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AMD unveils Mantle, a new high-speed gaming API

AMD unveils Mantle, a new high-speed gaming API

AMD Mantle features

AMD has unveiled Mantle, a new game programming API that's optimised for AMD hardware and that should provide significant performance boosts for PC games.

Building on the the leverage it now has over game developers thanks to its APUs being in all the major next-gen consoles, AMD's new API will be an alternative to the likes of DirectX and AMD claims it will provide significant performance boosts.

In particular, AMD's Corporate VP of Visual Computing, Raja Koduri, highlighted how Mantle will enable 9X the number of draw calls per second compared to rival APIs, thanks to its reduction in CPU overhead.

It will also allow for greater graphics performance thanks to direct access within the API to GPU features.

Mantle will be debuting with Battlefield 4, with the game using Mantle rather than DirectX 11 when used with compatible AMD hardware. It is also likely to feature in many other next-gen games too, with AMD revealing more at its developer conference in November.

We'll be back with more details shortly.

38 Comments

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Anakha 26th September 2013, 01:03 Quote
Yay! It's 3DFX Glide Vs. PowerVR all over again. *sigh*. Or, alternatively:
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/standards.png
jcb121 26th September 2013, 01:33 Quote
so will mantle work on linux?

this way we could see A++ games on linux and also, Steam OS!

and then we could all ditch windows.
and grow really long beards.
Meanmotion 26th September 2013, 01:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcb121
so will mantle work on linux?

this way we could see A++ games on linux and also, Steam OS!

and then we could all ditch windows.
and grow really long beards.

Strokes beard in contemplative manner.
AlienwareAndy 26th September 2013, 01:58 Quote
I never could grow a beard. It always got to about 1/2" and then drove me nuts.
erratum1 26th September 2013, 02:10 Quote
Sounds good maybe this is what the pc needs for the next gen for smooth well running games rather than just throwing MORE POWER at it.

I remember this from the alan wake developer
Quote:
Draw Distance - Xbox build had this at Full - it was mainly added as an optimization. Draw calls are way more expensive on the PC than they are on the Xbox360, and this reduces draw calls.
Neogumbercules 26th September 2013, 02:31 Quote
AMD looks dead set on becoming the gamer's choice again over Nvidia/Intel. If the performance boost really is that great we're looking at a major advantage in pretty much all of EA's future titles. Apparently they've also optimized BF4 to take full advantage of their 8 cire CPUs. Going the api/partnership route to advancing their enthusiast level performance gap on the CPU side is actually really smart. I think they know they aren't going to beat Intel with brute cpu force any time soon and it's fairly forward looking, to bet on a much more threaded future in terms of general computing and especially gaming.
AlienwareAndy 26th September 2013, 03:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neogumbercules
AMD looks dead set on becoming the gamer's choice again over Nvidia/Intel. If the performance boost really is that great we're looking at a major advantage in pretty much all of EA's future titles. Apparently they've also optimized BF4 to take full advantage of their 8 cire CPUs. Going the api/partnership route to advancing their enthusiast level performance gap on the CPU side is actually really smart. I think they know they aren't going to beat Intel with brute cpu force any time soon and it's fairly forward looking, to bet on a much more threaded future in terms of general computing and especially gaming.

TBH I'm tired of smashing my head on a brick wall when it comes to this stuff, so I will just post this, and slowly walk away whilst whistling quietly.

http://s72.photobucket.com/user/timmahtiburon/media/Alienstuff/548356_10151685748388885_2036598562_n.jpg.html

It's been a long time coming.....
Bindibadgi 26th September 2013, 03:36 Quote
Huge, huge news they got their API into BF4. Massive AMD win there.

I wonder what Sony's contract with MS is over DirectX on PS4 and if they'll be pushing a switch to Mantle?
ssj12 26th September 2013, 03:41 Quote
Why cant we just push OpenGL development?
Neogumbercules 26th September 2013, 03:58 Quote
See, what sucks now is that I'm back to considering AMD for my next build but I'm still squarely stuck on wanting to build now vs wanting to wait for Steamroller and wanting to use my ITX case but not having any AM3+ ITX mobos.

Price wise, I'm looking at about $600 for my Haswell build vs $450 for the Piledriver build. A pretty decent price difference but something inside of me cringes at buying year old AMD stuff. If the performance really is much better in BF4 (which is what I will most likely be spending most of my gaming time on) then maybe I will go for it.

But then my whole ROG themed Bit Fenix Prodigy mod idea goes out the window... then again, if I clock the balls off of the Piledriver chip, all of the 3D rendering I've been doing lately will be a whole hell of a lot faster. 8-core Piledriver at 5Ghz vs my 3.2ghz llano APU...

