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AMD mantle API to boost BF4

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September 26, 2013 11:56:28 AM

i just recently read about Mantle API which will be released by AMD.It is said to optimise EA/FROSTBITE 3 games like BF4...and will exploit all the features of the GPU.
so how exactly does this work?is it some sort of driver that we will install for our GPUs?
another feature is that it will be available to GPU's having GCN(generation core next) architecture....
i have HD7750...it has GCN i guess,so will i be able to get this feature?
can some expert shed any light on this matter.....

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a b À AMD
September 26, 2013 12:28:12 PM

Kaunain said:
i just recently read about Mantle API which will be released by AMD.It is said to optimise EA/FROSTBITE 3 games like BF4...and will exploit all the features of the GPU.
so how exactly does this work?is it some sort of driver that we will install for our GPUs?
another feature is that it will be available to GPU's having GCN(generation core next) architecture....
i have HD7750...it has GCN i guess,so will i be able to get this feature?
can some expert shed any light on this matter.....


Back in the days of yore (think 1980s and early to mid 1990s) games had to interface with the hardware devices themselves.

Modern game setups typically involve tweaking graphical settings such as resolution, geometry quality, Anti-Aliasing, texture filters, light and shadow reflection, etc... It's all very quality oriented.

Old game setups involved selecting the sound and graphic adapters from a list of supported devices and then fiddling with them until they worked. There's an old saying from that area, "getting the game to run is half the fun".

The reason for this is that at the time modern concepts that we take advantage of such as device drivers, APIs, and virtual memory were either non existent, or too demanding to use at all.

In the late 1990s a variety of new technologies emerged which allowed applications to speak one unified language. Devices would then interpret that language in a device/driver specific fashion. On the PC, the best known of these technologies is the DirectX API suite. In a perfect world, a game interfacing with DirectX 11 should not care if it's interfacing with an AMD HD 6000 series GPU (VLIW4/5), AMD HD 7000 series GPU (GCN), GeForce 400/500 series GPU (Fermi), GeForce 600/700 GPU (Kepler), or Intel HD Graphics 4000/5000 (IGP).

However, DirectX and OpenGL are not the only languages that a game can speak, they are simply ones that work with the majority of all hardware configurations without much fuss. In the late 1990s a company called 3DFX (which would later be acquired by NVidia) created an API called 3D Glide for it's Voodoo series of 3D accelerators that exposed advanced functions not found in other devices. Any application interfacing with the 3D Glide API could only work with a device that was compatible with the Voodoo series of 3D accelerators. It was not designed to be agnostic in the same way that DirectX is agnostic.

The DirectX and OpenGL approach favored by ATI (now part of AMD) and NVidia led many designers to overlook 3D Glide and forego its advanced functions in favor of portability.

Now, one would expect the same thing to happen to Mantle. Developers would flock to DirectX/OpenGL for productivity reasons alone. However, AMD is providing the APUs for both of the next generation consoles. Unlike PCs which moved to agnostic APIs years ago, consoles still expose much of the console hardware to applications directly in a fashion very similar to the 1990s and developers have been taking advantage of this ever since. This is what allows games like The Last of Us to look pretty on hardware from 2006. Console developers are used to speaking to the hardware directly to squeeze every last drop of performance out of it. This does not happen on PCs at all, as games are bound by the limitations of the DirectX and OpenGL APIs. By extending mantle to the PC as well, AMD will enable developers to port the same highly optimized codepaths used to squeeze performance out of the consoles to the PC as long as the PC has a GCN based GPU. If it doesn't have a GCN based GPU, it will have to fall back on the less efficient but more agnostic DirectX/OpenGL APIs.

The end result is that console developers will target whatever API offers the best return on investment, which will almost certainly be Mantle on the consoles. Then, they'll port it quickly to the PC where DirectX will get a quick and dirty implementation for NVidia GPUs and older AMD GPUs, while Mantle will be used for GCN GPUs.

I hope that this answers your question.
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September 26, 2013 12:45:14 PM

my HD7750 is GCN based if im not mistaken?
so a naive question to you....based on my rig(meets the requirement of battlefield 4) i am able to play the game at med settings for example,
however when "mantle" releases i presume i will get performance as well as visual boost all over the game?
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a b À AMD
September 26, 2013 12:51:06 PM

Kaunain said:
my HD7750 is GCN based if im not mistaken?
so a naive question to you....based on my rig(meets the requirement of battlefield 4) i am able to play the game at med settings for example,
however when "mantle" releases i presume i will get performance as well as visual boost all over the game?


