GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

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Graf Zahl
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GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by Graf Zahl »

Now that the survey is closed and I had time to crunch the available numbers, here's some more detailed results than usual.

The following breakdown was made with 15400 reports overall:

First the hardware breakdown:

43.3% are using an NVidia high end card, meaning a Geforce GTX 970 or better.
7.2% use a comparable AMD card
2.8% use an oder generation high end NVidia card, meaning Geforce GTX 670 or better
1.8% use an Apple M1/M2
------------------------------
55.1% use modern hardware with good or excellent performance.

8.7% use mid range hardware that may not have sufficient performance for using postprocessing effects
27.5% use low end hardware that nomially supports Vulkan - these are mostly older laptops.
------------------------------

8.7% uses non-Vulkan capable hardware - this was roughly at 10% most of the time during my initial reports but i made a mistake there and erroneously excluded some entry level Geforces from Vulkan that actually do support it. With this being corrected, non-Vulkan capable hardware dropped significantly below 10%.

Now the operation system breakdown:

82.1% use Windows 10 or Windows 11
3.8% use Windows 7 or Windows 8.
4 users (not percent!) used Windows on ARM, one of thse in a VM on a Mac.

1.6% use a Mac with Intel CPU
1.8% use a Mac with ARM CPU

10.5% use Linux


So, what does this all mean?
First, we have seen a very steep drop in use of non-Vulkan capable hardware. This was around 15% last year, so this segment shed roughly 40% of its user base - but the interesting thing here that it is mostly the higher end, i.e. Geforce GTX 550 and up, that are responsible for the drop. This segment of the user base has virtually evaporated by now, leaving mostly Intel powered systems. NVidia now stands at less than 10% of non-Vulkan capable hardware, and only half of this features some decent performance.

With this and the performance characteristics of the remaining hardware considered the future of OpenGL support needs some serious reconsideration.95% of this hardware is better served by the GLES backend with its low end specific optimizations.
This situation will be addressed by reworking the startup code to prefer GLES and Vulkan and demote the full GL backend to a fallback option, so that it can still be used in case one of the others does not work. In general, though, it should be clear that OpenGL's days are numbered.

More importantly, though, the situation on macOS now is that the Intel segment is shrinking while the ARM segment is disproportionately growing. On M1, however, OpenGL is close to useless - and performance tests on Intel based Macs generally show that Vulkan/MoltenVK tends to have roughly the same performance as OpenGL. Furthermore, the number of Mac users on non-Metal capable hardware is so low (low double digits, less than 0.1% of the total user base) that this does not warrant keeping support alive. As such, the next GZDoom release will drop OpenGL support on macOS and from now on only provide the Vulkan/MoltenVK backend using the native Metal API.

Windows 7 is also dropping rapidly. This has no immediate consequences, but expect regressions to occur in cases where we have to consider better support on modern OSs that do not filter back well.
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KynikossDragonn
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by KynikossDragonn »

Core OpenGL as a fallback option would be great for me since Intel's Vulkan under Linux is once again falling victim to graphical corruption inside of GZDoom but OpenGL with INTEL_DEBUG=reemit set in the environment will avoid said corruption.

I guess I'll have to see if the corruption goes away next time the Mesa package is updated on Void Linux. (Or maybe by some bizarre stroke of luck someone with the exact model of NUC I'm using can open up bugs with Mesa and do all the extraneous testing involved in that, I can't presently do it because this is a desktop system and I don't want to wrestle trying experimental patches when this is the only working desktop I have)
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Graf Zahl
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by Graf Zahl »

Your experience is the reason why we cannot discontinue OpenGL yet. Issues with Vulkan are still far too widespread on some hardware. What kind of GPU do you have?
But that's really the only future I see for it - The real GL hardware still in use is far too weak to handle GZDoom's main shader well, the 3 most common GPUs in the GL segment are Intel HD2500, HD4000 and HD4600, plus their unnamed even lower end companions.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by KynikossDragonn »

This NUC is using the Intel Iris Pro 580. I SPECIFICALLY went with this generation primarily because I heard nothing but trouble with Intel Graphics past this generation. It's been serving me well, not everything requires INTEL_DEBUG=reemit, and even with it set there's not really much performance loss from what I've tested. The Vulkan driver doesn't seem to have debug flags like the OpenGL driver does, so when that suffers corruption I have no choice but to put up with it, or switch renderers if I'm able to.