Maybe I'll just split the difference and wait for the Prodigy M.
siliconfanatic 26th September 2013, 04:01 Quote
I am sensing a strong presence of win from AMD. This could very well put some oomph back into AMD's red fists of fury.
AlienwareAndy 26th September 2013, 04:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neogumbercules
See, what sucks now is that I'm back to considering AMD for my next build but I'm still squarely stuck on wanting to build now vs wanting to wait for Steamroller and wanting to use my ITX case but not having any AM3+ ITX mobos.

Price wise, I'm looking at about $600 for my Haswell build vs $450 for the Piledriver build. A pretty decent price difference but something inside of me cringes at buying year old AMD stuff. If the performance really is much better in BF4 (which is what I will most likely be spending most of my gaming time on) then maybe I will go for it.

But then my whole ROG themed Bit Fenix Prodigy mod idea goes out the window... then again, if I clock the balls off of the Piledriver chip, all of the 3D rendering I've been doing lately will be a whole hell of a lot faster. 8-core Piledriver at 5Ghz vs my 3.2ghz llano APU...

Maybe I'll just split the difference and wait for the Prodigy M.

I had a choice yesterday of sticking with AMD or going Intel. Here's what happened....

http://s72.photobucket.com/user/timmahtiburon/media/Alienstuff/order.jpg.html

I actually had the chance to ditch AMD and make a return to Intel.

TBH? I really, truly, don't give a crap what people say about the PD CPUs. I can only speak from experience of running one since May and it's been a bloody fantastic CPU to have.

There were early signs. Basically BF3, Tomb Raider (and anything else with AMD Gaming Evolved ! slapped on it) utterly demolished my old Sandybridge chip. Crysis 3? well it and Far Cry 3 were a showcase of what was to come.

As they say - you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. Give it time and it'll all become crushingly clear.

990FX may well be long in the tooth but Intel weren't even going to bother with SATA III for Sandybridge. Nothing has changed, nothing has moved on. With a good 990 board you get 8x SATA III etc etc all for a lot less than the Intel counterpart.

I'm really looking forward to putting the 8+2+2 power stages to good use. I'm going to clock the absolute balls out of the CPU :D
Neogumbercules 26th September 2013, 05:31 Quote
Looks like we can be build-buddies, but I went the other way :D

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/547/5wne.jpg/

It really came down to the ITX issue. I was willing to sacrifice the ROG board. If I could have gotten an 8320 in the ITX format, I would have. If I went for the ATX or M-ATX solution I would have ended up having to buy a new case since I'm passing on my Fractal to my dad for his B-day next month, along with some old parts I'm gonna throw something together for him.

I could have waited for the Bit-Fenix Prodigy M, but I already own a Bit-Fenix Prodigy, and buying a new case would have eliminated any savings I would have made going with AMD in the first place.

Overall, I know neither of us will be unhappy with our purchases! I plan on de-lidding that chip and hitting it with Coollaboratory Liquid Pro. Users have seen 30c drops doing this, so I'm gonna give it a try, then aim for a 4.8 OC ;)

OH! And AMDs new cards will match the ROG Red/Black color scheme perfectly

The good news, from what I can gather, is that the Mantle API will improve CPU efficiency across the board by reducing the load the graphics engine puts on the CPU. That is brand agnostic, so even if I don't get the full Frostbite 3 8 core experience, I'm sure it'll still run like a monster on an OC'd 4670k.
Bonedoctor 26th September 2013, 05:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Why cant we just push OpenGL development?

$$$ ?
teppic 26th September 2013, 06:02 Quote
Companies have no control over OpenGL, while Microsoft has sole control over DirectX.

It's clear AMD is distancing itself from Microsoft. I haven't read up on Mantle enough but I assume although it's cross platform, it's only supported on AMD GPUs. Either way the advantage, as with OpenGL, is Microsoft is out of the equation, and games can use the latest graphics regardless of what Microsoft tries to force people to upgrade to.
Dave Lister 26th September 2013, 08:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by teppic
Companies have no control over OpenGL, while Microsoft has sole control over DirectX.

It's clear AMD is distancing itself from Microsoft. I haven't read up on Mantle enough but I assume although it's cross platform, it's only supported on AMD GPUs. Either way the advantage, as with OpenGL, is Microsoft is out of the equation, and games can use the latest graphics regardless of what Microsoft tries to force people to upgrade to.

I sure they said that Mantle would be available for any gpu, but the gpu needs the correct thing in the hardware to take advantage. So older amd/ati cards won't support it and none of the current nvidia stuff will support it.

