Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan A

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Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan A

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 5:20 pm

hello everyone,

Here is the link to the presentation used by Johan Andersson - Technical Director at Frostbite - during yesterday's live stream event from Hawaii.

http://www.frostbite.com/connect/#battl ... ite-mantle

It provides a Frostbite Overview and their games in development, Battlefield 4 highlights and Tech, and Mantle in Frostbite
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:11 pm

Is Mantle going to be open to Nvidia? Is AMD working closely with other developers such as Epic, 4A, Crytek, ID and Bethesda?
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:18 pm

I don't want to Krogoth this presentation, but I want numbers. Cold, hard data. They used Mantle. How much faster is it? Did it get more scaleable? What other problems did you find? What about sound?

Etc, etc, etc.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:28 pm

morphine wrote:I don't want to Krogoth this presentation, but I want numbers. Cold, hard data. They used Mantle. How much faster is it? Did it get more scaleable? What other problems did you find? What about sound?

Etc, etc, etc.


There is a separate audio API technology called TrueAudio. I posted a link here.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:34 pm

I know, just wanted to know if they've also used that and what impact it made, etc.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:08 am

Saying it's better without quantifying that just makes me ignore any news item about it.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Sat Sep 28, 2013 4:57 pm

So, before they have final silicon out you want to have hard numbers :P

Hard numbers is alright, but until you have real world products and actual implementations out it's pretty hard to gauge overall effectiveness. But I guess come December you will have hard numbers for at least Frostbite. But looking through the presentation, there is a few spots that seem to have potential to give a pretty decent impact. Especially since it seems EA/DICE have been involved with the development of Mantle. So at least Frostbite games should run better on Mantle.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:47 pm

Saying it's better without quantifying that just makes me ignore any news item about it.
remember when AMD released a 64 bit patch for FarCry that didn't offer anything significant either..... yeah at the moment I feel the same.

until their are some numbers to support the claims it's all PR and nothing more.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:37 am

Even if Dice and AMD are lying about half of the benefit its an industry paradigm shift that we are witnessing.

So this is some seriously potent PR .
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Sep 30, 2013 9:27 pm

Seems the article I posted a while back is related to their work on Mantle, heh.

( http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphi ... -directx/1 )

I wish they'd announced this before I bought my 660 o.o
Waco wrote:Saying it's better without quantifying that just makes me ignore any news item about it.

They kinda did, since they said it could handle nine times the draw calls of DirectX 11/roughly 18 times as many as DX9.

As to actual performance benefit I suppose it depends how much is being drawn in the first place, but we'll have to see.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:38 pm

Savyg wrote:They kinda did, since they said it could handle nine times the draw calls of DirectX 11/roughly 18 times as many as DX9.

As to actual performance benefit I suppose it depends how much is being drawn in the first place, but we'll have to see.

What calls? What GPU? What platform? Until they can be repeated by someone I don't take things like that at face value.

Saying there is 3000% less overhead per call doesn't mean much when that specific overhead isn't a significant part of execution time. Amdahl's law and all that.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:35 pm

What calls? Draw calls.
What GPU? mostly irrelevant as the DirectX 11 layer is HW independent.
What platform? DirectX 11 platform : Windows7 / windows8

This benefit in itself is small for existing games.
But here is the kicker. PC are draw call limited. This impact what game developer can do. more so going forward.

This generation of console was the straw that broke the camels back.
We are at that point where PC need more than high IPC and GHZ to compensate for the API performance limitation.

Mantle, as stated by Dice is multithreaded perfection. And thats whats going on with the next 8 core consoles.
To be able to port this threaded model, the API need the be threaded optimized.

Without Mantle, console developer will be faced with a serious problem getting those games to run on the PC because of DirectX 11 limitations.
So you will need beefier PC specs (like today, but even more exaggerated) to run upcoming console game on the PC.

Search the web and see why developers are in love with AMD right now for taking a stand against Microsoft.
(Its not hard to find developer commentary on draw call performance... and not just recently, but for the past 7 years. Directx11 included)
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:37 pm

Nice rant :)

Still no real info, however.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Tue Oct 01, 2013 5:46 pm

The real issue with Mantle is how it will affect performance on future multi-platform titles- if at all. Current consoles need tremendous amounts of draw calls because their APIs literally suck- they're either DX9-era (PS3) or DX9 with some other DX10-ish crap mixed in (360). DX11 is a whole lot more efficient, and is backed up by hardware that is a whole lot more efficient.

So we can't make a comparison with today's games. They're designed around a contemporary paradigm, while Mantle is trumpeting a future paradigm.

