What is VulkanRT? and Why It’s importance for gaming

If you have noticed VulkanRT in your computer, the odds are great that your antivirus program flagged it, you discovered it on forums, or you simply stumbled upon this program when going through your computer’s program list. As it is with other programs, if you aren’t familiar with the name, VulkanRT may seem a bit intimidating. But in all actuality, it isn’t.

VulkanRT eases the workload for your PC

VulkanRT (Vulkan Runtime Libraries) is a graphics API (Application Programming Interface) that is designed to balance workloads for your PC’s CPU and GPU. This cross-platform API helps the CPU and GPU reach higher levels of performance with efficient system resource usage and management. 

VulkanRT isn’t entirely a first of its kind as it has its predecessors, including OpenGL, Direct3D, and Mantle API. However, as a successor of the existing CPU/GPU APIs, VulkanRT brings a wide array of CPU and GPU optimisation advancements, with better 2D/3D rendering and multi-threading being the two most important ones. 

Image credit: Khronos

What is VulkanRT used for? 

VulkanRT is useful for programs and applications that put heavy workloads on the CPU and especially on the GPU. These types of programs, for the most part, are PC/console games, 3D technical design workstations, and 2D/3D graphics simulators. 

Program and application developers benefit from VulkanRT by getting direct and more access to the CPU and GPU which was previously limited in the existing CPU/GPU APIs. 

Image credit: Khronos

How did VulkanRT get installed on your computer?

Unlike the DirectX API, VulkanRT doesn’t come included with Windows OS or with any other PC or mobile operating systems. So, how did it get installed on your PC? One of the most common ways VulkanRT get installed on computers is when you update the driver of an AMD, NVIDIA, and/or an Intel graphics card. 

If you have upgraded, downloaded the newer drivers, or are using newer versions of Broadcom, Qualcomm, VeriSilicon, and ARM, you are likely to have VulkanRT installed on your PC, console, or phone. 

Image credit: Khronos

Also, installing games that are developed with game engines that support VulkanRT is another common way the API gets embedded in your PC/console/phone. Some of these game engines include Source, Cryengine, Unreal Engine, Unity, and Stride. 

Image credit: Khronos

The importance of VulkanRT in the gaming realm

VulkanRT is simply one of the best innovations in the gaming realm. The fact that the open-source API offers game developers the full-fledged freedom to have more control over CPU and GPU usage opens up the possibility to make games smoother and more graphically-intricate. For gamers and end-users, these benefits translate to better high-dynamic range performance in 4K resolution and much more. 

Image credit: Khronos

Also, the benefits of VulkanRT, including refined parallel computing and better GPU optimisation aren’t limited to just a single platform. The flexibility to seamlessly transition between PC, console, and mobile platform helps developers make new game development projects more cost-effective and shorten the development timeline. 

Image credit: Khronos

Games that require VulkanRT

Many modern games utilise the multi-threading, parallel computing benefits of VulkanRT. The Talos Principle was the first game to show proof of concept during the API’s inception while Doom became “the first major game to release Vulkan as a patch as opposed to a proof of concept.”

Image credit: Khronos

Here’s a list of modern games that support VulkanRT

  • Doom
  • Galaxy on Fire 3: Manticore
  • Dream League Soccer
  • Need for Speed: No Limits
  • Ashes of the Singularity 
  • Dota 2
  • Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Astral Crown
  • Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia
  • F1 2017
  • X Rebirth VR 
  • Serious Sam VR: The first and second encounter
  • Olympus Rising
  • Forsaken Remastered
  • Half-Life: Alyx

Click here to check out more games that support VulkanRT. 

Better game performance boost with Vulkan Ray Tracing

Many modern games benefit from significant developments in ray tracing in terms of graphics performance. The good news is, Vulkan now supports Ray Tracing. Just like the very nature of VulkanRT, the API’s support for ray tracing is hardware agnostic. In other words, “you won’t need a graphics card with ray tracing hardware acceleration on board” as per Techradar

Image credit: Khronos

If you want to learn about the technical details and specifications of Vulkan’s ray tracing support, check out the official spec release blog post by Khronos. 

What if you don’t have VulkanRT on your PC?

It’s not always necessary to have Vulkan runtime libraries on your PC or smartphone, especially if you’re a lightweight user and don’t use heavy programs or graphics-intensive games. If you don’t have a modern, dedicated AMD or NVIDIA graphics card in your PC, not having VulkanRT will not make any significant difference. 

Is VulkanRT a virus? Malicious threats in disguise? 

The original VulkanRT API is by all means no threat. However, there are several malicious programs, spyware, and viruses disguised as VulkanRT. These types of malicious programs usually infect PCs and smartphones via emails and unofficial website downloads. 

Here’s a detailed comparison between legitimate and malicious VulkanRT. 

Image credit: 2Spyware

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