Vulkan’s multi-GPU support isn’t just for Windows 10. Linux gamers get to suffer too.

Multi-GPU gaming

The Khronos Group have been busy helping free game-makers from the clutches of the DirectX API with new Vulkan functionality, but it was feared the new multi-GPU support for the open-source API was going to be limited to Windows 10. Thankfully, that’s not the case.

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A couple of weeks ago San Francisco was inundated with more game developers than have been ‘let go’ by EA for the annual Game Developers Conference. It was there the Khronos Group – a collaborative collection of companies creating open standards for cross-platform tech and definitely not an evil conglomerate from a Bond film – spoke about a number of new extensions they were releasing for virtual reality and multi-GPU support.

In the multi-GPU presentation it was suggested that for it to work within the Vulkan API multi-GPU support required the Windows Display Driver Model (WDDM) had to be put in Linked Display Adapter (LDA) mode. Some saw that as meaning Vulkan would only operate with more than one graphics card under Windows 10, but the Khronos Group have explicitly stated that is not the case.

Multi GPU in Vulkan

It turns out they were only referring to the easiest method of getting Vulkan playing nice with multiple GPUs under a Windows OS and that it’s not necessary to use either WDDM or LDA with Linux. They also state that any Windows OS will function with the LDA mode that makes multi-GPU easier.


Though I’ve got to say getting just one modern graphics card running in a Linux environment has given me many a sleepless night in the past. The thought of trying to get a pair of new GPUs running and gaming in a way that doesn’t lead to irrevocable blindness and/or brain seizures, does fill me with not a little terror.

Having a big multi-GPU array, however, could be the best way to get high-resolution performance out of the mighty Star Citizen/Squadron 42 when that does finally ship. With the announcement Cloud Imperium Games are ignoring DirectX 12 in favour of the Vulkan API the Microsoft alternative is certainly getting some increased traction.