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Nvidia Boasts New Driver Surpasses AMD's Mantle in Games

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 136 comments

Nvidia's thinks that AMD Mantle isn't the answer to better 3D performance.

Leading up to Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference, the graphics company is making some noise about its own solution to compete against AMD's Mantle API. Instead of creating its own competing API, however, Nvidia's decided to see what it could do with its own drivers to speed up Direct3D.

An upcoming driver update promises some pretty substantial gains – in some cases even surpassing AMD's best performance with Mantle – if you'll believe Nvidia's own numbers. We'll have to do our own testing to be sure, of course, but for now we'll have to say that it sounds mighty impressive.

In Star Swarm, Nvidia claims that it has improved performance with double-digit gains, surpassing AMD's Mantle. To its credit, Nvidia did clarify that its new driver has a higher average frame rate, but still has more slow frames than Mantle – something that Nvidia will continue to chip away at. What's impressive is how much room there was for optimization out of the same hardware with just a driver update.

For Thief, which just got Mantle support, Nvidia's showing off its new gains from optimizing Direct3D, which is now faster than AMD's solution. The lead between Mantle and Nvidia's D3D driver is just a few frames, but the slow but steady gain from each new driver will be a nice sight for GeForce GTX 780 Ti owners.

Read more: Thief Patch Enables TrueAudio And Mantle: First Benchmarks

Nvidia used these two cases as proof that it didn't need to go with a special new API for great performance, choosing instead to optimize for existing standards – particularly in instances where an application is CPU-bound. Nvidia did, however, concede that there is a lot of room for efficiency improvements in DirectX 11, which is why the company is putting its weight behind DirectX 12.

The new driver will be released sometime in April.

Stay tuned for more from Nvidia GTC.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    blackjackedy , March 25, 2014 12:01 AM
    Honestly I don't think this is any different to drivers which come out soon after games are released to squeeze a little more performance out. The system is clearly not cpu limited as it is running on a SB-E 6-core, so Mantle wouldn't be helping AMD very much in this situation.

    If they showed more games or benchmarks from a few years ago or in a situation which wasn't so clearly cpu limited I'd change my mind, but until then I'm not buying it as anything more than Nvidia marketing. Remember Bulldozer and Fermi, don't believe the hype

    EDIT: The Thief graph shows only a 4fps increase, which is nice from a driver but barely revolutionary
  • 20 Hide
    Bloob , March 25, 2014 12:48 AM
    Mantle is mostly about removing / reducing CPU bottlenecks, if the CPU can cope, there isn't much gains to be had. Most people are still running dual cores, try the comparison with those.
  • 17 Hide
    ikefu , March 24, 2014 11:06 PM
    I don't buy it. The 780Ti is a faster and more expensive piece of hardware than a 290x so it has an advantage without drivers. Also, Mantle is new and not fully unlocked in its potential yet. More gains will come of it. I think this is Nvidia trying to dodge the fact that they are late to the low level API party which needs to happen. Hopefully DirectX12 can help them out there. PCs NEED low level APIs to unbottleneck the CPUs regardless of vendor preference.
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  • 9 Hide
    MNichael4991 , March 24, 2014 10:52 PM
    Will this also help the rest of the 700 series and the last generation 600 series?
  • -9 Hide
    cinergy , March 24, 2014 11:00 PM
    Nvidia's own false graphs again. Nvidia is scared of Mantle as they should be. Mantle support will continue spreading and soon no-one will be buying nvidia's inferior products.
  • 17 Hide
    ikefu , March 24, 2014 11:06 PM
    I don't buy it. The 780Ti is a faster and more expensive piece of hardware than a 290x so it has an advantage without drivers. Also, Mantle is new and not fully unlocked in its potential yet. More gains will come of it. I think this is Nvidia trying to dodge the fact that they are late to the low level API party which needs to happen. Hopefully DirectX12 can help them out there. PCs NEED low level APIs to unbottleneck the CPUs regardless of vendor preference.
  • 1 Hide
    Mousemonkey , March 24, 2014 11:14 PM
    Quote:
    Nvidia's own false graphs again. Nvidia is scared of Mantle as they should be. Mantle support will continue spreading and soon no-one will be buying nvidia's inferior products.


    Why would Nvidia be scared of something that a now ex AMD employee stated that nobody wants?

    “It’s not something most developers want,” he said. “If you held a vote among developers, they would go for DirectX or Open GL, because it’s a great platform.”

    http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/33723/AMD_Walks_Back_Comments_On_DirectX_Performance_Impact.php

    That was back in 2011 so it's kind of funny that the PR line a couple of years later is the exact opposite! :lol: 
  • 25 Hide
    blackjackedy , March 25, 2014 12:01 AM
    Honestly I don't think this is any different to drivers which come out soon after games are released to squeeze a little more performance out. The system is clearly not cpu limited as it is running on a SB-E 6-core, so Mantle wouldn't be helping AMD very much in this situation.