Hopefully, though, Mantle will do everything it's promised- and hopefully, that will light a fire under MS's tail, under Nvidia's tail, and under Intel's tale- and just as importantly, under developers' tails. AMD scored big by getting EA behind them with Frostbite support before going public; without that kind of endorsement, it would have flopped under it's own embarrassment, and getting real developer interest would have been really, really hard.

And honestly this is the one thing that actually proves that AMD just might get a market advantage from being in these consoles- developers are already doing the 'work' to utilize Mantle just by developing for them. If it makes a discernible difference in game experience, AMD will hold that lead until Nvidia and Intel can come up with a response (such as support for Mantle).
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 1:41 am

sschaem wrote:But here is the kicker. PC are draw call limited.

[citation needed]
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:45 am

Aphasia wrote:So, before they have final silicon out you want to have hard numbers :P


Pretty sure they already have final silicone. Mantle is supposed to work on all GCN architectures, and it is being advertised as a feature for the lower R9s like the 280X, which is a 7970GE rebrand.
Also, if they're going to launch 290X anytime soon, the silicone would have been finalized months ago.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 2:50 am

Meadows wrote:
sschaem wrote:But here is the kicker. PC are draw call limited.

[citation needed]


Off of an interview with AMD's Richard Huddy
Sauce: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphi ... -directx/2

It can vary from almost nothing at all to a huge overhead,' says Huddy. 'If you're just rendering a screen full of pixels which are not terribly complicated, then typically a PC will do just as good a job as a console. These days we have so much horsepower on PCs that on high-resolutions you see some pretty extraordinary-looking PC games, but one of the things that you don't see in PC gaming inside the software architecture is the kind of stuff that we see on consoles all the time.

On consoles, you can draw maybe 10,000 or 20,000 chunks of geometry in a frame, and you can do that at 30-60fps. On a PC, you can't typically draw more than 2-3,000 without getting into trouble with performance, and that's quite surprising - the PC can actually show you only a tenth of the performance if you need a separate batch for each draw call.

Now the PC software architecture – DirectX – has been kind of bent into shape to try to accommodate more and more of the batch calls in a sneaky kind of way. There are the multi-threaded display lists, which come up in DirectX 11 – that helps, but unsurprisingly it only gives you a factor of two at the very best, from what we've seen. And we also support instancing, which means that if you're going to draw a crate, you can actually draw ten crates just as fast as far as DirectX is concerned.

But it's still very hard to throw tremendous variety into a PC game. If you want each of your draw calls to be a bit different, then you can't get over about 2-3,000 draw calls typically - and certainly a maximum amount of 5,000. Games developers definitely have a need for that. Console games often use 10-20,000 draw calls per frame, and that's an easier way to let the artist's vision shine through.'
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:49 am

jihadjoe wrote:Off of an interview with AMD's Richard Huddy
Sauce: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphi ... -directx/2

So the guy with a clear motive to bend the facts his way is the best source? Forgive me for being skeptical.

And, I would assume, not all calls are equal (even "draw calls" since I'm assuming there isn't just one DirectX11::Draw() function). Surely if this were such a huge issue with today's games in terms of development we'd have heard about it before (from someone not on the AMD payroll) right?
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 9:54 am

Waco wrote:
jihadjoe wrote:Off of an interview with AMD's Richard Huddy
Sauce: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/graphi ... -directx/2

So the guy with a clear motive to bend the facts his way is the best source? Forgive me for being skeptical.

And, I would assume, not all calls are equal (even "draw calls" since I'm assuming there isn't just one DirectX11::Draw() function). Surely if this were such a huge issue with today's games in terms of development we'd have heard about it before (from someone not on the AMD payroll) right?


Well the Huddy interview was from two years ago, before AMD even had Mantle so he wouldn't have had as much motive to bend the facts.
Also I'm pretty sure Carmack has said pretty much the same thing. I'll try to find his stuff later on.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 10:20 am

I found this: http://forums.tripwireinteractive.com/s ... 260&page=1

A nice rant from someone at CodeMasters.

I have to wonder if DX11 has a properly threaded dispatcher these days -- do the same arguments hold up with modern drivers and DirectX / OpenGL?
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 11:39 am

Waco wrote:I found this: http://forums.tripwireinteractive.com/s ... 260&page=1

A nice rant from someone at CodeMasters.

I have to wonder if DX11 has a properly threaded dispatcher these days -- do the same arguments hold up with modern drivers and DirectX / OpenGL?

I think even DX11 and 11.1 have different performance there. OGL supposedly is better about it but still not that different. Though I'm hardly an expert...just read what I can.

PC gaming should be vastly improved in a few years it seems.