Also the impression I got from watching the presentation was that it was a guy at dice that had been pushing for the new api and it was amd who listened and implemented it.
Dave Lister 26th September 2013, 08:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
Quote:
Originally Posted by teppic
Companies have no control over OpenGL, while Microsoft has sole control over DirectX.

It's clear AMD is distancing itself from Microsoft. I haven't read up on Mantle enough but I assume although it's cross platform, it's only supported on AMD GPUs. Either way the advantage, as with OpenGL, is Microsoft is out of the equation, and games can use the latest graphics regardless of what Microsoft tries to force people to upgrade to.

I'm sure they said that Mantle would be available for any gpu, but the gpu needs the correct thing in the hardware to take advantage. So older amd/ati cards won't support it and none of the current nvidia stuff will support it.

Also the impression I got from watching the presentation was that it was a guy at dice that had been pushing for the new api and it was amd who listened and implemented it.
Dave Lister 26th September 2013, 08:30 Quote
Sorry triple post :p
NikoBellic 26th September 2013, 08:46 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Lister
Sorry triple post :p

Dunna worry I'm sure anyone would accidentally triple post if Rimmer was bugging them... :P
RichCreedy 26th September 2013, 08:52 Quote
despite what some may think, directx is a good thing, was brought in to help developers create games that would work universally, without having to code for specific hardware.
Harlequin 26th September 2013, 09:18 Quote
and what about opengl? open standard which microshaft bullied out of the way with paid for incentives to use DirectX only?
SchizoFrog 26th September 2013, 09:28 Quote
I am sure nVidia won't be left high and dry without a way to implement the new API and I also don't understand comments like 'It's clear AMD is distancing itself from Microsoft'. AMD is also making the processors for the new Xbox... from Microsoft. I am also sure AMD wouldn't be silly enough to try to implement something that wouldn't work with Windows and therefore the vast PC environment, not to mention 'hang out to dry' all their current PC customers who have current GPUs. I really don't think this will make much of a difference in the long run. Long before developers start to release games that utilise the potential of the new processors and the new API (what, 2 years down the line?), nVidia will have worked it in to their new GPUs. Yes, they may have a slight disadvantage to AMD but I really can't see it being a reason for everyone to suddenly drop nVidia products.
As always though... time will tell.
Harlequin 26th September 2013, 09:38 Quote
NVidia tried - the bought up PhysX then tried to get it in with the established competition. AMD have gone another way - gone to devs first and got them to use the API in a game engine then announced it - to cath MS on the flat.


if mantle and trueaudio work well with Linux and steamOS, AND devs are behind porting to Linux - gamers could skip windows all together for free alternatives that are well supported.
SchizoFrog 26th September 2013, 10:41 Quote
I don't agree there Harlequin, I don't see it as the same sort of move. As I understand and remember it there were two separate companies trying to get dedicated physics engines and even hardware in to PCs with PhysX and Havok going against each other. There was a lot of hype at the time but it all fizzled out and ended up with nVidia purchasing PhysX while I believe AMD (ATi at the time) were supporting Havok. I am not sure where we are at with things these days with regards to developers and implementing code in to games as it doesn't get talked about much any more and when it does it is a simple comment along the lines of '... will support PhysX'.

As for the second point, again I disagree as it isn't gaming that is keeping the masses away from any version of Linux, that comes down to marketing and where is the money going to come from to advertise when the product is free? I would imagine that should a version of Linux be suitably supported for gaming as you suggest then it will take so much work and support from Linux developers to keep it updated that it wouldn't be able to operate on a free basis any more.
Harlequin 26th September 2013, 11:24 Quote
Intel bought up Havok - and it was around first (2000 vs 2004 for aegia) - and intel bought the company in 2007....

its used in something like 500 odd games on various platforms , and no wasn't designed at first for hardware acceleration (and that programme - havokfx may have been cancelled)
r3loaded 26th September 2013, 12:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bindibadgi
I wonder what Sony's contract with MS is over DirectX on PS4 and if they'll be pushing a switch to Mantle?
The PS4 is using DirectX? That's news to me, I assumed they'd be using OpenGL 4.4 as their OS is based on FreeBSD - porting DirectX over would be a huge undertaking with little benefit whereas OpenGL would just work natively.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssj12
Why cant we just push OpenGL development?
OpenGL is a high-level abstract API - the developer doesn't have to worry about the underlying hardware as long as it supports (or claims to OpenGL that it supports) the features being used. You say to it "draw me polygon A with transformation B applied to it at point (X, Y, Z)" and the system will handle the low-level calculations.

