DirectX 11 vs Vulkan: which is best for Baldur’s Gate 3?

The Baldur’s Gate 3 launcher offers a choice between DirectX 11 and Vulkan – so which is the best in terms of performance and stability? The launcher defaults to DX11, while Larian support documents suggest Vulkan, so in the face of this conflicting advice there’s only one thing to do: get testing. We trialled both options on a range of systems with Nvidia, Intel and AMD graphics card to tease out any differences and come up with some recommendations.

Following our testing, we do have some answers – but things aren’t as straightforward as we’d hoped, with different system configurations producing different recommendations.

Let’s start with the most common example – being GPU-limited (ie your graphics card showing ~99 percent utilisation*). This is a likely scenario for running at 1440p or higher resolutions, with higher graphical settings, on a PC that meets or exceeds the game’s recommended specifications (RTX 2060 Super/RX 5700 XT, paired with a Ryzen 5 3600/Core i7 8700K).

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