RetroArch Announces Vulkan API Support (& Async Compute)

Subject: General Tech | July 16, 2016 - 06:58 PM |
Tagged: n64, dolphin, libretro, retroarch, vulkan, async shaders, asynchronous compute, amd

While the Dolphin emulator has a lot of mind share, and recently announced DirectX 12 support, they have only just recently discussed working on the open alternative, Vulkan. It looks like the LibRetro developer community will beat them with an update to RetroArch and the LibRetro API. The page for RetroArch 1.3.5 exists as of (according to Google) yesterday, but 404s, so it should be coming soon. It is still in experimental mode, but it's better than nothing.

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Interestingly, they also claim that their Vulkan port of Angrylion makes use of asynchronous compute. It's unclear what it uses that for, but I'm sure it will make for interesting benchmarks.


July 16, 2016 | 08:11 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

How stupid of Dolphin to even include DX12.
It's only available to a small fraction of people, whereas Vulkan is available to virtually all platforms with (going off Doom results) the same performance benefits to both GPU vendors.

July 16, 2016 | 08:41 PM - Posted by Scott Michaud

DX12 was available first, and provides a target to base their rendering back-end off of that should, and probably did, translate well to Vulkan. Also, developers can be caught in hype, too. :p

July 16, 2016 | 08:55 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

So long Dolphin and no thanks for all the windows 10 SuperFish!

RetroArch will be available on more platforms and different OS ecosystems. It's the Vulkan graphics API for the most install base without all the forcing and personal data slurping!

July 18, 2016 | 08:26 PM - Posted by quest4glory

That, and for as much hell as people give developers for using DirectX, it's a mature and very performant set of APIs.

July 16, 2016 | 08:59 PM - Posted by Soup (not verified)

I don't understand what changed. A custom build of Dolphin with DX12 support was released months ago and whenever people asked the developers to merge that renderer into the main branch, they always said it would require too much rework due to the differences in multi-threading and were more interested in pursuing Vulkan since it would be available to more users. When they did they change their mind?

July 17, 2016 | 10:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

When someone did all the work for it starting around December last year. Why is that stupid to add more backend? If the guy who worked on it thought it was a good idea, then good for him. It's his time. It's free of charge. If you are not happy with it, feel free to had the Vulkan backend... Oh wait... You probably can't and it is easier to complain like a french girl. So many grumpy douches on anything related to emulators... "I want everything for free and now!" Having a look at the Cemu forums is always a blast.

PS: And I have Win 7, so I would love to have Vulkan as well, don't get me wrong. I am just waiting for it to happen, since I can't contribute, and complaining won't change anything. Learn to spend your energy son.

July 17, 2016 | 11:40 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

DX12 is a dead end API tied to M$'s windows 10 while Vulkan will be available across all devices and OSs. So why waste all of the effort on any API with such a narrow reach as DX12. M$ can not even give away that windows 10 Keylogger, Ad platform, and forcing system to any users with half a brain.

Vulkan has the install base dew to its unrestricted nature. Windows 10 will not get that 1 billion install base and windows 7 is the New XP! Vulkan may just be on more windows machines than DX12, for users that have 7, and 8.1(with the TIFKAM removed). DX12 is going nowhere fast. AND Vulkan has the same ability to use multi-GPU management in its API, even if M$ is scaring the websites from reporting on Vulkan's abilities.

The real way for the Dolphin users to express their concern to its developers is for them to switch to RetroArch and leave Dolphin to its own devices. The hell with DX12 and its windows 10 EULA stinky smell.

July 18, 2016 | 02:45 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Been streaming Dolphin to my big tv using Geforce Shadowplay and a raspberry pi for over a year now.

yes vulcan running on a future Pi should be interesting

RetroArch running on Playstation or Xbox would be Way more interesting.

what's up with AMD's stock price? They about to be sold? How many Qtr's of cash do they have left?

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