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.

PC Perspective was one of the few sites that were allowed to release some early information about the Mantle update and my expected performance improvements match up with PC Per’s findings – simply put, if you’re running a powerful GPU next to a weaker APU from Intel or AMD, you can expect to see CPU bottlenecking become much less of an issue.

This isn’t the case for the other scenario, though, where you’re running something like a Core i5 or equivalent AMD quad-core processor with a GPU that isn’t being bottlenecked. In that case, you’ll see much more improvements running at resolutions of 1440p or higher, where the game becomes largely GPU-dependant and Mantle begins to distribute even more threads to the CPU.

“AMD did provide some interesting numbers that are worth discussing though,” writes Ryan Shrout. “Please keep in mind that these benchmarks were all run by AMD and as such should only be used as a placeholder until media and consumers can verify them. Tests were run with a combination of two graphics cards and two processors to represent the scale of potential scalability. The percentage improvements displayed below are in the average frame rate of a pre-set test run in BF4.”

Core i7-4960X CPU + R9 290X GPU

  • 1080p, Ultra Preset, 4xAA: 9.2% improvement with Mantle
  • 1600p, Ultra Preset, 4xAA: 10% improvement with Mantle

Core i7-4960X CPU + R7 260X GPU

  • 1080p, Ultra Preset, 4xAA: 2.7% improvement
  • 1600p, Ultra Preset, 4xAA: 1.4% improvement

A10-7700K CPU + R9 290X GPU

  • 1080p, Ultra Preset, 4xAA: 40.9% improvement
  • 1600p, Ultra Preset, 4xAA: 17.3% improvement

A10-7700K CPU + R7 260X GPU

  • 1080p, Ultra Preset, 4xAA: 8.3% improvement
  • 1600p, Low Preset: 16.8% improvement

In all scenarios where more load is placed on the GPU, Mantle increases performance by 10% or more. The case with the Core i7-4960X and the Radeon R7 260X highlights where Mantle wasn’t improving anything substantially is the worst-case scenario, although not many gamers are going to be employing something as unbalanced as that combination.

AMD’s Mantle API also benefits the newer Hawaii GPUs more than existing GCN 1.0-era hardware, as those GPUs employ a newer Crossfire architecture and run most of their data over the PCI-Express bus. It will be interesting to see CPU scaling tests with Mantle because it is not sensitive to clock speed – it simply requires more cores to run more threads concurrently. There will probably not be room for improvement using a dual-core processor, but there will definitely be a boost for anyone using three or more cores.

Source: PC Perspective

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