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Posts Tagged ‘Mantle’

Nvidia logo HD

AMD’s Mantle has had a lot of media coverage over the past few months for it’s ability to almost completely eradicate all traces of CPU bottlenecks when you’re pairing a high-end GPU with something like a Core i3 or i5 or FX processor. Mantle removes a lot of API bloat and prioritises multi-threaded code, resulting in games that aren’t limited in single-core performance but this requires a lot of work and, occasionally, a complete re-engineering of a game engine in order to support the renderer.

Nvidia, not content with letting AMD get the performance crown on unequal grounds, has been working in the shadows to improve performance on Geforce graphics cards with results that could rival Mantle’s offerings. But there’s a little more to it than that.

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DirectX 12 header

Microsoft took to the stage of the 2014 Game Developer’s Conference just four days ago to discuss DirectX 12, a new version of the DirectX API that has driven Windows’ domination over the computer market for over ten years. DirectX 12 will launch in 2015 and for the moment, developers will have access to a very early, very small part of the API as Microsoft learns how to use and tweak it for maximum impact and efficiency. DirectX 12 represents the biggest shift for Microsoft in a long time and has been in the works for over a year. Hit the jump to see it explained in a non-confusing way. Maybe.

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thief_concept_reveal

Eidos Montreal reminded everyone before the launch of the much-anticipated Thief reboot that the game’s two draws for AMD users, Mantle and TrueAudio, would only be coming in a later patch to the game and with help from new drivers from AMD. Well, those drivers are available and the game was recently patched. Hit the jump to see what running a GCN graphics card nets you in terms of performance in-game.

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DirectX 12 invite

With Microsoft integrating DirectX 11.2 in Windows 8.1, it may come as a surprise to you that the company is already working on their next big jump in the graphics API with DirectX 12. At the Game Developer’s Conference to be held in San Francisco, California on 17-24 March, Microsoft along with partners AMD, Intel, Nvidia and Qualcomm will be hosting talks about DirectX 12 which could be the most groundbreaking version of the API ever.

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AMD-Mantle-header-grey

AMD’s Mantle might be the only API currently fighting the good fight for gamers to get more performance out of their hardware but it appears that AMD has done what it originally set out to do and at a much quicker pace as well – it’s woken up the slumbering DirectX and OpenGL giants to start looking at how to optimise performance for modern hardware, particularly now that Mantle shows that it’s possible to run a Radeon R9 290X on a lowly Intel Core i3 processor and not bottleneck it hugely.

At the upcoming Game Developer’s Conference taking place in San Francisco in March 2014, AMD, Microsoft, Intel and Nvidia will all be sitting down for a chat about driver overhead and unlocking higher performance.

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AMD’s Catalyst 14.1 1.6 Beta driver is now available for download and measures in at roughly 300MB. AMD has crammed a tonne of fixes into this release, adding in the Mantle and TrueAudio APIs as well as including fixes for Crossfire and other issues with Radeon GPUs that still needed to be resolved. Click on the download links below for the drivers, or hit the jump to find out more about the changes to the drivers.

Please note, these are very, very beta drivers and as such should not be used on a mission-critical system or in an environment where you don’t need crashes and blue screens to ruin your day. You’ll also have to uninstall your old Catalyst drivers beforehand when installing the 14.1 drivers. For this release, Catalyst Application Profiles (CAPs) do not need to be downloaded.

Download the drivers: AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta 1.6 for Windows 7/8/8.1

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AMD Catalyst driver

Over the weekend, AMD let loose on on the Catalyst 14.1 1.6 Beta drivers which contain fixes for a number of performance issues with recent AMD Radeon GPUs and the APIs for Mantle and TrueAudio. Everything AMD has worked towards for the past two years has led up to this point and this specific driver relase. How significant is it for games that don’t pack in Mantle? Is frame pacing finally fixed? Hit the jump to see AMD kept their promise.

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AMD-Mantle-header-grey

 AMD’s in the news frequently these days and today is for a very special occasion – Battlefield 4’s Mantle update will be hitting Origin servers later today, giving you the option to run the Mantle renderer from within the game’s graphics options menu. The Mantle update for the game will arrive a little earlier than the Catalyst 14.1 beta, which AMD is signing off on and will also be releasing later today. If you’re a GCN-based Radeon HD7000 or newer owner and have Battlefield 4, you may see a few performance jumps later today.

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AMD-Mantle-header-grey

AMD’s Mantle API is like a Unicorn at this point – we know that it’s out there somewhere, but its existence is still hotly debated, just like those Battlefield 4 patches that will supposedly make the game more stable and bug-free. Well, it looks like two birds will be killed with one stone before the end of this month if Johan Andersson’s team can stick to its promises. Andersson promised in December 2013 that the Mantle update was being held back until January 2014 to focus on bug fixes for the multiplayer military shooter extravaganza.

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AMD Mantle header

During a lecture held by Nvidia at the Steam Dev Days conference, the graphics manufacturer noted that OpenGL already supported some extensions and optimisations for processors that could bring about the same performance benefits as AMD’s Mantle API. The lecture’s theme was “Beyond Porting” and talked about the number of ways in which developers can take advantage of the features and optimisations in OpenGL that not only make it a better API in some scenarios compared to DirectX, but that it will allow developers to optimise the same game on other platforms.

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