That's correct. The HD 7700 series through the HD 7900 series are all GCN based. It's not clear at this time how much of a boost Mantle will give the game, especially if DICE gives some attention to DirectX, but it certainly won't hurt.
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September 26, 2013 12:54:29 PM

Pinhedd said:
Kaunain said:
my HD7750 is GCN based if im not mistaken?
so a naive question to you....based on my rig(meets the requirement of battlefield 4) i am able to play the game at med settings for example,
however when "mantle" releases i presume i will get performance as well as visual boost all over the game?


That's correct. The HD 7700 series through the HD 7900 series are all GCN based. It's not clear at this time how much of a boost Mantle will give the game, especially if DICE gives some attention to DirectX, but it certainly won't hurt.


as far as i have learnt it gives 9x draw calls performance....so not really clear on that matter
i know what are draw calls but its not really clear how much is 9x for THEM!
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a b À AMD
September 26, 2013 1:13:23 PM

Kaunain said:
Pinhedd said:
Kaunain said:
my HD7750 is GCN based if im not mistaken?
so a naive question to you....based on my rig(meets the requirement of battlefield 4) i am able to play the game at med settings for example,
however when "mantle" releases i presume i will get performance as well as visual boost all over the game?


That's correct. The HD 7700 series through the HD 7900 series are all GCN based. It's not clear at this time how much of a boost Mantle will give the game, especially if DICE gives some attention to DirectX, but it certainly won't hurt.


as far as i have learnt it gives 9x draw calls performance....so not really clear on that matter
i know what are draw calls but its not really clear how much is 9x for THEM!


That's the significantly reduced API overhead and only really affects the amount of time that the CPU spends in the API rather than in the game logic.
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September 26, 2013 2:54:45 PM

Hello guys,

I was about to start a new thread on this topic...

Here is a link to the actual presentation that was used yesterday during the live stream from Hawaii. It's by Johan Andersson (Technical Director at Frostbite), discussing Mantle and Battlefield 4:

http://www.frostbite.com/connect/#battlefield-4-frostbi...

Hope it helps you!
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September 26, 2013 11:57:16 PM

Warsam71 said:
Hello guys,

I was about to start a new thread on this topic...

Here is a link to the actual presentation that was used yesterday during the live stream from Hawaii. It's by Johan Andersson (Technical Director at Frostbite), discussing Mantle and Battlefield 4:

http://www.frostbite.com/connect/#battlefield-4-frostbi...

Hope it helps you!


thanx SAM...i guess il be seeing a vast difference in playing BF4 november and december versions after mantle update?
so basically its the API which is used in consoles,which helps devs to squeeze out every drop of performance from their hardware...that's the reason y games look really smooth and astounding even at 30fps in consoles...


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September 27, 2013 1:33:07 AM

The only reason why I will stay with my 7950 for couple months more to see how will that work instead just switching to Nvidia. I'm tired of broken drivers and bad performances sometimes already even though I have it only couple weeks. Thanks for info Pinhedd !
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September 29, 2013 2:40:11 PM

dsr07mm said:
The only reason why I will stay with my 7950 for couple months more to see how will that work instead just switching to Nvidia. I'm tired of broken drivers and bad performances sometimes already even though I have it only couple weeks. Thanks for info Pinhedd !


I always see people post bad reviews about drives that are bad from AMD, but man I honestly have never had as single problem with there drivers. Sometimes, computers that I have fixed, people already have bad drivers and try using newer drivers over old drivers, which of course will cause conflict.

AMD drivers have been solid for a while now.
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a b À AMD
September 29, 2013 10:42:41 PM

Kaunain said:
Warsam71 said:
Hello guys,

I was about to start a new thread on this topic...

Here is a link to the actual presentation that was used yesterday during the live stream from Hawaii. It's by Johan Andersson (Technical Director at Frostbite), discussing Mantle and Battlefield 4:

http://www.frostbite.com/connect/#battlefield-4-frostbi...

