Vulkan is intended to provide a variety of advantages over other APIs as well as its predecessor, OpenGL. Vulkan offers lower overhead, more direct control over the GPU, and lower CPU usage.So do not think and worry about Vulkan Runtime Libraries . The overall concept and feature set of Vulkan is similar to Direct3D 12, Metal and Mantle. Intended advantages of Vulkan over previous-generation APIs include:
- Vulkan API is well suited for high-end graphics cards as well as for graphics hardware on mobile devices (OpenGL has a specific subset for mobile devices called OpenGL ES; it’s still an alternative API in Vulkan supporting devices).
- In contrast to Direct3D 12, Vulkan is available on multiple modern operating systems; like OpenGL, the Vulkan API is not locked to a single OS or device form factor. As of release, Vulkan runs on Android, Linux, Tizen, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows
- Reduced driver overhead, reducing CPU workloads.
- Reduced load on CPUs through the use of batching, leaving the CPU free to do more computation or rendering than otherwise.
- Better scaling on multi-core CPUs. Direct3D 11 and OpenGL 4 were initially designed for use with single-core CPUs and only received augmentation to be executed on multi-cores. Even when application developers use the augmentations, the API regularly does not scale well on multi-cores.
- OpenGL uses the high-level language GLSL for writing shaders which forces each OpenGL driver to implement its own compiler for GLSL that executes at application runtime to translate the program’s shaders into the GPU’s machine code. Instead, Vulkan drivers are supposed to ingest shaders already translated into an intermediate binary format called SPIR-V (Standard Portable Intermediate Representation), analogous to the binary format that HLSL shaders are compiled into in Direct3D . By allowing shader pre-compilation, application initialization speed is improved and a larger variety of shaders can be used per scene. A Vulkan driver only needs to do GPU specific optimization and code generation, resulting in easier driver maintenance, and eventually smaller driver packages.
- Unified management of compute kernels and graphical shaders, eliminating the need to use a separate compute API in conjunction with a graphics API.
- NVIDIA notes that OpenGL is still a great option for a lot of use cases, as it does come at a much lower complexity and maintenance burden than Vulkan, while in many cases still providing great overall performance.
- AMD says that Vulkan supports close-to-metal control, enabling faster performance and better image quality across Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10, and Linux. No other graphics API offers the same powerful combination of OS compatibility, rendering features, and hardware efficiency.