Swedish wizards wave wand: micro-stuttering disappears, only to be replaced by rubber-banding.
By Alex Walker 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!
Source: Thanks, PalZer0!