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AMD 14.1 beta driver adds Mantle and frame pacing support

AMD 14.1 beta driver adds Mantle and frame pacing support

AMD

AMD has released the much anticipated AMD Catalyst 14.1 beta driver that brings support for Mantle and "phase 2" frame-pacing technology.

Arriving over the weekend the driver unlocks the much anticipated potential of AMD's graphics API, Mantle, with Battlefield 4 being patched last week in readiness of the release and a demo of new game StarSwarm also ready to take advantage of potential performance gains.

The release also looks to address what has been seen as a failing in AMD's, Crossfire, multi-GPU solutions, which for pre GCN 1.1 hardware currently deliver very inconsistent frame times resulting in noticeable stutter. The new driver aims to fix this by pacing the rate at which frames are delivered to the screen, creating a smoother experience.

Early reports suggest Mantle does indeed deliver a nice little boost in performance, with around 10-15% improvement in Battlefield 4. However, the biggest gains tend to be in more CPU limited scenarios, so it might not be the revolution many were hoping for at the high-end.

We're currently putting both technologies to the test and will be back with a report on how the both fair as soon as possible. In the mean time, let us know your experience so far in the comments.

14 Comments

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schmidtbag 3rd February 2014, 17:58 Quote
First of all, I thought the R9 290X beat the 780Ti in BF4 (though I haven't checked the benchmarks for that in over a month). Second, frame pacing has been available since I think 13.9 beta. I've been using it myself for a few months. Am I missing something here?
Meanmotion 3rd February 2014, 18:09 Quote
Oh dear, forgot quite how AMD biased BF4 was. Corrected. Also clarified regarding the frame-pacing.
Harlequin 3rd February 2014, 19:34 Quote
Because other benchmarks arnt Intel or nvidia biased huh *sigh*
rollo 3rd February 2014, 20:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
First of all, I thought the R9 290X beat the 780Ti in BF4 (though I haven't checked the benchmarks for that in over a month). Second, frame pacing has been available since I think 13.9 beta. I've been using it myself for a few months. Am I missing something here?

You said it yourself youve been using the beta which is has indeed been out since 13.9

14.1 beta was the launch of the product.

Does not actually help alot sadly with frames still jumping widely all over the place. ( New benches for 4k with the required hardware ( 2 to 3 r290x are out there ) that show the problem is still not really done 15-20% is getting better ( it was in the high 50s) but still too high ( Nvidia is sub 10%)

Also a reminder these frame pacing drivers are for direct x 10+ only, If you want frame pacing using the mantle driver then your reliant on the developers to code for it. ( which is a little strange from my point of view but each to there own, bf 4 mantle at 4k has the frame issues back in the high 60s since DICE are not going to do the work for AMD on that one, Which renders mantle mute point at high resolution.)

Most review sites are waiting on thief to get the full picture on mantle. Alot more benchmarkable title with single player bf4 not really pushing most systems whilst 64player bf4 is a monster.
schmidtbag 3rd February 2014, 20:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
You said it yourself youve been using the beta which is has indeed been out since 13.9

14.1 beta was the launch of the product.

Does not actually help alot sadly with frames still jumping widely all over the place. ( New benches for 4k with the required hardware ( 2 to 3 r290x are out there ) that show the problem is still not really done 15-20% is getting better ( it was in the high 50s) but still too high ( Nvidia is sub 10%)
Actually it helps tremendously. The problem is CCC doesn't have a clue how to set things up. There are games where I have frame jumps and also severe light flickering to the point that its irritating to look at the screen. After a few tweaks here and there related to crossfire and everything is smooth and the frame rate seems to increase.
Chris_Waddle 3rd February 2014, 20:55 Quote
Well I installed these new drivers and BF4 immediately crashed when entering the map. I know there are issues with crossfire (290X x 2), but hoped it might at least work a bit. Can't be arsed to turn off crossfire, so went back to the 13.2 drivers.

Fingers crossed that the full release will sort out crossfire.
schmidtbag 3rd February 2014, 20:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Waddle
Well I installed these new drivers and BF4 immediately crashed when entering the map. I know there are issues with crossfire (290X x 2), but hoped it might at least work a bit. Can't be arsed to turn off crossfire, so went back to the 13.2 drivers.

