These are still early days for Mantle, but we can already see its ability to reduce CPU overhead rather dramatically compared to Direct3D. That's exactly the sort of innovation folks have wanted to see in PC gaming, and AMD and DICE are already delivering. One would hope this demonstration of a more modern approach to graphics programming would spur others (ahem, Redmond) to innovate in a way that can benefit the entire PC ecosystem.
There's lots of work yet to be done on Mantle. AMD needs to refine its drivers, add some key features, and improve performance scaling for its older GCN-based graphics chips. Meanwhile, in order for Mantle to really gain traction, EA and DICE will have to follow through on their promise to bring the Mantle rendering path to a host of other games based on the Frostbite 2 engine.
Based on these first results, the big beneficiaries of Mantle's proliferation will probably be folks who, for one reason or another, have a PC that isn't built to perform especially well in many of today's games. PCs with slower processors stand to gain the most.
That said, there are already some well-worn paths to very good gaming experiences on the PC today. The Haswell-based Core i7-4770K is faster than the A10-7850K regardless of the graphics API. Switching from AMD's Direct3D driver to Nvidia's will get you more than halfway to Mantle's performance on an A10-7850K, too. AMD would do well to work on improving its Direct3D drivers and CPUs, as well as pursuing Mantle development—but I'm sure they already know that. I'm happy to see AMD pushing innovation in graphics APIs at the same time.
We'll surely test Mantle's performance on a broader range of CPUs as it matures. I'm curious to play around with different core counts and to see whether low-power chips like Kabini can provide good gaming experiences with Mantle. Our next task, though, will be to see what performance benefits Mantle can deliver in GPU-limited scenarios. Stay tuned for that.
I tweet things on Twitter sometimes.
340 comments — Last by pogsnet1 at 9:08 AM on 02/19/14
|1. Ryszard - $603||2. Hdfisise - $600||3. Andrew Lauritzen - $502|
|4. Redocbew - $350||5. the - $306||6. SomeOtherGeek - $300|
|7. chasp_0 - $251||8. Ryu Connor - $250||9. mbutrovich - $250|
|10. YetAnotherGeek2 - $200|
|Star Wars Battlefront video reviewRating the Jedi experience||44|
|AMD's Radeon Software Crimson Edition: an overviewSeeing red||113|
|AMD's Radeon R9 380X graphics card reviewedX marks the spot||254|
|Nvidia's GeForce GTX 950 graphics card reviewed...alongside the Radeon R7 370||163|
|Fable Legends DirectX 12 performance revealedA peek at the future of games and graphics||280|
|Tiny Radeon R9 Nano to pack a wallop at $650But AMD's performance numbers may overstate its case||187|
|Nvidia's Shield Android TV reviewedThe flagship of Android TV sets sail||71|
|Intel's Core i7-6700K 'Skylake' processor reviewedEnthusiasts get the first taste of a new architecture||489|
|Adobe embraces the HTML5 future with Animate CC||22|
|Nvidia updates GeForce drivers for Just Cause 3 and Rainbow Six Siege||11|
|Reports: Just Cause 3 is exploding with bugs and glitches||56|
|Cooler Master's Sentinel III mouse shows its exact DPI at a glance||7|
|Radeon Software Crimson Edition 15.11.1 fixes fan speeds and more||22|
|Chipworks takes the lid off Apple's A9X SoC||30|
|Cyber Monday deals: Nvidia's Shield TV for $150 and more||19|
|Autodesk uses HoloLens to bring 3D models into mixed reality||8|
|AMD pledges fix for low fan speeds caused by Crimson Edition drivers||35|