Is Vulkan faster than OpenGL

Vulkan vs. Metal: Is Apple Missing Its Opportunity Again?

Stephan Wiesend

MoltenVK enables game developers to use the OpenGL successor Vulkan for iOS and macOS applications.

EnlargeValve relies heavily on the OpenGL successor Vulkan

For game fans with an Apple computer, there is obviously hope: With the MoltenVK developer tools, now presented as open source, it will be much easier to port Vulkan applications to macOS and iOS. A first example is the game "Dota 2", which Vulkan user Valve ported to macOS. Compared to the OpenGL version, the new Vulkan version should offer a whole 50 percent higher frame rates, and the update will be released shortly.

Once you have developed an application with Vulkan, you can use the game or program on Windows, Linux and other platforms. Support for macOS and iOS has been lacking so far, so MoltenVK uses Apple's Metal framework for porting. The Khronos Group is behind the Vulkan graphics API, which can also be described as a further development of OpenGL. The most prominent supporter is the Steam operator Valve, Vulkan uses its own Source 2 engine. Vulkan can also use the Unity development environment.

The platform-independent Vulkan is currently in competition with Apple's graphics API Metal and Microsoft's new DirectX 12 standard.

At least Google has opted for Vulkan, Android supports the API natively in addition to Open GL ES.

EnlargeAfter switching from Open GL to Vulkan, the game runs much faster.

Our opinion : At first glance, it's good news that Vulkan developers can easily implement their apps and games on iOS and macOS. Vulkan is certainly a significant improvement on Open GL, which is still the basis of most iOS games. It would be even easier for developers, however, if Apple supported Vulkan natively, as was the case with Open GL.

It would have been too nice for game developers: Develop a game and then simply publish it for Windows, Mac, Linux, consoles, Android and iOS ...

Obviously, Apple wants developers to use their own proprietary Mac and iOS interface Metal - and applications appear exclusively for iOS or macOS. Thanks to high sales in the iOS store, Apple is likely to have success with it. Apple is not alone with this attitude; Microsoft also wants to enforce its own API DirectX 12. Vulkan is natively supported by the newer graphics cards under Windows, but apps in the Microsoft Appe Store are only allowed to use DirectX. Vulkan will likely face tough times between these two competitors.