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AMD releases Mantle and TrueAudio patch for Thief

by Tarinder Sandhu on 18 March 2014, 04:00

Tags: AMD (NYSE:AMD), Eidos (TYO:9684)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qacb4f

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More Mantle

AMD has put great store in two key graphics technologies this year: Mantle and TrueAudio. Tasked to improve rendering speed and provide richer, more immersive audio support, both have been implemented well behind the schedule first set out in September 2013.

A case in point is Thief, launched at the end of February without baked-in support for either AMD-specific technology. Now, though, publisher Eidos has announced a supporting patch while AMD is releasing a compatible Mantle and TrueAudio driver today.

Identified as Catalyst 14.3 beta, AMD appears to be delivering on the promise of better performance on a wide range of systems. Here are AMD-produced numbers that describe the Mantle speed-up over DirectX.

Mantle API vs DirectX

CPU
GPU
Settings
DX11 (fps)
Mantle (fps)
Performance uplift (pc)
AMD FX-8350
Radeon R9 290X
1080p, max
46
69.6
49
AMD FX-8350
Radeon R9 280X
1080p, max
45
53.8
19
Intel Core i5-4670K
Radeon R9 280X
1080p, max
52.6
55.2
5
AMD A10-7700K
Radeon R7 260X
1080p, high
28
34.6
23

Performance analysis

Run at maximum image-quality settings and with an AMD FX-8350 chip providing the system oomph, the Radeon R9 290X's performance jumps by an impressive 49 per cent when switching from DirectX to Mantle. It is relatively easy to determine that AMD's chosen benchmark section is CPU limited, as a Radeon R9 280X produces almost the same DirectX number.

Perhaps what's more interesting is the comparison of a Radeon R9 280X run on either AMD or Intel systems. There's a larger performance jump for Mantle on the FX-8350 than on the Core i5-4670K, but the latter is practically as quick when run via regular DirectX.

Bringing it down to the entry level, the measured 23 per cent boost for the A10-7700K pushes average frame-rate to over 30fps, or in AMD's words 'an unplayable scenario becomes playable!'

AMD further reports that Mantle has across-the-board gains, even on ultra-high-end systems, with a Core i7 4960X and R9 290X combination enjoying gains of between 5-10 per cent.

Mantle makes more sense when run on AMD's weaker CPU cores because it brings performance parity with Intel processors. AMD says Mantle optimisations are ongoing, with support for multi-GPU configurations and a better implementation for cards featuring a 2GB framebuffer.

The Mantle performance gains are likely to be much smaller in scenarios that are GPU bound, obviously, but every little gain is helpful if the average frame-rate is close to 30fps.

TrueAudio update

On the TrueAudio front, the patch enables a feature called convolution reverb. It mathematically simulates the echoes such that they sound, well, more real. The processing can either be done on the CPU or offloaded to a TrueAudio-enabled GPU - Radeon R9 290X/290 and R7 260X - for no degradation in overall performance.

AMD needs to bring Mantle and TrueAudio to bear on a wider range of leading games, more quickly, if it is to gain sufficient, significant traction. TrueAudio needs to be present on more Radeon GPUs, as well, and we wait for the next Mantle/TrueAudio announcement with expectation.



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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The reverb effect was pretty spectacular in Baldur's Gate (how long ago was that?) with the right sound card. So a bit of deja-vu, but at least good deja-vu. Hopefully we will get some articles on whether true-audio is any good.

Edited post: To early in the morning to read the table accurately.
FX-8350 with that boost in performance is really great by Mantle , Wish there was an option to convert all games in Mantle
abychristy
FX-8350 with that boost in performance is really great by Mantle , Wish there was an option to convert all games in Mantle

But Mantle only saw a 5% boost on Intel. Valve got a boost of 14% on an i7 by switching to OpenGL on Windows.

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/133824-valve-opengl-is-faster-than-directx-even-on-windows

So there is an option, it is available now, very stable and cross platform.

Edit to add: Before someone flames me, I know they are not similar games, processors or graphics cards, but my point was that they got good gains with a high end cpu where Mantle doesn't seem so useful.
DanceswithUnix
abychristy
FX-8350 with that boost in performance is really great by Mantle , Wish there was an option to convert all games in Mantle

But Mantle only saw a 5% boost on Intel. Valve got a boost of 14% on an i7 by switching to OpenGL on Windows.

http://www.extremetech.com/gaming/133824-valve-opengl-is-faster-than-directx-even-on-windows

So there is an option, it is available now, very stable and cross platform.

Edit to add: Before someone flames me, I know they are not similar games, processors or graphics cards, but my point was that they got good gains with a high end cpu where Mantle doesn't seem so useful.
Mantle is about giving developers more control over the code, currently with things like DirectX developers don't get much control over the HW, And yeah you can't compare it at all they were very different configurations
I'm still not sure if I am more impressed by the gains or how much CPU time games are suddenly starting to eat up….