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Thursday, 30 January 2014 08:39

AMD releases Mantle, shares performance numbers

Written by Peter Scott



Solid gains in CPU limited scenarios

AMD has finally released the Mantle patch and Catalyst 14.1 Beta is on the way too. However, without the new driver you won't be able to try it out in Battlefield 4. The driver release was apparently delayed because of some issues and AMD is working to sort everything out.

 

These issues included subpar optimization for Battlefield 4, multi-GPU support problems, intermittent stuttering when using Mantle on CrossFire systems and lack of support for some mobile technologies. More importantly perhaps, AMD also shared more info on Mantle performance gains. In Battlefield 4 we can expect a performance uplift of 2.9 to 40.9 percent depending on the scenario:

  • CPU-limited scenario: 40.9% (1080p) and 40.1% (1600p) performance improvement under Ultra settings and 4xAA on the AMD A10-7700K with an AMD Radeon R9 290X.
  • GPU-limited scenario: 2.7% (1080p) and 1.4% (1600p) performance improvement under Ultra settings and FXAA on the Core i7-4960X with an AMD Radeon R7 260X
  • Average uplift for 1080p: 13.28% (Average of 290X and 260X data on the i7-4960X, A10-7700K, FX 8350 and i5-4670K)
  • Average uplift for 1600p: 11.35% (Average of 290X and 260X data on the i7-4960X, A10-7700K, FX 8350 and i5-4670K)

StarSwarm from Oxide Games promises even more impressive gains:

  • CPU-limited scenario: 319% (1080p) and 281% (1600p) performance improvement in the “RTS” test on Extreme settings with the AMD A10-7700K and an AMD Radeon R9 290X.
  • GPU-limited scenario: 5.1% (1080p) and 16.7% (1600p) performance improvement in the “RTS” test on Extreme settings with the Core i7-4960X and an AMD Radeon R7 260X
  • Average uplift for 1080p: 115.65% (Average of 290X and 260X data on the i7-4960X, A10-7700K, FX 8350 and i5-4670K)
  • Average uplift for 1600p: 75.19% (Average of 290X and 260X data on the i7-4960X, A10-7700K, FX 8350 and i5-4670K)

We should see the first independent reviews in a matter of days, as soon as the Catalyst 14.1 issues are resolved, but AMD's numbers are very good indeed. The biggest gains come in CPU limited scenarios, as Mantle is supposed to cut down plenty of processor overhead associated with DirectX.

Like we said, Mantle is not just about GPUs, in fact it might have a bigger impact in the APU department - so it's more of shot at Intel than Nvidia. Catalyst 14.1 also happens to be AMD's first HSA enabled driver, but so far only a handful of applications stand to benefit from HSA. AMD points out that Mantle makes less of an impact on high resolutions with max detail settings, as they are GPU-limited scenarios.

However, in CPU limited scenarios it starts to make a lot more sense. In other words you'll get higher performance gains with a relatively weak APU paired with a powerful discrete GPU. The average numbers are quite a bit lower, but they're still in double digit territory in BF4 and they are much higher in StarSwarm.

The numbers are promising and we'll try to put AMD's claims to the test soon on a Kaveri - Hawaii combo.

Last modified on Thursday, 30 January 2014 08:41
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