AMD Mantle API

Claimed advantages

  • AMD claims that Mantle can generate up to 9 times more draw calls per second than comparable APIs by reducing CPU overhead
  • More fine control over the hardware.
  • All hardware capabilities are exposed through the API
  • New rendering techniques possible.
  • Direct GPU memory access.
  • Multithreaded parallel CPU rendering support for at least 8 cores.
  • No game developer reliance on existing AMD driver support release schedules (potentially no or fewer bugs on release, much faster patching for GFX related errors).
  • Due to bypassing of error-prone and inefficient abstraction, common technical difficulties like FPS drops, micro stuttering and texture corruption can be significantly less frequent or nonexistent.
  • Performance increase over higher-level APIs such as Direct3D and OpenGL.

Bad news is that it’s been delayed for BF4 again. Good news is that DICE are rather focusing on fixing BF4. They are focusing on tweaking & optimizing the net code. (Even the DLC’s have been pushed back)


“Star Swarm is actually the first hard evidence we’ve seen of what Mantle can do, and the numbers speak for themselves: With everything else being equal, enabling Mantle increased the demo’s frame rate by nearly 300 percent, from an unplayable 13 fps to a buttery 44 fps. AMD promised as much when it launched its Kaveri APUearlier today, adding that Star Swarm will run at playable frame rates even on low-power 65-watt versions of the APU (versus 95 watts for a regular desktop chip).”

“Some RTS games set the limit at 50-70 units, while others can cope with as many as 500, but a new demo game calledStar Swarm takes things to a new level: It uses AMD’s Mantle programming tool to speed up communication between the CPU and GPU, allowing up to 5,000 AI- or physics-driven objects (i.e., not mindless clones or animations) to be displayed onscreen at one time. Coming up, we’ve got a 1080p video of what this looks like, plus an explanation of how Oxides Games, the company behind Star Swarm, made this possible.”

Dice benchmarks, holy crap. If you don’t have a GCN card yet, what the hell are you waiting for?

For those of you who were wondering about the 14.1 beta drivers from AMD yesterday, they were pulled back by AMD themselves as there was a nasty bug. The are prepping to release today EST time, which is 7 hours behind us.

my brother is using an AMD/ATI 7770 card. Quite curious to see what difference mantle makes on it.

In BF4 on a single card you can expect anything from 14% to 26% increase in FPS If those dice benchmarks were legit. That’s a massive boost.

Time to turn up some detail!

FWIW, this 14.1 beta driver only enables support for mantle on the R7, R8 & R9 series GPU’s. 7 Series to follow in two weeks time.

Official word.[quote=“AMD”]

During the QA process, we identified an installation issue in AMD Catalyst 14.1 that renders it unsuitable for distribution for testing in your labs. We are testing a new build overnight and will update you on its status by mid-afternoon Eastern Standard Time on January 31. We apologize for the delay and appreciate your patience and understanding."

Here’s the benchmark for free on steam, you can bench mantle vs Direct X

Still no drivers though.

Driver is out:

I was getting 120 fps, now getting 145. It’s a bit unstable though, keeps bombing out. Switching back to DX for now.

Star Swarm Extreme:

​Resolution: 1920x1080
Mantle: Average FPS: 77.2
DirectX: ​Average FPS: 39.57

Mantle at the current moment is terrible. Fps drops for days.

if you have a 7 series yes, it’s not properly implemented on those cards. Only R7 R8 and R9 for now.

Seems like the APU’s gain the most benefit with discreet gpu’s!

I’ll wait for WHQL drivers, those beta 14.1 drivers suck.

I just stumbled across something very interesting.

With regards to Mantle, Thief & BF4 don’t have a full implementation of it. Rather they have a ‘mantle wrapper’ which takes all the DirectX calls and translates them into mantle. The only benefit is the reduced CPU overhead and slightly higher FPS. (remember the days of 3DFX wrappers, same thing)

Star Citizen & Oxide’s engine have full mantle support. I.E they will have mantle calls from the word go. This translates into massive boosts in performance. Full support of mantle enables developers to directly access the hardware. I.E The developer can assign X amount of cores for physics calculations, and X amount of GPU cores for rendering & X amount of GPU memory for Textures and so forth. Compared to DirectX, where the game would request functions to be done and DirectX was in charge of allocating resources and sometimes doing a poor job at it.

So with full mantle support yet to be seen, the current gains of 10-20% could very well be the massive 45% that AMD claim. The future looks bright. Undoubtedly, APU’s are set to gain the most benefit, second would be AMD GPU’s.

On the Plus side for users of other companies, Mantle has forced a number of key players to step up.

  1. Nvidia, their new Maxwell design is almost identical to AMD’s GCN and AMD have stated that Mantle will be available to competitors.

  2. Microsoft, who stopped DirectX development, have now picked up their toolboxes and are developing DirectX 12 which they claim has the same benefits of Mantle, but it’s open to ALL hardware.

In the end, We all owe thanks to AMD. The end user will benefit from this whether you use Nvidia or AMD or Intel (HD graphics, ultrabooks, tablets etc) Or Qualcomm (tablets/phones)