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John Carmack No Longer Enthused About AMD's Mantle?

By - Source: VR-Zone | B 79 comments

Mantle would be a good thing for AMD if all three platforms support the API.

While speaking on a panel at Nvidia's "Way It's Meant to be Played" event in Montreal, John Carmack talked about AMD's Mantle API, stating that it would be very "powerful" for AMD if Sony and Microsoft decide to adopt the technology. If not, and Mantle remained a PC-only tech as AMD now describes, then he would have very little interest in it.

"Mantle is unique. AMD has talked many times in the past about doing 'close to the metal' architectures, and it only became interesting because of their dual console wins," Carmack said. "The landscape does matter because they have both major console wins with similar architectures that you can get on the PC."

"If it was just a way to do, on the PC, lower-level [coding] I couldn't have cared less," he added. "If I was still doing all of the major tech coding, I probably would not be embracing Mantle right now. But there would be days where it would be extremely tempting."

In addition to Carmack, Epic Games' Tim Sweeney and DICE's Johan Andersson were on the stage answering questions as well. Later during the talk, all three were asked about their thoughts on other developers following AMD's lead by creating their own APIs. All three agreed that it would be a bad idea.

"It's the wrong direction for the industry to go," Sweeney answered. "If you'd ask me if I'd much rather have a low level API for accessing the GPU, the answer is yes. But five of them, for different hardware, vendors and operating systems? Absolutely not."

Andersson said it would be a bad future if Nvidia, Intel and Qualcomm developed their own APIs. Carmack gave an unequivocal no. "It would be a horrible mistake if Nvidia got panicked by this and made some lower level API as you already have good low-level access through Nvidia's GPU extensions," said Carmack.

Previously, wording provided by AMD led to the assumption that the Mantle API would address not only many Graphics Core Next-based GPUs and APUs on the "metal" level, but the GCN-based APUs found in the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This would, in theory, allow developers to create games for all three platforms more easily, and implement similar AMD-driven features across all three versions. Microsoft said the Xbox One wouldn't support Mantle, and AMD quickly followed up saying that the API was strictly for PC gaming development.

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  • 26 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 28, 2013 11:49 PM
    Carmack is basically David Bowie - talented years ago but now largely irrelevant
  • 21 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 28, 2013 11:41 PM
    I am not surprised that MS nor Sony adopted it since it came out kinda late to the game and would require a lot of work and reoptimizations to get it to work properly.

    As for Carmack, he has switched to the dark side. Not long ago he touted consoles as better than PC.

    He is another lost soul.
  • 15 Hide
    axefire0 , October 29, 2013 12:08 AM
    This is from an Nvidia event, would you expect them to say otherwise? Am pretty sure Nvidia chose its panelist well to favar them. No?
Other Comments
  • 21 Hide
    jimmysmitty , October 28, 2013 11:41 PM
    I am not surprised that MS nor Sony adopted it since it came out kinda late to the game and would require a lot of work and reoptimizations to get it to work properly.

    As for Carmack, he has switched to the dark side. Not long ago he touted consoles as better than PC.

    He is another lost soul.
  • 26 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 28, 2013 11:49 PM
    Carmack is basically David Bowie - talented years ago but now largely irrelevant
  • 15 Hide
    axefire0 , October 29, 2013 12:08 AM
    This is from an Nvidia event, would you expect them to say otherwise? Am pretty sure Nvidia chose its panelist well to favar them. No?
  • 1 Hide
    RazberyBandit , October 29, 2013 12:09 AM
    I think it's just going to take time for Mantle to be embraced. Game devs aren't sweating it much now because they have a whole new slew of up-to-date hardware within the new consoles.

    Eventually, the hardware within these same nex-gen consoles will begin to struggle and show signs of age. I believe that's when Mantle will be embraced as a genuine blessing to game devs.
  • 2 Hide
    SchizoFrog , October 29, 2013 12:13 AM
    Talent is never irrelevant. Only small minded people who only follow current trends are irrelevant.

    I am certain that discussed and written in to certain contracts are clauses forbidding API's such as Mantle on the XBox One and PS4. Neither MS nor Sony would willingly give over that level of control to of their hardware over to another party.
  • 4 Hide
    rohitbaran , October 29, 2013 12:13 AM
    Carmack, that guy who made some decent games back in the day and now is pretty much irrelevant because of not making anything interesting. The latest big release from id was what, Doom 3 BFG, a rehash? Ugh.
    He doesn't like mantle but on the flip side, he said G-sync was good when one would have to invest in a new monitor just for that and it is also limited to PC. Mantle is open and so nVidia can implement it if they want to, just like AMD can implement something that works with G-sync. Ugh.
  • 7 Hide
    thor220 , October 29, 2013 12:23 AM
    This article is basically irrelevant. They asked a bunch of devs what they thought of mantle at a nvidia convention. What do you think they are gonna do, badmouth them at their own event?

    "If you'd ask me if I'd much rather have a low level API for accessing the GPU, the answer is yes. But five of them, for different hardware, vendors and operating systems? Absolutely not."

    It's obvious that Carmack has been out of the game for awhile. If a company has time to implement PhysX, TressFX, proprietary SSAO and AA, and other tech that only works on one card type, then they definitely have the time to implement a performance api. I guess he really should have said "Only if we get paid a little extra on the side". These APIs are optional, amd doing this has no effect on anything if a dev decides not to implement this. Even if Nvidia were to come out with their own api, devs can choose to use neither.

