Thief and the new driver bring a few interesting features. Support for 4K/UHD resolutions is on board from day one. The shadowing system is all new and AMD says a “notable percentage” of the rendering budget is spent on new shadowing algorithms. Compute shader-accelerated depth of field should deliver realistic focal lengths, silhouette enhancing tessellation should improve character geometry and SSAA is there to provide “buttery smooth” edges.
As for Mantle – nope, not yet. AMD says Thief will be patched to support Mantle and TrueAudio in early March.
Still, there is some news on the Mantle front. Catalyst 14.2 Beta resolves hangs and stuttering for the Mantle codepath in BF4. It enables multi-GPU frame pacing in BF3 and BF4 on non-XDMA configurations. AMD says Minecraft has also been fixed, although we still believe the only way to truly fix Minecraft is to uninstall it.
The Linux community is also getting a few interesting tweaks and features, including VCE functionality and improved UVD performance Hawai, Kaveri and Kabini products. GLAMOR library support has been added, too, and AMD says improvements to overall video transcode applications have been “substantially” improved.