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 AMD’s Revolutionary Mantle

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AMD’s Mantle is a groundbreaking graphics API that promises to transform the world of game development to help bring better, faster games to the PC. Read on to discover how AMD is working with the game development community to revolutionize the PC gaming experience.

 Overview

The number of games supporting Mantle continues to grow, and there are some exciting new titles from EA that are joining that list.

“Dragon Age™: Inquisition” is the newest addition to an already popular series. The visual impact of this fantasy role-playing game is off the charts. “Plants vs. Zombies™: Garden Warfare” is a multiplayer frenzy that’s now available on PC after enjoying huge success on the Microsoft® Xbox. Last but certainly not least is “Battlefield™ Hardline,” the second Battlefield title to benefit from Mantle support, and one undoubtedly impressive first- person shooter.

Click the Games tab to see what other Mantle-enabled games are available, or continue reading below to learn more about this exciting, game-accelerating technology. 

Why we developed Mantle

From a game developer’s point of view, creating games for the PC has never been especially efficient. With so many combinations of hardware possible in a PC, it’s not practical to create specialized programming for every possible configuration. What they do instead is write simplified code that gets translated on-the-fly into something the computer can work with.

   AMD Mantle technology 

Just as when two people communicate through a translator, this works, but it isn’t efficient. And it’s the CPU that has to do all this extra work, translating and queuing data for the graphics card to process. PCs are meant to be the ultimate gaming platform — they have the power — but all this translation slows things down, and game developers approached AMD asking for something better. 

What Mantle does Cutaway showing the inner layers of the earth

Mantle is the harmony of three essential ingredients:

  1. A driver within the AMD Catalyst™ software suite that lets applications speak directly to the Graphics Core Next architecture;
  2. A GPU or APU enabled with the Graphics Core Next architecture;
  3. An application or game written to take advantage of Mantle.

Mantle reduces the CPU’s workload by giving developers a way to talk to the GPU directly with much less translation. With less work for the CPU to do, programmers can squeeze much more performance from a system, delivering the greatest benefits in gaming systems where the CPU can be the bottleneck.

What it means for gamers

Now that Mantle has freed up some extra CPU capacity, we expect Mantle will lead to better games, and more of them, since Mantle makes game development easier.

That’s not all Mantle will do for gamers. By shifting work to the GPU, a mid-range or older CPU isn’t the same handicap it was before. With Mantle, the GPU becomes the critical part of the system, and GPU upgrades will have a bigger impact than before.

Developer Quotes

“Crytek prides itself on enabling CRYENGINE with the latest and most impressive rendering capabilities. By integrating AMD’s new Mantle API, CRYENGINE will gain a dimension of ‘lower level’ hardware access that enables extraordinary efficiency, performance and hardware control.”  – Cevat Yerli, Founder, CEO & President of Crytek.

"AMD's Mantle will allow us to extract more performance from an AMD Radeon GPU than any other graphics API," – Chris Roberts, CEO, Cloud Imperium Games.

"Mantle lets you use AMD Radeon GPUs the way they are meant to be used, unlocking many new opportunities and increased CPU and GPU performance. Because of this, Mantle is one of the most important changes to PC graphics in many years." – David Anfossi, studio head, Eidos-Montréal.

"AMD's Mantle technology lets us get more out of the hardware than any other solution available. Adding Mantle support to our multi-platform, 64-bit Nitrous engine realizes significant gains in performance on Mantle-enabled hardware without adding enormous development overhead." – said Dan Baker, co-founder, Oxide Games.

Press Quotes

"Mantle could potentially, drastically change the gaming world if more games used it. Lower-end computers, especially notebooks, and ultrabooks could see significant gaming performance increases. AMD isn't done with Mantle, this is just a first taste of it. We have to say, this first taste is sweet. We also experienced no issues, no crashing, it was rock stable for all the pounding we gave it the whole day. We look forward to future improvements from DICE and AMD, and hopefully more games that will implement Mantle. Remember, we have more evaluation coming, so stay tuned." – Brent Justice, Hard OCP

"The lower the resolution we tested at, the great performance advantage we experienced with AMD Mantle over Direct3D 11.1. As the resolution decreases, and AA, the CPU becomes the bottleneck. AMD Mantle seems to excel in that scenario, providing substantial performance improvements, even with our overclocked i7 3770K. As we increased the resolution, and AA settings to GPU dependent settings, we experienced less of an advantage with AMD Mantle. However, there still was an advantage at least, so AMD Mantle is providing a "free" performance upgrade." – Brent Justice, HardOCP

"Time will tell if Mantle makes a significant impact on PC gaming, but based on these limited tests, it's clear that the low-overhead associated with the API can result in some monster performance gains in the right situations." – Marco Chiappetta, Hot Hardware 

"Mantle will ostensibly allow developers to work "closer to the metal", like they do with console GPUs. And wouldn't you know it--it's AMD GPUs that will be powering ALL next generation consoles, so the whole concept flows out of AMD's experience with both consoles and PCs." – Seth Colaner, Hot Hardware 

"AMD is sharing some performance data to help whet our appetites, and for those who run modest PCs and have compatible GPUs, this is one piece of tech that's worth taking note of." – Rob Williams, Techgage

"Looking at these preliminary figures, we can see that AMD has clearly achieved their goal of improving low-end performance, especially when CPU-bound. They've also really improved performance in games that tend to be very 'CPU-heavy' with lots of calculations and units." – Anshel Sag, Bright Side of News 

 Games

Battlefield™ Hardline

Battlefield Hardline brings the enormously successful Battlefield series to the streets of Miami. Battle crooks and corrupt cops in a variety of new game modes as you strive to bring peace to the sun-soaked streets.

Dragon Age™: Inquisition

Lead a team of heroes on a perilous journey through a living, open world. Discover the dramatic world of Thedas, from war-torn plains to jagged coasts, in the upcoming action RPG from BioWare, the creators of Mass Effect™.

Plants vs. Zombies™ Garden Warfare

Shooters just got weird. Plants vs. Zombies is digging into the trenches with an explosive new action experience. Blast zombies, plants and new characters across a mine-blowing PvZ world. Take on Co-op and Multiplayer action with your friends and sow the​​ seeds of victory!

Civilization®: Beyond Earth™

The newest, hotly anticipated title in a long-running franchise, “Civilization®: Beyond Earth,™” will leverage Mantle technology to deliver breathtaking graphics and performance.

CRYENGINE® by Crytek

The potent combination of Mantle and CRYENGINE will empower game developers to accelerate PC development and extract unprecedented gaming performance.

Find out more

Battlefield 4 by EA/DICE

The first title to boast Mantle support, Battlefield 4 unlocks new levels of performance for PC gamers, with stunning graphics to match.

Read the EA DICE blog on Mantle

Thief by Eidos-Montréal/Square-Enix

Garrett, The Master Thief returns in 2014, with Mantle optimization to provide an incredibly fluid gaming experience.

Star Citizen by Roberts Space Industries

This highly anticipated space epic by Chris Roberts of Wing Commander fame is promised to challenge gamers’ systems. The use of Mantle minimizes the compromises gamers and developers have to make.

Nitrous game engine by Oxide

Still in the development stages, the Nitrous game engine by Oxide Games is built to take advantage of Mantle’s performance advantage. Their Star Swarm demo illustrates the tremendous capacity of a Mantle-optimized game engine.

Download the Star Swarm Benchmark on STEAM®

Sniper Elite 3 by Rebellion Developments

The third installment of this stalker/shooter title leverages the Mantle API to give gamers the best gaming experience. Shooting at long ranges, every frame per second counts.

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