It's rather amusing also this benchmarked very poorly under Windows 10, but on Linux I've had nothing but smooth sailing, though Unity Engine and such prove to be problematic as always. (probably because those engines are notoriously unoptimized even on heavy hitter discrete cards)
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by Graf Zahl »

Performance wise that's approximately comparable to a Geforce GTX550. More than enough for playing even demanding maps in GZDoom, just don't think about shadowmaps and SSAO.
I find it odd that the drivers are still shit, though.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by KynikossDragonn »

Sometimes Mesa pushes out a update that has rather unfortunate regressions. Nothing I can really do about it except ride the storm since they expect people that file bug reports to have a entire thing setup to test patches, including kernel level patches. (the so called drm-tip) If I had a redundant identical NUC as I have now I wouldn't mind participating in that seriously, but I can't afford to break my system any more than it occasionally breaks.

Hell, libX11 had a recent update and Void Linux rolled it back because of a nasty regression that causes Godot Engine and vkQuake to crash, and Steam to spam dozens of XLib errors.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by Ihavequestions »

Graf Zahl wrote: Mon Dec 19, 2022 1:37 amYour experience is the reason why we cannot discontinue OpenGL yet. Issues with Vulkan are still far too widespread on some hardware. What kind of GPU do you have?
But that's really the only future I see for it - The real GL hardware still in use is far too weak to handle GZDoom's main shader well, the 3 most common GPUs in the GL segment are Intel HD2500, HD4000 and HD4600, plus their unnamed even lower end companions.
Well, I have a powerful gaming laptop with an RTX 3080 (comparable to a desktop 3070), and it is currently getting massively worse performance on Vulkan compared to OpenGL using the exact same settings, playing the exact same area of a map.

There are certain areas in specific maps that get my system down to less than 20 fps on Vulkan where I get 80 fps on OpenGL. I don't remember having had such issues earlier, so that might be just a driver issue, indeed, but it's those things that make it necessary to keep OpenGL as an option.

EDIT: The issue seems to have been related to the "Vulkan/OpenGL present method" setting in the NVidia Control Panel. Setting it to "Auto" or "Prefer native" fixes it. The resulting performance is still a few percent worse than with OpenGL, though.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by Professor Hastig »

Here's something I randomly noticed while reading about previous surveys:

This summary claims roughly 55% of users being on high end cards. This number hasn't changed significantly since the 4.2 survey. Yes, the lowest low end did decline, only to be replaced by less low end entry level hardware, while the low end of the high end has been replaced by more performant high end hardware.

If I had to draw a conclusion from this it'd be that there is two very distinct user groups here - on the one hand the power gamers who run well performing hardware and on the other hand the casuals who seem to buy their laptops without any real regard to performance and then run games on them anyway. And there seems to be very little migration between these two groups.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by Graf Zahl »

Yeah, it really looks like it. Does this really surprise anyone? Those with good hardware tend to get better hardware and those with cheap hardware will mostly again go cheap unless something important changes.

I guess this duality will remain for all eternity and limit the scope of what we can do. Unlike professional games we cannot just say "kiss my ass" to those low end hardware people.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by Rachael »

Oh we darn well could - and it'd result in some outrage, for sure - but then, even cheap hardware will eventually catch up.