Mantle appears to be a far lower-level API, something just above directly coding to the metal. The developer needs to do far more work but can optimise the code a lot more to squeeze out better performance from the same hardware. Unlike coding to metal (which is done on consoles as the GPU is fixed), the developer does not need to keep track of the capabilities and features of specific card models, the API takes care of abstracting these away but not much else. Both technologies are therefore coexistant.

I like that they named it 'Mantle' - it's the layer that sits just above the 'core' :D
r3loaded 26th September 2013, 12:52 Quote
Oh, great timing - Anandtech just posted this explanation of Mantle and what it does.
Corky42 26th September 2013, 12:57 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by r3loaded
The PS4 is using DirectX? That's news to me, <snip>

They are going to be using Directx 11.1, with tweaks.
http://www.geek.com/games/sony-iimprove-directx-11-for-the-ps4-blu-ray-1544364/
Quote:
The good news doesn’t stop there, though. Developers will be able to take advantage of Microsoft’s latest industry standard DirectX API — DirectX 11.1, but Sony has taken the time to improve upon it, pushing the feature set beyond what is available for PC games development.

EDIT: reading some more about it, it seems it may not exactly be DirectX, but they call it DirectX 11.1+
I'm surprised Microsoft lets them get away with using the DirectX name for what i think is the PlayStation Shader Language.
AlienwareAndy 26th September 2013, 13:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neogumbercules
Snip - stuff

No that's cool man ! we'll have to have a benchmark face off :)
isaac12345 26th September 2013, 16:07 Quote
Very interesting development! I wonder how much more performance we'll be able to get from low to mid range AMD GPUs now.
AlienwareAndy 26th September 2013, 16:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaac12345
Very interesting development! I wonder how much more performance we'll be able to get from low to mid range AMD GPUs now.

I think that's where we are headed. I think it'll be APUs soon.

Crap, man, Intel and Nvidia are going to need to make serious adaptations of their existing products if that happens.

I mean, imagine a Steamroller chip with a 7950 or something aboard?

Very exciting indeed :)
GuilleAcoustic 26th September 2013, 16:53 Quote
Pwiz AMD, give us quad channel memory :D
AlienwareAndy 26th September 2013, 17:24 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by GuilleAcoustic
Pwiz AMD, give us quad channel memory :D

What's the point? tri and quad channel have hardly made any impact whatsoever.

Pwiz AMD. Don't load us down with pointless rubbish. Give us what we want, great gaming hardware.
Harlequin 26th September 2013, 17:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienwareAndy
What's the point? tri and quad channel have hardly made any impact whatsoever.

Pwiz AMD. Don't load us down with pointless rubbish. Give us what we want, great gaming hardware.

please AMD ignore those who have so little understanding about WHY the APU is limited and give us something to show its proper potential... like quad channel.....
AlienwareAndy 27th September 2013, 02:21 Quote
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/AMD-Exposes-Mantle-New-Hardware-Level-API?#comments

Scroll back up.. Basically DICE have said that Mantle is not to be released for BF4 until December. Which would be why it's not using loads of cores in the alpha.
Bindibadgi 27th September 2013, 03:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
They are going to be using Directx 11.1, with tweaks.
http://www.geek.com/games/sony-iimprove-directx-11-for-the-ps4-blu-ray-1544364/


EDIT: reading some more about it, it seems it may not exactly be DirectX, but they call it DirectX 11.1+
I'm surprised Microsoft lets them get away with using the DirectX name for what i think is the PlayStation Shader Language.

Yea the more I asked around the more it seems to be a derivative of OpenGL that's PS-only/focused but equivalent to DX11.1.
rollo 27th September 2013, 10:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienwareAndy
http://www.pcper.com/reviews/Graphics-Cards/AMD-Exposes-Mantle-New-Hardware-Level-API?#comments

Scroll back up.. Basically DICE have said that Mantle is not to be released for BF4 until December. Which would be why it's not using loads of cores in the alpha.

That means none of the console versions are using mantle API that is wierd as those versions have long since gone gold now. If the coding was finished they would be launch rdy. For what is a huge game release for AMD I'm surprised and a little shocked that they have failed to get this ready for the launch window as it would be a major sales point.
AlienwareAndy 27th September 2013, 15:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
That means none of the console versions are using mantle API that is wierd as those versions have long since gone gold now. If the coding was finished they would be launch rdy. For what is a huge game release for AMD I'm surprised and a little shocked that they have failed to get this ready for the launch window as it would be a major sales point.

Maybe it's something to do with licensing? December is when the consoles launch...
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