Our industry insiders keep telling us that ever since Mantle got introduced AMD got itself in quite an awkward situation with Microsoft's DirectX team. Mantle obviously performs better than the industry standard DirectX 11 and the introduction of DirectX 12 that as well as Nvidia's angle on DirectX 12 are shedding some light on what is to come with DirectX 12.
AMD obviously voiced its support for DirectX and was happy to say that all Radeon GPUs powered by its latest Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture will support DirectX 12. This includes Radeon HD 7000 Southern Islands 2012 GPU generation as well as 2013 / 2014 Volcanic Islands R200 series.
AMD uses the words "full compatibility," so there won't be any mistakes there, but the official support will be announced at a later date. We are talking about DirectX 12 drivers, but since we don’t expect games before the 2015 holiday season, AMD has a lot of time on its hands. Nvidia did announced that it has some drivers and DirectX 12 developer's kits that were sent to its top developers, but AMD chose to remain silent on such a move.
"AMD strongly believes in the benefits gamers and game developers can realize from lower-overhead API development," said Matt Skinner, corporate vice president and general manager of Graphics Business Unit at AMD. "With the Mantle API, AMD has shown the world our commitment to incredible performance, and we look forward to enabling the same performance gains by supporting the industry-standard DirectX 12."
This is Skinner's way to say that he is glad that Microsoft is doing what AMD started, as lower overhead is the essence of both AMD Mantle and future DirectX 12. We are glad that DirectX 12 is a real thing and that it is finally coming. It will make good use of 20nm GPUs that are significantly faster than the ones we have today, but Mantle will speed them up even before we see DirectX 12 games on shelves.