Hope it helps you!


thanx SAM...i guess il be seeing a vast difference in playing BF4 november and december versions after mantle update?
so basically its the API which is used in consoles,which helps devs to squeeze out every drop of performance from their hardware...that's the reason y games look really smooth and astounding even at 30fps in consoles...




Essential said:
dsr07mm said:
The only reason why I will stay with my 7950 for couple months more to see how will that work instead just switching to Nvidia. I'm tired of broken drivers and bad performances sometimes already even though I have it only couple weeks. Thanks for info Pinhedd !


I always see people post bad reviews about drives that are bad from AMD, but man I honestly have never had as single problem with there drivers. Sometimes, computers that I have fixed, people already have bad drivers and try using newer drivers over old drivers, which of course will cause conflict.

AMD drivers have been solid for a while now.


There definitely used to be some installation issues. I recall reading a press release about how they completely overhauled the installation framework to clean it up. Now it's just a matter of installing it every time it a new release comes out. No need to restart under Windows 8 either.
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September 30, 2013 1:27:37 AM

Essential said:
dsr07mm said:
The only reason why I will stay with my 7950 for couple months more to see how will that work instead just switching to Nvidia. I'm tired of broken drivers and bad performances sometimes already even though I have it only couple weeks. Thanks for info Pinhedd !


I always see people post bad reviews about drives that are bad from AMD, but man I honestly have never had as single problem with there drivers. Sometimes, computers that I have fixed, people already have bad drivers and try using newer drivers over old drivers, which of course will cause conflict.

AMD drivers have been solid for a while now.


There are certan issues which I'm experiancing. If I need to switch 3 drivers for 5 different games to gain better performances then it's a issue. With Nvidia even when I was forgetting to update drivers for over couple months all new games worked very smooth on my settings. For people like me who are doing early reviews / walkthroughs on youtube for almost full time job AMD can be issue because there is almost always some issue which need to be resolved with upcoming patch, and I hate that always when I google about certain problem there are people who own AMD cards.

I'm satisfied with HD7950 dont get me wrong and I was never one of those people who are fighting over AMD vs Intel or Radeon vs Nvidia. I'm just talking from my experiance :)  In past I had 3 radeons and 3 nvidias and I was satisfied with both but for my purpose atm I cant be 100% satisfied but it's still huge boost from my last nvidia gpu.

Dont want to go in offtopic so that was just my explanation, I'm not really unexperianced and talking just to say something.
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October 1, 2013 11:22:24 AM

Pinhedd said:
Kaunain said:
i just recently read about Mantle API which will be released by AMD.It is said to optimise EA/FROSTBITE 3 games like BF4...and will exploit all the features of the GPU.
so how exactly does this work?is it some sort of driver that we will install for our GPUs?
another feature is that it will be available to GPU's having GCN(generation core next) architecture....
i have HD7750...it has GCN i guess,so will i be able to get this feature?
can some expert shed any light on this matter.....


Back in the days of yore (think 1980s and early to mid 1990s) games had to interface with the hardware devices themselves.

Modern game setups typically involve tweaking graphical settings such as resolution, geometry quality, Anti-Aliasing, texture filters, light and shadow reflection, etc... It's all very quality oriented.

Old game setups involved selecting the sound and graphic adapters from a list of supported devices and then fiddling with them until they worked. There's an old saying from that area, "getting the game to run is half the fun".

The reason for this is that at the time modern concepts that we take advantage of such as device drivers, APIs, and virtual memory were either non existent, or too demanding to use at all.

In the late 1990s a variety of new technologies emerged which allowed applications to speak one unified language. Devices would then interpret that language in a device/driver specific fashion. On the PC, the best known of these technologies is the DirectX API suite. In a perfect world, a game interfacing with DirectX 11 should not care if it's interfacing with an AMD HD 6000 series GPU (VLIW4/5), AMD HD 7000 series GPU (GCN), GeForce 400/500 series GPU (Fermi), GeForce 600/700 GPU (Kepler), or Intel HD Graphics 4000/5000 (IGP).