Fingers crossed that the full release will sort out crossfire.

Open up CCC and add a profile for BF4 and tweak your crossfire settings. Just like I said in my previous post about frame pacing not working, all it takes is over-riding catalyst's settings and you'll probably get good results. Its mostly just trial and error but thankfully there isn't much to change.
ya93sin 4th February 2014, 00:01 Quote
Just imagining the heat from 2x 290xs :/ Unless you have it water cooled I suppose.
Chris_Waddle 4th February 2014, 09:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
Open up CCC and add a profile for BF4 and tweak your crossfire settings. Just like I said in my previous post about frame pacing not working, all it takes is over-riding catalyst's settings and you'll probably get good results. Its mostly just trial and error but thankfully there isn't much to change.

Cheers, will give it a go. First time in many years that I've gone down the Red road so CCC is all new to me.

As for heat, yes they do get very hot - only got them on Saturday and have just been testing them to make sure that they work ok. All being well the waterblocks arrive today and then I can give them a full test.
Chris_Waddle 7th February 2014, 11:43 Quote
Well I created a BF4 profile and turned off framepacing - I must add that I do like CCC, being able to setup a single sceen profile and an eyefinity profile and change from one to the other with just a mouse click is excellent.

Anyway back to my BF4 testing: with my resolution @ 5840x1080 (bezel corrected), directX ingame setting and the video settings at Ultra I was getting an average of around 50fps. It was much smoother than with frame pacing on.

I then changed the video setting from directx to Mantle, re-started the game and tried again. It wouldn't last more than a minute before blue screening.
I tried this a few times and even reduced the overclock on my CPU (4930K @ a standard overclock of 4.6ghz) but each time it would bluescreen. As it was late last night, I didn't think to turn off all overclocking, but I might give this a go at the weekend - just to see if it will work.

When I turned frame pacing back on the game would play but it was far more laggy.

I'm even considering installing Windows 8.1 to see if the results would be any better in directx 11.2

**edit** having just read the 14.1 release notes, they do say that crossfire setups in BF4 with mantle are a known issue and recommend playing in directx mode. I await the new drivers with bated breath.
sandys 7th February 2014, 14:27 Quote
Not sure if its a general tip I am new to CF myself but everything seems to run more reliably with the ULPS (Ultra Low Power State) disabled. Also helps with monitoring multiple cards as they don't power off.

My battlefield seemed to play nice I've not had to disable anything, what is the frame pacing issue?
Pookie 7th February 2014, 14:55 Quote
Update still does not solve the red screen of death from windows 8/8.1. Guess I will just have to go back to Windows 7 then. Thanks AMD!
sandys 7th February 2014, 15:05 Quote
Had no problem with crashes on BF4 in 8.1 64bit with trifire, admittedly only played paracel storm in multiplayer for some benchmarks and probably only played for 3 hours, just played nice, only issues I found was stutter with Mantle so turned it off.
schmidtbag 7th February 2014, 17:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Waddle
Well I created a BF4 profile and turned off framepacing - I must add that I do like CCC, being able to setup a single sceen profile and an eyefinity profile and change from one to the other with just a mouse click is excellent.

Anyway back to my BF4 testing: with my resolution @ 5840x1080 (bezel corrected), directX ingame setting and the video settings at Ultra I was getting an average of around 50fps. It was much smoother than with frame pacing on.

I then changed the video setting from directx to Mantle, re-started the game and tried again. It wouldn't last more than a minute before blue screening.
I tried this a few times and even reduced the overclock on my CPU (4930K @ a standard overclock of 4.6ghz) but each time it would bluescreen. As it was late last night, I didn't think to turn off all overclocking, but I might give this a go at the weekend - just to see if it will work.

When I turned frame pacing back on the game would play but it was far more laggy.

I'm even considering installing Windows 8.1 to see if the results would be any better in directx 11.2

**edit** having just read the 14.1 release notes, they do say that crossfire setups in BF4 with mantle are a known issue and recommend playing in directx mode. I await the new drivers with bated breath.

Try changing the "CrossfireX Mode". That for me has the greatest impact on game performance. Depending on the game, framepacing has little to no impact. I haven't played BF4 so I'm not sure if tweaking that will give you useful results.
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