Monday, February 10, 2014

AMD’s Mantle: The biggest innovation in gaming since DX 9 says Extremetech

There’s been a lot of talk recently about AMD’s latest technology and I find there are some valid opinions about why Mantle has some worrying trends for the GPU industry with some of the bad old habits creeping up to latest trends in GPU technological development. John Gillooly had a look at this topic in some detail in his article named “The seismic shift facing Nvidia and AMD”. John is a veteran IT/gaming/enthusiast journo that has been there and done that so to speak. It is concerning when someone with such a broadminded view and experience notices a change in the industry that could be detrimental to the end users long term.

That brings me to also mention an article Extremetech has put up recently in which they argue AMD Mantle is the biggest innovation in gaming since DX9 (DirectX 9) which is incidentally the sort of proprietary tech John’s article refers to. Is it really time to let go of DirectX and bypass it completely and develop API that will let games directly interact with GPUs? There probably is but should the big players push for open standard rather than proprietary tech? I think it’s probably in their interest judging by what happened in the past.

The idea behind AMD Mantle is pretty interesting, particularly for the under powered PCs as DirectX was more of an impediment as it created extra overhead in performance and decreased vital FPS so the systems that were used based on AMD Kaveri FM2+ gained the highest FPS when Mantle was enabled while more powerful Intel based system based on GIGABYTE Z87X-D3H and Intel 4770K saw smaller gains with single cards. Basically Mantle untapped the unused frames in a struggling AMD CPU based system by a larger margin.


There was a change once Extremetech ran crossfire and Intel 4770K was just exceptionally fast and was capable of minimising the bottleneck and had better results overall. This would probably change once a third or forth GPU was added in the mix and I’m sure once Mantle matures, people with 3/4way GPU systems and air/water cooled CPUs will be able to untap the heavy bottleneck modern GPUs have. Being early days there was also some mention of irregularities with graphics quality but I am sure a lot of it will get ironed out sooner or later.


Great tech, just wish it was pushed for open standard so that everyone can enjoy, not just people that purchase AMD based GPUs!


  1. Hey, AMD has to have something. You don't see Nvida releasing G-Sync or Advanced Phsyx to everyone besides their GFX cards. Competition exists for a reason. Though AMD said that they will be releasing Mantle to more than just themselves also.

  2. Hi Jake,

    Click on the first link I posted for a bit of history on why proprietary tech could lead to a demise of manufacturers. The only reason Nvidia and ATI exist today is because they united on open platform all those years ago. Nvidia obviously started with physx but it was only a minor detail which affected specific details. I'll quote John as he's a lot better putting his thoughts on the paper than me:

    "PhysX has certainly been used in a wide range of games, but ultimately it is only ever employed as a tool for visual effects, such as increased debris and really floppy cloth. The initial promise of physics acceleration, and its ability to enable developers to bake high level physics processing into the DNA of the games themselves, has never happened – because, again, this would exclude a fairly large number of potential customers."

    AMD is taking it to a new level with a completely new API. G-Synch is on the cards and there will be a lot more tech very similar to this which will basically result in people paying more in the end once it does gather pace and could have a major implications in future that effectively closed down some amazing companies like 3dfx or Rendition which lacked vision and buried themselves in their own worlds.

    Open standards is the way to go....


    2. You seem to have missed out on some information about Mantle.
      It is not tied to AMD's GCN architecture. It is not proprietary. That means nVidia cards can use Mantle.
      However, nVidia will have to get it too work with their cards and they' more than likely won't bother with Mantle.

    3. That's right, Nvidia will have to adopt and follow AMD's tech and innovation. Sounds great but you know that will probably not happen.

  3. ok with my i5 3570K + 7870 ( 1200 MHZ ) Crossfire i cant play with activated Mantle...maybe 10-15 fps... under dx11 Ultra Settings 90-120 FPS!


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