    I don't know why someone would even ask these questions in a nvidia convention. It's like going to a republican convention and asking them for their opinion on a new democrat based bill that extends the government.
  • 0 Hide
    rwinches , October 29, 2013 12:25 AM
    Oh please, what a bunch of inferring by Tom's going on here. The quotes are given no context.
    I agree, this was a nVidia event so, come on, did anyone think the panel would wave the AMD flag.
    MS said XBONE is not supporting Mantle is not XBONE will never support Mantle.
    Let's see how this holiday season sales go and hear user feedback on how good the new consoles are.
    .
    I don't want nVidia to go out of business, competition is always good.
  • 9 Hide
    yannigr , October 29, 2013 12:26 AM
    Yeap, Mantle is a bad idea. On the other hand Nvidia's GPU extensions, PhysX and CUDA are good ideas.
    The way they meant to be payed to though and talk. They might be great names in PC gaming but they still have POCKETS TO FILL.

    Mantle will be great to anyone have optimizations for XBOX or PS4 and wanted to pass those optimizations on to PC. No way to do it with simple DX11.
  • 1 Hide
    The_Trutherizer , October 29, 2013 12:47 AM
    Yeah... Until some indie punk with some clever ideas come along and creates a new type of game with next gen graphics which launches a whole new genre of gaming... That never happens... Right?
  • -1 Hide
    killamike , October 29, 2013 1:39 AM
    I suspect AMD counted their chickens before they were hatched. The only way they could possibly have imagined Mantle being a good idea is if it was adopted by Sony and MS for the consoles, then it would have been compelling for devs.

    However MS would never support something like this. Its in MS' core DNA, they DO NOT like to use any open or standards based technology if they don't absolutely have to. Direct X was their proprietary version of Open GL, Silvelight their Flash, proprietary wireless "standards" for the xbox 360 controller, Active X for IE, the list goes on (and that's without going into the business space at all).

    MS would rather eat its own poo then allow the use of something like Mantle.

    As for why Sony is not using it on PS4 I have no explanation other than a tin-foil resoning that MS might have exerted some sort of financial pressure on AMD post the Mantle unveilling event where they -clearly- hinted that it was for GCN *and* consoles alike... and then a couple of weeks later: "oops, what we meant by 'PC and Consoles' was actualy just PC, mkay"

  • 0 Hide
    redstar , October 29, 2013 1:40 AM
    I coulda sworn the whole reason a layer was added between direct hardware access and devices was so that one glitch would not crash the whole system. Instead, the app would fail gracefully . I am all for this. This kind of thing makes sense in a gaming only platform like steam.
  • 3 Hide
    tomfreak , October 29, 2013 1:48 AM
    it's Carmack. I dont care about his statement.
  • 7 Hide
    Drakan , October 29, 2013 1:53 AM
    I would like to hear exclusive developers in a non-biased press conference.

    And i think that mantle will be implemented in consoles anyway, maybe not this or the next year. Nobody still knows how big can the improvement be. But i bet on AMD/ATI, they are slow but very efficient when implementing in new GPU technologies/architechtures.
  • 0 Hide
    somebodyspecial , October 29, 2013 1:54 AM
    The same can be said about Physx...You will only see it in a game where NV has paid for it to be there to get headlines. Devs don't have "time" to do all this, they are paid for specific titles from both sides to support a specific tech.

    FYI none of them were paid to show up. They showed up for Gsync. Which for the other poster, can't be done by AMD. They have to come up with their own, or maybe at some point NV will license it (doubt it for at least years, it will sell their cars for a while, the feature sells itself).

    Also note MS will not support mantle (nor sony) as it makes it easier to port something AWAY from their consoles. Why would I help you have a great game experience without needing my console? That's just retarded business practices. They won't do it no matter what. It would be akin to MS supporting a tech themselves that with one click would allow a game MS published to be ported to linux in minutes...ROFL. NEVER HAPPEN (that's the whole point of having DIRECTX! HARD TO LEAVE WINDOWS). IF some tech like that came along it will be immediately blocked by ALL consoles (nin,sony,ms), just like Mantle. Think of it as "heck no you can't have fun OFF our consoles...you NEED US ONLY!". Get it?
  • 1 Hide
    kancaras , October 29, 2013 2:03 AM
    Gues what. Xbox and PS already has hardware level graphics access. Its mantle that has to be adapted to it. And games are already made for console hw level. So its very VERY easy, its even esier to port them to pc with mantle. Nobody bothers to make exclusive version for pc for a long time now. Nvidia knows that perfectly and they are getting ready for low fps on their cards, they think gsync will save them.
  • 1 Hide
    ohim , October 29, 2013 2:19 AM
    Only time will tell... what Carmack is saying now could look as stupid as Bill Gates said that 640 KB of RAM is enough for everybody.

    The thing that enrages me is that the current hardware has the possibility to be even much faster but corporations like Sony and MS get in the way of things for profit, this thing is just like living in one of those SciFi movies where corporations control our lives...
  • 3 Hide
    clownbaby , October 29, 2013 3:27 AM
    Why do we give a shit about what John Carmack thinks these days? The term "innovator" hasn't been spoken in his presence in nearly 20 years. What's next Carmack? Another Wolfenstein reboot? Quake 24? Borderlands...errr I mean Rage 2?
  • 4 Hide
    joditas , October 29, 2013 3:28 AM
    Ugh the event was taken place about a week and half ago and your information is late, but at least you should have the courtesy to tell your readers when it was.

    I don't understand Carmack, when he was developing Tech 5 and mega texture, he was bemoaning about lack of low level access to GPU on PC compared to consoles, about latency problem as the result of it. Now he is mostly doing Android stuff and Oculus Rift, and now he can care less about low level access on PC? Does that sound a bit too convenient? Is he still relevant in coding side of PC gaming?
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