vulkan, but only for certain GPUs

From ExtremeTech: After months in beta, Intel has announced official Vulkan support for Skylake and Kaby Lake GPUs. Intel’s driver is the first release to add full Vulkan API support (previous releases were all various flavors of beta). In keeping with Intel’s previous remarks on OS support, the latest driver will only support Windows 10 on Kaby Lake, but sixth-generation GPUs are supported in Windows 7, 8.1, and 10. That alone points to the artificiality of the restriction — as far as their graphics pipelines are concerned, Kaby Lake and Skylake use identical GPUs.

Usually, at this point, I’d link to some benchmarks of Intel’s GPU performance in DX11 versus DX12, since Vulkan and DirectX 12 are conceptually extremely similar and (so far as I’m aware) essentially match one another across major features and capabilities. Unfortunately, few articles appear to have been written comparing Intel GPUs in DX11 with DX12. Most reviewers have focused on DX11, perhaps in the belief that end users who care enough to know what API they’re using probably also care enough to own a discrete graphics card.

Very early tests of DX12 showed gains for Intel in that mode and the company has distributed some tech demos showing significant boosts from the API, but there’s not much in the way of benchmarks or performance comparisons with recent cards or drivers.

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