AMD and DICE reveal Mantle, low-level graphics API for Radeon cards, offering 9X better performance

DSOGaming: "DICE's Johan Andersson revealed today that AMD and DICE are working on a low-level high-performance graphics API for Radeon cards, called Mantle. According to AMD, Mantle offers up to 9X more draw calls per second than other APIs by reducing CPU overhead."

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Pandamobile1883d ago (Edited 1883d ago )

"offering 9X better draw call performance"


But this is pretty awesome.

Prcko1883d ago (Edited 1883d ago )

no real video, no real comparison...
cool -.-

NewMonday1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

this is exactly what nVidia were afraid of, more developers focusing on AMD because of consoles drivers will improve, taking away a big traditional nVidia advantage.

memots1882d ago

At newmonday .

Nvidia just need to step up the driver instead of releasing new gpu all the time.

wishingW3L1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

Nvidia is not afraid of anything. For this thing to work it'll need to offer support to Nvidia cards.

thechosenone1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

AMD and Valve just saved PC gaming.

papashango1882d ago

Valve made pc gaming relevant a long long time ago
on their own.

Feralkitsune1882d ago

This is open source guys. If Nvidia wants to use adapt their cards for this new API, nothing is there to stop them. Doesn't mean they will, but they will be able to.

NewMonday1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

this is hardware specific people, it is "open source" for other game developers.

I have nVidia myself but I can't see how this would work for me

NewMonday1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

just coming to understand this is an alternative to directX and OpenGL, could it be used for consoles?

can't wait to see the benchmarks

Pandamobile1882d ago

Yes, this is an alternative to DX and OpenGL.

"Can it be used on consoles?"

Technically, it already is. What AMD have done is packaged up the light-weight and low level console GPU APIs and created a version for use in Windows.

Now PC developers can "code to the metal" of the GPU, which before was nearly impossible due to the layers of abstraction and inefficiencies that OpenGL and DX implicitly apply. All those fancy optimizations that console devs apply to their games to get the most out of console hardware will now be easily applicable to PCs with compatible hardware.

Theoretically, a laptop with the same amount of processing power as a PS4 will produce similar results if developers leverage Mantle. Battlefield 4 will be an interesting case. If they can prove that relatively low-powered PCs are capable of producing PS4-level graphics with a little bit of extra work, that's going to open a whole world of possibilities.

mewhy321882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

Man 9X boost! This is great news. My HD7750 1gig GDDR5 already does great but with this it'll be freakin' awesome.

loulou1882d ago

off-topic i know.

but here is some terrible telephone footage of a very smooth looking bf4 on xbox one from the eurogamer expo

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 1882d ago
starchild1882d ago

Between SteamOS, this Mantle API, and the consoles having fairly standard PC parts and X86 instruction set architecture PC gaming is about to get a lot more efficient and powerful. Exciting times.

TedCruzsTaint1882d ago

If all goes well, we may actually be seeing lower-end rigs giving comparable performance to anything that console is managing.
It's going to be interesting to see how things go. I am really excited to be a PC gamer at the moment.

NewMonday1882d ago


Only works on GCN AMD cards, if this works and other developers use it AMD will leapfrog nVidia, and it will be a very big leap.

My next card will most certainly be an AMD

WarThunder1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

Well when it comes to delivering price/performance quality products! nothing can beat AMD.

I'm all for this. I would like to see developers step away from directX and windows...

P0werVR1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

...get a clue!

You have no idea what your on about, and you look ridiculous!

If anything this is a low level API. Which will more likely be used through higher level API (DirectX, OpenGl.. ) to use ONLY AMD graphics capabilities. It's not a general use API for other GPUs.

cococabana1882d ago

Fluff words. Dont mean what you think they mean. :P

assdan1882d ago

Anyone that thinks this means 9x performance is stupid. If it did, literally everyone would be buying AMD cards now.

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ChickeyCantor1883d ago

Let's see how people will catch on to this.
People are already rooted in DX or OpenGL.

JackStraw1882d ago

well, it's called progression. programmers can be as rooted as they want to be, but if they see an alternative that offers much better performance, they will support that.

ChickeyCantor1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

Progression? Developers have a foundation on what they continue to work on. If it's too much work ( aka money) they won't bother to swap.

OpenGL already provided many DX11 like features before MS hyped the crap out of them ( tessellation for example ) but no one flocked to OpenGL. So your point is rather moot.

AMD and Dice better show what it's worth before anyone would dare touch it.

sourav931882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

If you watched the conference, it was that it is somehow compatible with the DX API. That confused me, but maybe there's something to it...?

Edit: Here's the quote "Mantle is compatible with DirextX HLSL for simplified porting, will works with all GCN GPUs, and Battlefield 4 will be the first game supporting it."

ChickeyCantor1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

HLSL is de shader language for DirectX. Like OpenGL has its own shader language (GLSL).