However, DirectX and OpenGL are not the only languages that a game can speak, they are simply ones that work with the majority of all hardware configurations without much fuss. In the late 1990s a company called 3DFX (which would later be acquired by NVidia) created an API called 3D Glide for it's Voodoo series of 3D accelerators that exposed advanced functions not found in other devices. Any application interfacing with the 3D Glide API could only work with a device that was compatible with the Voodoo series of 3D accelerators. It was not designed to be agnostic in the same way that DirectX is agnostic.

The DirectX and OpenGL approach favored by ATI (now part of AMD) and NVidia led many designers to overlook 3D Glide and forego its advanced functions in favor of portability.

Now, one would expect the same thing to happen to Mantle. Developers would flock to DirectX/OpenGL for productivity reasons alone. However, AMD is providing the APUs for both of the next generation consoles. Unlike PCs which moved to agnostic APIs years ago, consoles still expose much of the console hardware to applications directly in a fashion very similar to the 1990s and developers have been taking advantage of this ever since. This is what allows games like The Last of Us to look pretty on hardware from 2006. Console developers are used to speaking to the hardware directly to squeeze every last drop of performance out of it. This does not happen on PCs at all, as games are bound by the limitations of the DirectX and OpenGL APIs. By extending mantle to the PC as well, AMD will enable developers to port the same highly optimized codepaths used to squeeze performance out of the consoles to the PC as long as the PC has a GCN based GPU. If it doesn't have a GCN based GPU, it will have to fall back on the less efficient but more agnostic DirectX/OpenGL APIs.

The end result is that console developers will target whatever API offers the best return on investment, which will almost certainly be Mantle on the consoles. Then, they'll port it quickly to the PC where DirectX will get a quick and dirty implementation for NVidia GPUs and older AMD GPUs, while Mantle will be used for GCN GPUs.

I hope that this answers your question.


Hi there! I just wanted to thank you for such a thorough explanation...very helpful :D 
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a b À AMD
October 1, 2013 12:20:59 PM

Warsam71 said:
Pinhedd said:
Kaunain said:
i just recently read about Mantle API which will be released by AMD.It is said to optimise EA/FROSTBITE 3 games like BF4...and will exploit all the features of the GPU.
so how exactly does this work?is it some sort of driver that we will install for our GPUs?
another feature is that it will be available to GPU's having GCN(generation core next) architecture....
i have HD7750...it has GCN i guess,so will i be able to get this feature?
can some expert shed any light on this matter.....


Back in the days of yore (think 1980s and early to mid 1990s) games had to interface with the hardware devices themselves.

Modern game setups typically involve tweaking graphical settings such as resolution, geometry quality, Anti-Aliasing, texture filters, light and shadow reflection, etc... It's all very quality oriented.

Old game setups involved selecting the sound and graphic adapters from a list of supported devices and then fiddling with them until they worked. There's an old saying from that area, "getting the game to run is half the fun".

The reason for this is that at the time modern concepts that we take advantage of such as device drivers, APIs, and virtual memory were either non existent, or too demanding to use at all.

In the late 1990s a variety of new technologies emerged which allowed applications to speak one unified language. Devices would then interpret that language in a device/driver specific fashion. On the PC, the best known of these technologies is the DirectX API suite. In a perfect world, a game interfacing with DirectX 11 should not care if it's interfacing with an AMD HD 6000 series GPU (VLIW4/5), AMD HD 7000 series GPU (GCN), GeForce 400/500 series GPU (Fermi), GeForce 600/700 GPU (Kepler), or Intel HD Graphics 4000/5000 (IGP).

However, DirectX and OpenGL are not the only languages that a game can speak, they are simply ones that work with the majority of all hardware configurations without much fuss. In the late 1990s a company called 3DFX (which would later be acquired by NVidia) created an API called 3D Glide for it's Voodoo series of 3D accelerators that exposed advanced functions not found in other devices. Any application interfacing with the 3D Glide API could only work with a device that was compatible with the Voodoo series of 3D accelerators. It was not designed to be agnostic in the same way that DirectX is agnostic.

The DirectX and OpenGL approach favored by ATI (now part of AMD) and NVidia led many designers to overlook 3D Glide and forego its advanced functions in favor of portability.

