Battlefield 4 Mantle update live, AMD users rejoice

Battlefield 4: Mantle update

By on January 31, 2014 at 9:02 am

It’s been advertised for a while, but finally AMD users with a penchant for shoulder-mounted rockets and semi-automatic sniper rifles can rejoice: the Mantle update is here. A post on the official Battlefield 4 blog and a meaty 1.2GB update from Origin is what’s on offer for the patient fans of Team Red. Johan Andersson, a technical director within DICE’s Frostbite team, explains the benefits in detail.

Battlefield 4 on PC is already quite heavily optimized using DirectX 11 and DirectX 11.1, but with Mantle we are able to go even further: we’ve significantly reduced CPU cost in our rendering, efficiently parallelized it over multiple CPU cores and reduced overhead in many areas,” he says. “The biggest performance gains can be seen when the game is bottlenecked by the CPU which can be quite common even on high-end machines and this was main goal to improve on with Mantle. We’ve also been able to streamline and optimize some of the GPU workload. The end result is that game performance is improved in virtually all scenarios in Battlefield 4 on both Windows 7 and Windows 8 when running with Mantle!”

The blog outlines some comparisons between DirectX 11 and the Mantle API in various situations: the results are below.

Test case 1: Low-end single-player 2: 64-player multi-player 3: Multi-GPU single-player
CPU AMD A10-7850K (‘Kaveri’ APU), 4 cores @ 3.7 GHz AMD FX-8350, 8 cores @ 4 GHz Intel Core i7-3970x Extreme, 12 logical cores @ 3.5 GHz
GPU N/A AMD Radeon 7970 3 GB 2x AMD Radeon R9 290x 4 GB
Settings 720p Medium Ultra 1080p Ultra 1080p 4x MSAA
OS Windows 7 64-bit Windows 8 64-bit Windows 8 64-bit
Level Singapore Siege of Shanghai South China Sea
DX11 avg 26.6 ms/f (37.6 fps) 18.87 ms/f (52.9 fps) 13.24 ms/f (78.4 fps)
Mantle avg 23.3 ms/f (43 fps) 15.08 ms/f (66.3 fps) 8.38 ms/f (121.5 fps)
Improvement 14% faster 25.1% faster 58% faster

There’s a few things to remember with this Mantle update. Firstly, the comparison screenshots on the Battlefield blog show that with the Mantle API enabled, the micro-stuttering problem that has plagued AMD cards for far too long looks to finally be a thing of the past.

Secondly, you’ll need the latest Catalyst beta drivers to get Mantle to work. Now while that sounds obvious, what might not be immediately apparent is that the gains won’t exactly be uniform. AMD posted on their official AMDGaming Twitter account this morning that while “AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta will support ALL desktop GCN products” they’re still working with EA to “further optimize performance on 280X, 270X, HD 7000 and HD 8000.”

Considering the 290X is out of most people’s price range and nobody truly cares about picking up anything lower than the 270X when cards like the 7970 offer such good value for money right now, chances are that means most AMD GPU users should expect even further performance gains down the road. Or, put another way, it means most AMD users should only expect minor to modest performance gains – for now.

That’s speculative, of course. Exactly how much performance people get will be determined by the labyrinth of techno-savvy gamers and websites in the coming days and weeks with access to more hardware than I have at my fingertips. Nevertheless, it’s a good day to be an AMD user. Your faith is finally starting to pay off.

Source: Thanks, PalZer0!

21 comments (Leave your own)

I wish AMD would be consistent over what info they say. Previously they said that it should work out of the box but now they’re saying it needs driver support. :S

If they can get all the other range of cards (like non crossfire) at least close to that 60% performance improvement then that indeed is a huge win for them, bravo. If it is close you have to really wonder wtf is wrong with DX11 if THAT much performance is being lost. I know Mantle is lower level but 60% performance loss is pretty extreme, no wonder the 360/PS3 stayed relevant for so long.

Now to see if nVidia releases support for mantle to get a real comparison.

 

exe3,

Not like a video card works anywhere near full capabilities out of the box without drivers…?

I wouldn’t hold your breath for nVidia to support it, to me understanding (correct me if I’m wrong), at the moment at least Mantle is setup around the specific architecture that AMD cards use, so it may not even be possible on current nvidia cards without a huge investment.

 

How the hell was it going to work without drivers? Don’t be daft.

 

The day I plan to go out to buy a 290, Mantle drops, bloody nice timing :)
Finding stock however…. thats another story.

 

I dunno. It’s what was said. I assumed they had something worked out. Proper driver support was supposed to give better performance obviously but basic functionality was suppose to work out of the box, at least that’s what AMD said at one point in regards to whether it worked on nVidia cards.

A question. Do people think nVidia will have to support Mantle if performance in general is consistently a huge step up or do you think nVidia will compensate by just making faster GPU’s?

 

exe3,

But to support any advanced video card functions, they need drivers, newer drivers will no doubt refine the performance further though. If you can point me at the out of the box statements I’m curious to read them to see the full context etc

It seems nVidia somewhat prefers propriety methods which they then offer to licence to other companies (ie PhysX, GSync), so unless there’s substantial enough gains made by Mantle, that at any price point the AMD cards are faster in enough games, so that the market starts swinging AMD’s way, I don’t expect nVidia will do much at all.