Since Gaming is most popular on windows most games just make use of DirectX. And because of this most shader code is written for DirectXs shader language. It's therefor easier for DirectX developers to bring their existing shaders over to mantle.
The mantle api probably converts the HLSL to their own shading facility( unless they just adapted HLSL ).

But it's by no means DirectX api compatible( cept for the shaders apparently).

Ju1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

It's either AMDs own HLSL compiler or a "intermediate language" wrapper. Not really surprised there. Is similar what Sony has in the PS4 SDK.

DeadlyFire1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

You know consoles have this thing called GPGPU compute in them right. This reduces CPU overhead on the PC by pushing the stuff onto the GPGPU of the PC cards right? Case solved. Its pretty simple really. More CPU compute moves onto the GPU with Mantle API. Likely NVIDIA has a similar plan for themselves to launch a low level API tieing into HLSL, and GLSL.

Its just AMD's version of GPGPU compute highly likely they will expand it past just DirectX/HLSL if they are supporting Valve hardware in the future on Linux. I expect a version compatible with GLSL to be in the works as well.

Both graphics developers want to tie as much as they can directly onto the hardware to squeeze out more power out of every system.

joeorc1882d ago


"It's either AMDs own HLSL compiler or a "intermediate language" wrapper. Not really surprised there. Is similar what Sony has in the PS4 SDK."

Yupper's 100%, its mainly becoming one big unified Gaming platform...this bodes very well for the industry.

Example with the PS4

Low-level access and the "wrapper" graphics API

In terms of rendering, there was some interesting news. Norden pointed out one of the principal weaknesses of DirectX 11 and OpenGL - they need to service a vast array of different hardware. The advantage of PlayStation 4 is that it's a fixed hardware platform, meaning that the specifics of the tech can be addressed directly. (It's worth pointing out at this point that the next-gen Xbox has hardware-specific extensions on top of the standard DX11 API.)

"We can significantly enhance performance by bypassing a lot of the artificial DirectX limitations and bottlenecks that are imposed so DirectX can work across a wide range of hardware," he revealed.

The development environment is designed to be flexible enough to get code up and running quickly, but offering the option for the more adventurous developers to get more out of the platform. To that end, PlayStation 4 has two rendering APIs.

"One of them is the absolute low-level API, you're talking directly to the hardware. It's used to draw the static RAM buffers and feed them directly to the GPU," Norden shared. "It's much, much lower level than you're used to with DirectX or OpenGL but it's not quite at the driver level. It's very similar if you've programmed PS3 or PS Vita, very similar to those graphics libraries."

But on top of that Sony is also providing what it terms a "wrapper API" that more closely resembles the standard PC rendering APIs.

Online gaming - with real names

Sony is set to include support for a player's "true name" into online gaming on PlayStation 4. Every player has dual identities - their real name and profile picture, and a second online ID with PSN avatar.

"It's kind of up to you how you want people to have access to your true name. You're going to have to explicitly enable that. Not everyone is going to see your true name by default," Norden said during his GDC talk.
True names are automatically enabled and visible to any friends you import from social networks where you have already shared this information - for example, Facebook. Real identities are also shared through a process described as

"true name search" which we assume to be akin to finding friends on Facebook. Outside of these two paths, these details are only shared when players explicitly agree to share them with one another.
Sony also confirmed that the friends list max limit on PlayStation 3 has been increased for the new console.

"The key is that it doesn't sacrifice the efficiency of the low-level API. It's actually a wrapper on top of the low-level API that does a lot of the mundane tasks that you don't want to have to do over and over."

The cool thing about the wrapper API is that while its task is to simplify development, Sony actually provides the source code for it so if there's anything that developers don't get on with, they can adapt it themselves to better suit their project.

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Ju1882d ago

Coincidently, I just said in (another) SteamOS thread, that OpenGL won't cut it.

This is exactly why. If SteamOS can leverage this (or it's own interface) this will be huge for Valve. We need a new API, and a new box which actually is built on that. Preferably this should also support NVidia (or any other card).

I'm curious how this will fit into Windows. It needs to bypass DirectX (and Windows drivers) to make this work. I can't believe it won't have "side effects". AMD seems it's in the right position to push this on their own. We'll see. But it must be an open API eventually.

And, yes, this is plenty of incentive for (engine) developers. Drawcall optimization is a pain with current APIs.

Kayant1883d ago

This needs to not be proprietary to just GCN to really take off but it sounds like that's not the case but am looking forward to seeing what devs can do with low level access on something like the 290X considering the amazing things we have seen on consoles near the end of the console cycle.

DxTrixterz1882d ago

You aren't talking about GTA5 by any chances are you???

wishingW3L1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

there is still the fact that consoles have standard hardware while devs would be wasting their time by coding to the metal on certain PC hardware when there are a gazillion of different set-ups out there. DirectX already provides some low level extensions but nobody gives a fk.

At the end of the day most games on PC are nothing but console ports, so we all are essentially playing the same game even if you have 20GB of super fast ram and a $1000 card. All you get for burning that kind of cash is slightly higher res and frame-rate.

RegorL1882d ago

The thing with Frostbite is that they will have to do this engine optimization once.