    If they showed more games or benchmarks from a few years ago or in a situation which wasn't so clearly cpu limited I'd change my mind, but until then I'm not buying it as anything more than Nvidia marketing. Remember Bulldozer and Fermi, don't believe the hype

    EDIT: The Thief graph shows only a 4fps increase, which is nice from a driver but barely revolutionary
  • 10 Hide
    elcentral , March 25, 2014 12:13 AM
    This kinda matters little, if i understand mantles main goal it is so the game producers can optimize on there own game. ofc Dx can do the same resolute but can it be done without eny help or optimization from nvidia? i feel Nvidia missed the point or did i ?
  • -1 Hide
    ZolaIII , March 25, 2014 12:18 AM
    Mantle is open sourcing soon!It will be merged (as a similar solution): in OGL! The upcoming Nv SoCs GPU drivers will also be a open sourced with all Nvs help. DX as a property will lose against OGL & more develops will turn to OGL... Nv is probably right that they don't need to develop they one lo lv api. They will probably have a temporal disadvantage. As much as I like AMD the Nv still have the best driver division in the business, not glorious as it whose bat still the best.
  • 7 Hide
    vaughn2k , March 25, 2014 12:27 AM
    Apples to Apples and Orange to Orange please. Mantle is all about direct communication with the hardware, and removing CPU bottleneck, D3D is still with CPU bottleneck. But I got to admit those numbers are pretty impressive, though, but like nVidia said "Nvidia did clarify that its new driver has a higher average frame rate, but still has more slow frames than Mantle – something that Nvidia will continue to chip away at..." let us wait for Tom's review... to be fair...
  • 4 Hide
    tekuro , March 25, 2014 12:45 AM
    Mantle and Directx12 almost a carbon copy and Mantle getting a 2 year head start ? Yeah right, whenever something is to good to be true its because its to good to be true. MS and AMD are up to something.
  • 20 Hide
    Bloob , March 25, 2014 12:48 AM
    Mantle is mostly about removing / reducing CPU bottlenecks, if the CPU can cope, there isn't much gains to be had. Most people are still running dual cores, try the comparison with those.
  • 12 Hide
    palladin9479 , March 25, 2014 1:32 AM
    That was kinda sneaky on Nvidia with the Thief graph. They played with vertical scaling to overstate their gains. So their greatest performance increase is from 52FPS to 58.5FPS which is a 12.5% increase, not the 100%+ increase the bar depicts.I like that they are looking for ways to achieve greater performance but Toms should of caught the BS marketing tactic with the second graph.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 25, 2014 1:35 AM
    Ignoring the purpose of mantle and use the gpu without the cpu bottleneck ... what a joke nvidia,thats tell us more about how scary mantle is to make nvidia & MS use lies technology
  • 6 Hide
    sarinaide , March 25, 2014 2:03 AM
    Correct me if I am wrong but Mantle will only be effective if adopted by developer so say Battlefield 4 which Mantle gains can be felt in single and online gameplay. Mantle is also isolated from drivers gains ie: if AMD improves drivers periodically the gains in such game as BF4 can also be noted over previous drivers with Mantle support.So the long and short, is star whatever supported by Mantle? if not the point is moot its just an issue of driver evolution and thus its really just stating that improved drivers improves performance which is what we all know already.
  • 3 Hide
    helper800 , March 25, 2014 2:04 AM
    Not to mention that Nvidia's GK110 die size is a little bit more than 28% larger than AMD's Hawaii XT yet Nvidia comes away with only 5-10% more performance in most games. For reference the die sizes are as follows in mm^2: GK110 561, Hawaii XT 438.
  • 1 Hide
    heero yuy , March 25, 2014 2:33 AM
    i call BSfirst the 780ti is more powerful than the R9 290Xsecondly if the 780TI and R9 290X were completely equal in power directX in its current form cannot beat something like mantle even with loads of driver optimisation UNLESS the drivers for mantle are pants (and apparently they can be but they are still in beta - i have no mantle supported games to test my card on so i have not bothered with the beta drivers)and then that second graph is just silly (starting at 48 fps instead of 0 so it looks like the TI gets a 100% boost? thats just playing with the numbers to make them seem bigger)
  • 4 Hide
    alyoshka , March 25, 2014 2:51 AM
    I Love the colorful graphs they always post......
  • 12 Hide
    Forttis , March 25, 2014 2:57 AM
    How come I'm getting better FPS in Thief at maximum settings running a single R9 280x than what the graph is claiming 290x reaches, both in the benchmark and in-game?Nvidia's graph looks like complete bull.
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