In fact, a free project like GZDoom has even more "KMA" abilities than a commercial game. Commercial games *do* have to cater to low-end audiences if they want to make more money, but they can still set their standards pretty high especially with what they are willing to offer official support for. Hands of Necromancy, for example, pretty much said on the outset "OpenGL is not and never will be supported officially, but we're not going to block you from using it". We only officially support Vulkan and Metal. We only support Windows 10/11, Ubuntu 20.04/22.04, and Mac OS 12/13. But it will still run just fine on much older OS's and hardware - we just said "you're on your own for that" and that's that.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by Graf Zahl »

Our "low end" is considerably below what average games require. It's not merely OpenGL but a vast part of the Vulkan iGPUs as well. These are far too slow for any kind of gaming but 1/3rd of our users are on such hardware. If these wouldn't exist there was no need for the GLES backend.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by KynikossDragonn »

Myself constantly running into rendering errors in GZDoom, some of which only occur under Vulkan is the reason why I've been sticking with Core OpenGL 4.6 and running GZDoom with "INTEL_DEBUG=reemit" set.

I understand fully I'm in that minority that'd get the "KMA" sentiment, but I'm atleast thankful Core OpenGL wasn't removed yet. I can't use nearest neighbor texture filtering with mipmaps under Vulkan, this only works in OpenGL. Ontop of that, the "INTEL_DEBUG" environment variable is only for the OpenGL driver, not the Vulkan driver. I'm unaware of any option similar that would apply to the "Vulkan" driver to get rid of the corrupted visuals that keeps happening, and always in the same spots/circumstances.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by Professor Hastig »

Rachael wrote: Thu Mar 16, 2023 12:16 pm We only support Windows 10/11, Ubuntu 20.04/22.04, and Mac OS 12/13.
Why only Ubuntu for Linux? According to Steam's hardware survey it is only 10% of their Linux users. I'd take their share of SteamOS with a grain of salt as it is their site, but they report Arch Linux higher than Ubuntu.

Well, I guess this is the point where Linux's fragmentation is biting is users in the ass.
KynikossDragonn wrote: Thu Mar 16, 2023 10:02 pm Myself constantly running into rendering errors in GZDoom...
I wonder how much here is the driver's fault and how much your niche version of Linux. I've never heard of "Void Linux" before and reading the blurbs on their website I don't think I would ever consider it.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by Rachael »

Professor Hastig wrote: Fri Mar 17, 2023 12:40 am Why only Ubuntu for Linux? According to Steam's hardware survey it is only 10% of their Linux users. I'd take their share of SteamOS with a grain of salt as it is their site, but they report Arch Linux higher than Ubuntu.
Game works perfectly fine on Arch Linux, as far as I know, and that works for me. But the reason for Ubuntu is because it's what I actively use.

But with the latest bullshit I've been seeing from Apt in Ubuntu, it seems more and more like Canonical is seeking to commercialize Ubuntu (more than they already have) and that alone might make me jump ship and go to Arch, myself.

Not forgetting the time I read about this one guy just *looking* to open an Ubuntu instance on Azure, he didn't even go as far to deploy it, and suddenly a Canonical representative was all the fuck over him about it, trying to upsell him on commercial Ubuntu offerings. Yeah, that really didn't sit well with me.
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Re: GZDoom 4.9.0 survey - the final rundown

Post by KynikossDragonn »

Professor Hastig wrote: Fri Mar 17, 2023 12:40 amI wonder how much here is the driver's fault and how much your niche version of Linux. I've never heard of "Void Linux" before and reading the blurbs on their website I don't think I would ever consider it.
Distro has nothing to do with my problems. I'd get the same exact result if I had did "Linux from Scratch" and painstakingly installed every library, every single piece of software from scratch from respective sources. (which is what Void does in the first place to begin with, the only time patches are considered is if something doesn't work on musl or something doesn't work on the ARM or PowerPC side of things)

If you don't believe me you can just go look at the gitlab for the Intel drivers under Mesa, plenty of people running into defects and full blown GPU hangs even on current gen hardware.

Again, I don't get any issues if I'm running GZDoom with "INTEL_DEBUG=reemit", so whatever. People have had to use that environment variable just to even run Blender without it crashing a entire system.

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