AMD has reached the next phase of the Mantle development cycle and it has started a private beta programme. The Mantle development programme already includes 40 unique development studios that are pre-registered for the private beta and now additional developers can apply for the next wave of invitations.
AMD claims that Mantle has achieved the necessary level of stability, performance and functionality required to target a broader audience in the development community. We saw some impressive numbers in Battlefield 4 and a few other demos proving that Mantle is worth trying, at least until DirectX 12 doesn’t enter the fray.
What about DirectX 12?
Mantle is bringing a closer-to-metal application programming interface and in certain hardware configurations it shows some promising performance gains. It is AMD-only, while Nvidia and Intel (in case than anyone there cares about gaming Ed.) still rely on DirectX 11 and they are placing their bets on DirectX 12.
The big issue with the DirectX 12 closer-to metal-approach is that the API won’t be ready for at least a year from now, with games shipping in holiday season 2015, roughly Q4 2015, which is some 18 months from today.
Mantle puts Microsoft in a rather unpleasant position, as AMD is using an API that is clearly superior to Microsoft’s and we are not sure that this makes the heads of DirectX too happy about AMD’s initiative.
Old buddies in different camps
Despite clear animosity both Microsoft and AMD are acting like great friends, but in reality the relationship is at least somewhat strained. Nvidia was the first to demonstrate DirectX 12 Forza 5 game on its hardware which might indicate who of the two GPU giants is closer to Microsoft.
If you are a developer that would want to take part in Mantle Beta program AMD advises to send an email to mantleaccess [at] amd [dot] com and answer why are you requesting Mantle access, games and titles that you might be using Mantle for as well as some usual stuff such as company name and the contact person for Mantle at your company.