Here's the difference Vulkan graphics in Android N make (game video demo)


It is one of those news that are nearly impossible to miss – the annual Google I/O developer conference is in full steam, and thousands of developers have gathered up in Mountain View, California to attend it. Even more – over 100,000 – were the people watching the event's opening keynote streamed live, and we can totally understand why interest was so great. In just about two hours, Google managed to wow the crowd by sharing a glimpse of what the future holds for its products and developments – apps, wearables, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and, of course, Android N.

Scheduled to be released this fall, Android N adds a variety of productivity, security, and performance improvements, including native support for the Vulkan API. This would give developers direct control over the device's graphics processor. In turn, games taking advantage of the API can be made to look better – with motion blur, advanced reflections, water effects, and all other sorts of eye candy – without that having a detrimental effect on performance. 

Now, we could probably dedicate a few more paragraphs on what Vulkan does, but perhaps it would be better to give you a more visual representation of it. This video, which appeared shortly after Google's presentation, compares side by side what a modern game looks without and with the API doing its thing. Check it out!

On a related note, Vulkan is already supported on the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge, but the apps taking advantage of it are very, very few. Having the API baked natively into Android would make it accessible to a much broader range of devices, which should translate to more Vulkan-powered games coming in the future.





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46 Comments

1. Jason2k13

Posts: 1460; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

Yeah i cant tell the difference? and which one has VulkaN?

8. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Its like a 320p or 480p highly compressed video, terrible for comparing I think the one on the right is better, it has more reflections and particles

25. krystian

Posts: 423; Member since: Mar 16, 2016

In some parts though it looked the same. The earlier part the car on the right was way ahead of the tower so had different scene harder to compare but the street definitely looked better. But under the bridge the difference was way more subtle. Guess depends on the scene.

46. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, visual improvements depends on devs adding more effects, some scenes have less effects BTW it also depends on the devices Phones with multi core CPUs should see more improvements as OpenGL ES struggles to use multi cores effectively

9. maple_mak

Posts: 953; Member since: Dec 18, 2013

Are you achromatopsia? The 2nd one is Vulkan-ed.

11. FluffyBled unregistered

Had the same problem... then i checked the details in the street!

33. tedkord

Posts: 17312; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

The logical one.

2. Takeharu

Posts: 285; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

With Vulkan it actually matches last gen console graphics, very impressive! Can't wait to see more!

13. Wiencon

Posts: 2278; Member since: Aug 06, 2014

BS, try and compare it to Burnout Paradise from 2008, Burnout looks better and is much, MUCH bigger game than any of those mobile "masterpieces" Mobile gaming is crap

16. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1183; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

True, mobile phones still have to control power consumption which limits the performance it can actually output, on paper, the nvidia X1 actually beats the last gen consoles but in reality, there is still some gap

20. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yep, while the Nvidia X1 and iPad Pros are actually more powerful than the last gen consoles No one is investing money to develope full console/PC class games

41. sgodsell

Posts: 7219; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Tell me something. Do you not think VR is not taxing on a mobile device. It's very taxing. When a user moves the display around everything has to be calculated live and redrawn again from a different perspective. Not once, but twice. Once for each eye, and each eye has to be calculated again for the slight variation on same view. Sorry to burst your bubble, but a SD 820 is more than two times faster than last gen consoles, and the X1 is faster than a SD 820. As a matter of fact the new SD 830 (Q4 2016) 10nm is using quad channel DDR4 2166mhz RAM, and supports a throughput of 58.6 gigabytes per second. It's suppose to reach over 1 teraflop (FP32). Which is close to current gen consoles. The XBox One is 1.28 teraflops. PS/4 is 1.8 teraflops. Wiencon you are so far behind the times.

45. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Did you reply to the wrong comment? I never mentioned VR or the SD 820 That being said I doubt the SD 830 will be capable of 1 TFLOPs in FP32 since the SD 820 is only capable of 0.4-0.5 TFLOPs in FP32 I'd expect something like 0.5-0.7 TFLOPs in FP32 And yep, the 820 is going to struggle with VR Even the PS4 is going struggle with VR, hence why they are making the PS4 Neo If I was to get a Daydream VR HMD, I'd probably only use it for watching media But considering I watch tons of media, it may be worth it depending on its price

49. sgodsell

Posts: 7219; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

I was mainly leaving it for wieniecon, but with some of it for you as well. The current Snapdragon 820 is 14nm with support for dual channel 32bit DDR4 1866mhz RAM, and supports a maximum of 29 gigabyte throughput spread across the bus for DMA and GPU. Whereas the 830 is 10nm with support for quad channel 64bit DDR4 2166mhz RAM, and supports 58.6 gigabyte throughput. This naturally means even faster CPU, DMA and GPU access to the RAM, or twice as fast. I do realize a lot depends on the actual speed of the GPU to begin with for graphics. However the CPU can now do more while simultaneously the GPU can also do more because the the bottle neck that was once on the 820 is now twice as fast. Remember VR uses both the CPU and GPU.

53. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

You're comment isn't really relevance to mine, I didn't mention anything about VR or the 820/830 You should have replied to wieniecon directly BTW you numbers dont add up If the 830 can support quad channel 64bit DDR4 2166mhz, then it would support 69.3 GB/s, not 58.6 GB/s

56. sgodsell

Posts: 7219; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

No, the 58.6 GB/s is directly from Qualcomm. BTW an Intel i5 6th gen has a max memory bandwidth of 34.1 GB/s. So when people tell others that mobile processors are slow and will never reach desktop speeds. Then they need to think again.

57. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Official source please It doesn't add up at all The 820, dual channel 32bit DDR4 1866mhz =(2*32*2*2166/8)=34656 MB/s=34.656 GB/s Quad channel 64bit DDR4 2166mhz =(4*64*2*2166/8)=138624 MB/s=138.624 GB/s I messed up mine too, it should be 138.624 GB/s, I forgot to 2x because its DDR BTW Intel has less memory bandwidth because they have more memory cache So they don't need as much memory bandwidth

42. MuddyCow

Posts: 90; Member since: Oct 09, 2014

Optimization is what give consoles a huge "lead" over PCs and phones, with constantly changing hardware, and different configurations.

44. vincelongman

Posts: 5677; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

What lead? A GTX 750 Ti outperforms a PS4 in most games, and equal in the rest, only a couple excepts where its slightly worse

26. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Try X-Com Enemy within its have almost identical graphic to the PC version and graphic are pretty nice. Mobile gaming is getting much better. Final fantasy IX is another nice looking one.

30. Shocky unregistered

Enemy Within is very good, but the developer is lazy. Not compatible with nvidia hardware. Final Fantasy XI looks okay, but nothing special and the backgrounds are very low resolution.

31. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Nothing perfect but its getting there :) Also world of tank blitz is fun. War thunder is nvidia hardware only wich is sad as i would love to be able to play my same tank as on my ps4 :( but as you said some dev are lazy...

3. cnour

Posts: 2305; Member since: Sep 11, 2014

Where is the difference?

15. maherk

Posts: 6774; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

You won't notice them, your eyes are still used to "retina" displays

19. tech2

Posts: 3487; Member since: Oct 26, 2012

LOL....Shouldn't have read it as I was drinking coffee.

4. Af1rPA

Posts: 712; Member since: Jun 12, 2014

I think it was on the right. The roof of the car looked shinier?

5. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

isnt the difference is obvious? well, maybe its not so obvious for non PC gamers :-/ the difference is like medium setting vs high-ultra setting on PC game.. look at road reflection, car's reflection, overbright, particle effects, and ditance building details

6. Shadocx4

Posts: 134; Member since: Oct 20, 2014

Also motion blur I think, and yeah non PC Gamers can probably not see the difference.

27. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Difference is major. lightning is way better on vulkan. Particles as well. Shading seem better too. Reflection and the distance of viewing is improved. I would say more Medium to High personally not ultra..

58. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

yeah right, ultra on PC usually have some shiny flying dust, and highly detailed texture, which will be useless on mobile, since player wont notice it, lol

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