Q: What is Mantle? A: Mantle is an AMD initiative to create a new programming model that fully exploits the capabilities of modern GPUs, like AMD Radeon products, to improve graphics performance. As part of this initiative, we have worked with leading game developers to create a new API specification and graphics driver that enable this model on PCs with Graphics Core Next-based graphics hardware.
Q: Is Mantle a proprietary AMD technology? A: Mantle was conceived and developed by AMD in partnership with leading game developers. This enabled the fast and agile development required to validate the concepts and bring such the technology to life in a relatively short period of time. However, Mantle was designed in a way that makes it applicable to a range of modern GPU architectures. In the months ahead, we will be inviting more partners to participate in the development program, leading up to a public release of the specifications later in 2014. Our intention is for Mantle, or something that looks very much like it, to eventually become an industry standard applicable to multiple graphics architectures and platforms.
Q: Does Mantle compete with DirectX? A: DirectX provides a standardized programming interface for GPUs, allowing the same code to work across a wide range of architectures and product configurations. Mantle complements DirectX® by providing a lower level of hardware abstraction for developers who want and need it, echoing the capabilities they have come to expect on dedicated game consoles.
Q: Will Mantle be supported on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One game consoles? A: The initial releases of the Mantle API and graphics driver are intended for the PC platform only. However, one of the key goals of Mantle is to make it as easy as possible for developers to use the same features and programming techniques they are already utilizing for the new generation of game consoles when bringing their games to PCs. This enables better re-use of development efforts for multi-platform games.
Q: Is Mantle supported on Linux/SteamOS? A: The initial iteration of Mantle is intended specifically for Windows on PCs.
Q: How much additional performance will Mantle provide? A: Performance benefits will vary depending on the characteristics of each application, and of the CPU & GPU it is run on. In general, the largest benefits will be seen in cases where CPU overhead has traditionally limited GPU throughput.
Mantle is about providing the tools to take the best advantage of the PC platform. As developers learn more about squeezing every bit of performance on the new generation of game consoles, their experience can translate into better optimizations with Mantle on PCs.
Q: When does AMD intend to release a public SDK?
A: We have not set a final date for releasing a public SDK, but we will provide more information later in 2014.
Q: Why not use OpenGL extensions instead of a new API? A: The design of Mantle was driven by feedback from leading game developers, who preferred the idea of a fresh start with a new API to the extension and patching of existing ones. However, we believe that many of Mantle’s concepts are applicable to other graphics APIs, and will inspire their future development.
Q: Do I need a special graphics driver to run Mantle software? A: Yes, AMD Catalyst™ 14.1 Beta (or later) must be installed on your system to take advantage of Mantle-enabled software.
Q: What games support Mantle? A: Please see the official Mantle page for more details.
Q: Are there any new games and engines in development with Mantle? A: We are continuously adding new partners to the Mantle development program. Check the official Mantle page regularly for updates.
Q: What hardware is supported with Mantle? A: At this time, the following Graphics Core Next-based products are supported:
AMD Radeon™ R9 Series graphics
AMD Radeon™ R7 Series graphics
AMD Radeon™ HD 7000 Series graphics
AMD Radeon™ HD 8000 Series graphics
2014 AMD A-Series APUs (“Kaveri”)
Please note that notebooks based on AMD PowerXpress™ and AMD Enduro technologies are not currently supported. Support for these configurations will be added in a later AMD Catalyst™ driver release.
Q: Are there any issues I should be aware of while playing a Mantle-enabled game on supported hardware? A: As Mantle is still a young technology, you may encounter unexpected behavior while gaming. Please visit our known issues list to learn more about the issues we’re actively tracking, or provide feedback on our official bug report form if you encounter an unidentified issue.
Q: Does Mantle support multi-GPU configurations? A: Yes, the Mantle API enables applications to take advantage of workload sharing between multiple GPUs. However, this is controlled directly by the application instead of the graphics driver (as is the case with AMD CrossFire™ technology). This means that support for specific multi-GPU configurations and features are application-dependent, but it also enables developers to achieve better performance scaling and efficiency by tuning their implementation to match the particular needs of their rendering engine.
Q: Does Mantle support frame pacing? A: Yes, Mantle includes support for frame pacing in single and multi-GPU configurations if enabled by the application.
Q: Does Mantle support AMD Eyefinity™ multi-display technology? A: Yes, Mantle includes support for AMD Eyefinity™ technology if enabled by the application.
AMD Mantle Performance Explored It has been a long time coming but we take a look at early and initial Mantle performance. The upcoming 14.1 Beta driver will receive many improvements. At the simplest level, Mantle is an Applicati...