All their games will benefit.
- BF4
- NFS Rivals
- DragonsAge: Inquisition
- Command&Conquer
- StarWars Battlefront
- MirrorsEdge2
- ...

wishingW3L1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

Modern day GPUs are so powerful and they become cheap so fast that low level programming is useless, a wasted effort for an ever changing environment. This is only necessary for consoles because console hardware stays the same for years, so this is the only way to squeeze more out of them.

If this API were widely available for any GPU then it would sense. But an API that will require more effort only to benefit a few? Most devs will ignore it, except for those within AMD's paycheck or advertising deals of-course.

Pandamobile1882d ago

It's not USELESS, but it's less important than on consoles.

However, this will be awesome for lower specced chips such as laptop GPUs and lower-mid-range desktop GPUs. This will get games with better graphics running on cheaper PC hardware. Developers can continue to rely on the raw power of PC hardware if they choose to or see little value in the extra effort.

Ju1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

Well...I'm just taking a wild guess here - but this will sure run on consoles, too.

Can you imagine you can simply recompile a console game on a PC with this and would get all the optimizations you have on the consoles for PCs as well?

This is massive. You can actually develop on both, console and PC with one (!) API. And what's wrong with efficient code even if you have a monster graphics card?

Sevir1882d ago

Seven PC elitists disagreed with what you said when it's true... PC games based on 360 and PS3 multiplatform ports are the same game with higher resolution, framerates and smoother textures... And they claim that to be the reason for spending thousands of dollars for new graphics cards every six to eight months...

FlyingFoxy1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )

Hardly anyone buys a new graphics card every 6 months, graphics cards get on average 20-30% better per release of a series.

The only time worth upgrading is every 1-2 years or even 3.

Sorry but you're wrong.

Here's an example:

Scroll down just over half way down the page to Specifications, look at the year of manufacture between the 2 cards and then look at the performance difference.

Pandamobile1882d ago

I usually upgrade every 3 or so years.

I don't get where this yearly upgrade craze came from. It's certainly not necessary in this day and age.

thehitman1882d ago

@flying if you ever upgraded your card after 1-2 years either A you bought a shitty card or B wasting money because you dont get any significant gains on cards per value until on average 4 years. A 250-300 dollar card can last 3-4 years easily 350-400 card 5-6 years easily anything higher than that you probably shouldn't be buying anyway. Good gfx cards are quite expensive especially when you put it in retrospect that they cost more than consoles alone most of the time. I bought my gfx card 4 years ago and its still kicking strong being able to play games on ultra @ 30 fps at 1080p and better optimized games at 45-60 fps.

With that said I think the hardware in consoles or at least the ps4 is on par if not better than my PC currently but coming in a box at 1/3 the cost. Will know for sure when mine arrives on the 15th for comparisons but consoles are definitely a better investment. Glad to see more AMD optimization since I use amd cards as well, will benefit me on both platforms.

FlyingFoxy1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )


Nope, I actually still have my 5870 that cost me about £300 at launch in 2009.

I never buy cheapy graphics cards, I was simply stating that it's only worth upgrading every 1-2 years or 3+. I did NOT say that i do that. I myself usually give it at least 3 years.

if you read what i said again, in a way i am saying that upgrading every 6 months is a waste, which it is..

I haven't upgraded since then because it runs all the games that i play fine 60+fps, until a game comes out i want to play at 1080p & 60+fps i will not upgrade it.

Mini05101882d ago

LOL kid. spending thousands of dollars for new graphics cards every six to eight months.

This is jokes. What are we? made of money?

webeblazing1882d ago

a lot of mp have better post pros fx dx11 support fov and I lot of things besides res and frame rate oh don't forget aa and textures

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 1882d ago
RegorL1882d ago

This might provide to be a very good fit for SteamOS

Axonometri1882d ago

SteamOS in intended as an "open" system. How can a closed API be a good fit for a Linux based Steam?

RegorL1882d ago

Because games (applications) will not be open!
Mantle will be a part of the game not the OS, will reduce the possibility to add library/driver hacks.

"Library" being cross platform and highly optimized.

Kayant1882d ago

Apparently it's actually open which is great :) --->

Feralkitsune1882d ago

ITS NOT CLOSED, It's open source. Hell, AMD's current drivers on Linux are already open source.

Axonometri1882d ago

WOW.. it is open? Strange and good?! This changes my thought all together as it would be possible at some level to also be applied to the consoles. Am I correct in this?

joeorc1882d ago (Edited 1882d ago )


"WOW.. it is open? Strange and good?! This changes my thought all together as it would be possible at some level to also be applied to the consoles. Am I correct in this?"

you are correct, yupper's 100%


"Oh god, this reeks of 3Dfx, DX API put an end to that. So we're going back to the days of certain games requiring specific cards. It'll be a pissing contest between AMD/Nvidia on who can score the best games for their cards."

No , its not read it again. that is far from the case. when they are talking about unified it is about really making it true.

its an opensource Api!