Thanks for the page, btw, hadn't seen it.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:40 pm

I just wonder how many of the original arguments are still valid. :P
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:48 pm

sschaem wrote:Even if Dice and AMD are lying about half of the benefit its an industry paradigm shift that we are witnessing.

So this is some seriously potent PR .


Hardly. Glide died a horrid death. this will as well in the same 4-5 years of time.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:52 pm

I have to wonder if a threaded dispatcher is even remotely necessary- we're talking about the small fraction of the work a CPU does for a game, the routines that actually send commands to the GPU concerning what to actually render, right?

So does that process even need to be improved, given that DX11 is radically more efficient than it's predecessors on the subject of the number of draw calls needed to be generated to render a particular scene?

I'm beginning to think that Mantle will likely be more of a benefit for systems with slower CPUs- I have a lot of doubt that it will actually make GPUs significantly more efficient, but rather, be more useful in allowing lower-end systems to provide a better overall gaming experience.

On the high end, while it may reduce CPU usage, the benefit may be realistically inconsequential, given that so many modern gaming situations aren't heavily CPU limited in the specific manner that Mantle addresses.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 12:56 pm

maxxcool wrote:
sschaem wrote:Even if Dice and AMD are lying about half of the benefit its an industry paradigm shift that we are witnessing.

So this is some seriously potent PR .


Hardly. Glide died a horrid death. this will as well in the same 4-5 years of time.


Glide died a horrible death? Hardly. Glide was created to allow software to interface with revolutionary hardware. As competitive hardware from other vendors emerged, standardization on the software side emerged, and thus Glide was no longer really needed. 3Dfx did, though, die a horrible death, brought out by their own complacency.

And if Mantle is still around in 4-5 years time- an eternity in this industry- then it will have become the standard.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:01 pm

Airmantharp wrote:So does that process even need to be improved, given that DX11 is radically more efficient than it's predecessors on the subject of the number of draw calls needed to be generated to render a particular scene?

Exactly. This screams like a micro-benchmark that doesn't give way to real benefits in workloads that actually matter.

It's like introducing a new SATA bus that can handle 10x the number of requests instead of making a single batch call with 10 requests in it...
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:11 pm

Yup.

I think that Mantle's benefits (this is a off-the-top-of-my-head recap) are that games are already being developed in a manner that makes them easily adaptable to it, and that as a matter of game engine and API co-development over time, it changes the way that the interactions between games and graphics hardware are approached.

Both are good for gamers- there's nothing to complain about here. Nvidia, Intel, ARM, Qualcomm, and whoever else makes graphics hardware can choose on their own to support Mantle, to provide a competing solution, or to just go with what they've got. Having a game and a graphics card that support Mantle is going to be a bonus, but it's also going to be the exception- not the rule. DirectX and OpenGL render paths are still going to be mandatory for applicable platforms for the foreseeable future, as supporting only Mantle-capable hardware would drastically limit a developer's target-able install base.
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:17 pm

I can't wait until BF4 and AMD R9 290x hit the market and the DX11 vs Mantle Benchmarks show up...
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Mon Oct 07, 2013 6:19 pm

ish718 wrote:I can't wait until BF4 and AMD R9 290x hit the market and the DX11 vs Mantle Benchmarks show up...


I'm looking forward to it too, but I certainly can wait :).

Our 30" 4k 60Hz IPS monitors aren't here yet either, after all 8).
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Re: Battlefield 4 + Frostbite + Mantle presentation by Johan

Postposted on Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:09 pm

@Waco
Here's that Carmack quote I promised you I'd find. Turned out it was from a pcper interview:

Sauce
Ryan Shrout: Focusing back on the hardware side of things, in previous years’ Quakecons we've had debates about what GPU was better for certain game engines, certain titles and what features AMD and NVIDIA do better. You've said previously that CPUs now, you don't worry about what features they have as they do what you want them to do. Are we at that point with GPUs? Is the hardware race over (or almost over)?

John Carmack: I don't worry about the GPU hardware at all. I worry about the drivers a lot because there is a huge difference between what the hardware can do and what we can actually get out of it if we have to control it at a fine grain level. That's really been driven home by this past project by working at a very low level of the hardware on consoles and comparing that to these PCs that are true orders of magnitude more powerful than the PS3 or something, but struggle in many cases to keep up the same minimum latency. They have tons of bandwidth, they can render at many more multi-samples, multiple megapixels per screen, but to be able to go through the cycle and get feedback... “fence here, update this here, and draw them there...” it struggles to get that done in 16ms, and that is frustrating.


So yea, PC is orders of magnitude mode powerful, and yet slower at the same time, and we have the drivers to thank for that.
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