 

Look at OUR tests for OUR game, almost 60% better!!!!!.

Lmfao, waiting until a REAL review comes out.

 

I can’t find the statement anymore. All my google searches are flooded with today’s news. :S I think it was a vague comment the AMD guy gave so maybe I just misinterpreted it.

 

Pretty sure I read something yesterday on OCN that showed that Mantle’s only real performance benefits came when using low-end AMD CPU’s as Mantle helps alleviate CPU bottlenecks. This was from a NON-AMD source; I never trust the word from ‘the horses mouth’ so to speak as they always give ‘absolute best result scenarios’ in their PR crap and just take extreme outliers rather than give us true reflections of real-world gameplay.

At the higher end of the scale and paired with a decent GPU (eg. 280/290) there was pretty much no real improvement (<5%). Could be wrong but I personally can't see Mantle really doing much in the way of revolutionising PC gaming and Nvidia don't seem to be too worried at this point either.

Only time will tell I suppose

 

vengeance47,

You thinking of this?

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/175676-amds-mantle-finally-emerges-turns-out-its-actually-for-boosting-low-end-cpus-not-gpus

Though part of that is a little confusing since the Intel CPU that had 58% improvement was a high end CPU.

 

exe3:

The reason the crossfire setup has such massive gains is because they were able to move a lot of CPU work onto the GPU (through Mantle). The extra frames come from reducing the CPU bottleneck and enabling the GPU to actually stress a little. For this reason you will not see such amazing gains with lower end cards / non crossfire, as they are not bottle-necked by the CPU.

 

crocadrilla: The reason the crossfire setup has such massive gains is because they were able to move a lot of CPU work onto the GPU (through Mantle). The extra frames come from reducing the CPU bottleneck and enabling the GPU to actually stress a little. For this reason you will not see such amazing gains with lower end cards / non crossfire, as they are not bottle-necked by the CPU.

This.

Sorry should have made it more clear that what I said above only really applies to single GPU scenarios (which is most people anyway). In dual high-end GPU scenarios it would help quite a lot because as Crocadrilla says; they are mostly held back by how fast the CPU can feed them data.

There is also the other point of contention regarding consistency across titles. Are we going to see consistent improvements across the board or is it really going to be game dependent? I would imagine game dependent as it would depend on the level of implementation and optimisation for Mantle on the developoers end. Obviously with BF4 being a massive title and AMD pumping shit tonnes of money into it its likely that you would see some pretty decent gains in the CFX arena, but what about other, smaller games coming out down the line that choose to implement Mantle. Will we see the same levels of improvement?

Only time will tell. I’m just waiting for Maxwell to drop before I decide on my next GPU (AMD or NV). Been an NV user my entire life but AMD have been really impressing as of late. If Mantle turns out to be decent, then I guess it will be AMD (When they release something to compete with Maxwell).

 

I don’t see Mantle getting very far unless Nvidia properly supports it.

So much for the death of DX.

 

will this help my Core 2 duo E8400 and radeon HD 7790? 4 gigs ram?

 

vengeance47:

There is also the other point of contention regarding consistency across titles. Are we going to see consistent improvements across the board or is it really going to be game dependent? I

Mantle lifts the ceiling of optimization, but unless it is also easier (which I have no idea about) it won’t give the developer free performance. So unless the answer to the question, “are all DX games as efficient as each other” is Yes (It’s a resounding no), then it will most defiantly be inconsistent amongst different games.
PalZer0,

PalZer0:
I don’t see Mantle getting very far unless Nvidia properly supports it.

So much for the death of DX.

If its doesn’t stress development time too bad (in fact they claim it reduces it, but who knows yet), and doesn’t negatively impact Nvidia performance, developers will use it. Unless any of those conditions fail, there is no reason not to, and you can put lower sys req on the box.

 

PalZer0:
I don’t see Mantle getting very far unless Nvidia properly supports it.

So much for the death of DX.

The big companies only care about the bottom line, and new technology lives and dies by how much it cuts into the profits. If Mantle causes less strain on the developers in terms of compatibility/issues, then they will all pick it up. Or drop it, if it’s hard to debug. Time is money.

Also I think it also comes down to what consoles support, not Nvidia. Since both consoles use AMD hardware and custom OSs’, mantle, or something that runs similarly, may be the way the SDK already works for them-although that’s just a guess.

-Spazzwan

 

spazzwan,

To a certain extent that’s true. However, Nvidia (like it or not) is still a huge part of the PC gaming landscape. Therefore, if you want to create a graphics API with the intention to kill off DX (which is most likely what Mantle is trying to do), you need to support AMD and Nvidia hardware equally. Anything less is just going to result in more fragmentation than there is now.

 

Okay, I’m going to show my ignorance here…

With the new AMD drivers I assume it will be able to flip-flop between DirectX and Mantle and there is some sort of automagic that detects what games are compatible with what platform?

Secondly, to take full advantage of Mantle do you also need an AMD CPU or is it agnostic and perfectly happy with Intel etc.,?

Cheers!

 

schikitar,

My understanding is can change as you like, and can confirm it’s prefectly happy on Intel processors.

 

AMD’s secret bomb is that they have GPU’s in both the new Consoles and that’s where publishers look to make most of their money. If we see a significant shift in games developed for consoles coming to PC with Mantle support NVidia does have cause for concern.

 
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