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Battlefield 4 Receives Mantle Support, Driver Support Delayed

By NAG3LT31-01-2014

After a longer than expected wait, AMD Mantle rendering API is finally supported in Battlefield 4. Unfortunately for people with AMD cards eager to try it, they will have to wait for AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta driver, which has also been delayed. The idea of Mantle was to reduce overhead from graphics APIs on PC and thus reduce the CPU load while drawing graphics and allow the CPU communication to GPU to be multithreaded. Such capabilities should be very helpful to AMD CPUs, which are well behind Intel's single-core performance. As the drivers are not yet released the only numbers come from AMD and DICE without any independent checks.

AMD's newest A10-7850K APU got a 14% performance benefit from Mantle on 1280x720 medium settings. If it is really the CPU limitation effect, the difference should be more pronounced at lower settings. Second scenario used 4 GHz AMD FX-8350 CPU with Radeon 7970 – a very good GPU with AMD's powerful desktop CPU playing the game on Ultra with 1920x1080 resolution. The 25% boost moved the average FPS from 53 to 66 – which can be quite convenient when using V-Sync. The final test concerned multi-GPU configurations and used Intel Core i7-3970x Extreme with 2 Radeon R9 290x in Crossfire. Hexa-core CPU and dual-GPU configuration provided a perfect opportunity to showcase the limit of single-threaded rendering and advantage of multithreading. The claimed performance improvement is 58% – from 78 FPS to 122 FPS.

If all these results are true, AMD Mantle looks very promising for everybody from low end to high end. It will be interesting to see independent benchmarks with more configurations, but we will have to wait for the new driver to become available before those are available.


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