Now, one would expect the same thing to happen to Mantle. Developers would flock to DirectX/OpenGL for productivity reasons alone. However, AMD is providing the APUs for both of the next generation consoles. Unlike PCs which moved to agnostic APIs years ago, consoles still expose much of the console hardware to applications directly in a fashion very similar to the 1990s and developers have been taking advantage of this ever since. This is what allows games like The Last of Us to look pretty on hardware from 2006. Console developers are used to speaking to the hardware directly to squeeze every last drop of performance out of it. This does not happen on PCs at all, as games are bound by the limitations of the DirectX and OpenGL APIs. By extending mantle to the PC as well, AMD will enable developers to port the same highly optimized codepaths used to squeeze performance out of the consoles to the PC as long as the PC has a GCN based GPU. If it doesn't have a GCN based GPU, it will have to fall back on the less efficient but more agnostic DirectX/OpenGL APIs.

The end result is that console developers will target whatever API offers the best return on investment, which will almost certainly be Mantle on the consoles. Then, they'll port it quickly to the PC where DirectX will get a quick and dirty implementation for NVidia GPUs and older AMD GPUs, while Mantle will be used for GCN GPUs.

I hope that this answers your question.


Hi there! I just wanted to thank you for such a thorough explanation...very helpful :D 


Thanks :)  Looking forward to enjoying BF4. I'm even considering replacing my 7970s with 290Xs if the price is right. Keep up the good work!
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October 30, 2013 8:19:12 PM

however, I've read in various places, including here; http://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-mantle-api-xbox-on...

that Mantle is not intended for consoles. Given that Nvidia still have the biggest market share in GPUs, are games developers going to develop for both AMD and Nvidia (DX11) or just AMD (Mantle).

Also, BF4 works fine on Ultra, 1080p, 60fps with a single cheap 7950 GPU, what advantage would Mantle give in this game, ultra on a 7750?
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October 31, 2013 7:37:50 AM

A single 7870 cannot get more than 50 fps on ultra @1080p....
API are application programming interface which directly communicates with the GCN based architecture...These APIs are present in consoles which helps them in delivering good graphics being an inferior hardware...
The Mantle is a pc API(Not he same as consoles) but with a different name......But the purpose remains the same.
BF4 runs so well in xbox 360 with 512MB ram and we are not able to get higher than 60 fps with beast cards....
Mantle eradicates this barrier and yes with Mantle ultra on 7750 is possible:D 
FYI i am running BF4 at 40+ fps on ultra at 1366x768 res....
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November 3, 2013 11:20:57 AM

Kaunain said:
A single 7870 cannot get more than 50 fps on ultra @1080p....
API are application programming interface which directly communicates with the GCN based architecture...These APIs are present in consoles which helps them in delivering good graphics being an inferior hardware...
The Mantle is a pc API(Not he same as consoles) but with a different name......But the purpose remains the same.
BF4 runs so well in xbox 360 with 512MB ram and we are not able to get higher than 60 fps with beast cards....
Mantle eradicates this barrier and yes with Mantle ultra on 7750 is possible:D 
FYI i am running BF4 at 40+ fps on ultra at 1366x768 res....


I also have a 7750 and is still great at 720p high-ultra at most games so I'm curious as how much mantle will improve this low end card. On a side note what are your full pc specs? and 40+ ultra on multiplayer? I'm still on the fence on getting bf4 because of my crappy cpu.
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November 3, 2013 10:07:22 PM

xArnaldx said:
Kaunain said:
A single 7870 cannot get more than 50 fps on ultra @1080p....
API are application programming interface which directly communicates with the GCN based architecture...These APIs are present in consoles which helps them in delivering good graphics being an inferior hardware...
The Mantle is a pc API(Not he same as consoles) but with a different name......But the purpose remains the same.
BF4 runs so well in xbox 360 with 512MB ram and we are not able to get higher than 60 fps with beast cards....
Mantle eradicates this barrier and yes with Mantle ultra on 7750 is possible:D 
FYI i am running BF4 at 40+ fps on ultra at 1366x768 res....


I also have a 7750 and is still great at 720p high-ultra at most games so I'm curious as how much mantle will improve this low end card. On a side note what are your full pc specs? and 40+ ultra on multiplayer? I'm still on the fence on getting bf4 because of my crappy cpu.


i got 45+ fps @ultra in singleplayer,while during the multiplayer beta i got 55+
My specs are FX 8350,8GB DDR3,HD7750 1GB DDR5 at a res of 1366x768
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