Thursday, January 30th 2014

AMD Mantle Driver to Only Benefit Four GPUs Initially

Crushed your F5 key on AMD driver download page yet? Unless you have four very specific AMD Radeon GPUs, you can stop it right now. According to DICE, developers of the first game to take advantage of Mantle, the 3D graphics API AMD is introducing with its Catalyst 14.1 beta driver, will give tangible benefits to only four specific GPUs - Radeon R9 290X, R9 290 (non-X), R7 260X, and A-Series "Kaveri" APU-integrated R7 200 series.

Owners of all other Radeon GPUs, including those based on the Graphics CoreNext (GCN) architecture, such as the recently launched R9 280X and R9 270X, are out of luck, for now. AMD is still ironing out issues with Mantle on those other GCN GPUs. Interestingly, in the same press note, DICE posted performance numbers yielded on an HD 7970, which look promising. AMD is expected to release its Catalyst 14.1 beta driver a little later this week, as it's jousting with some last-minute bug-finds.

Source: DICE
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133 Comments on AMD Mantle Driver to Only Benefit Four GPUs Initially

#1
NeoXF
by: Prima.Vera
For you also:
Can you please stop quoting and replaying to my posts? Go flame and insult someone else.
Thank you.
Nope, sorry, sure can't. I live in a free world, unlike the blue/green one you're from.
Again, you can't muster up arguments worth 2 cents and instead get cocky and ultra-defensive, that's just weak. At first I got a little frustrated, single-minded people usually frustrate me, but now I'm actually entertained.

Anyway, people of the thread, we haven't been complaining about something for what? 2-3 posts now? Let's get back on track! What the Hell is up with AMD's red logo, shouldn't it be green like in the old days!? Me as a nVidia hater, can't hate nVidia properly because they the only one using green now!

/endinsanelystupidargumentsagainstbrandxory
Posted on Reply
#2
lemonadesoda
by: W1zzard
DirectX saves developers time, and money ($$ = important!) because it abstracts the hardware.

Are you willing to pay $100 for a game that works on NVIDIA Fermi, NVIDIA Kepler, NVIDIA Maxwell, AMD VLIW, AMD GCN, because the developers had to spend extra time on each hardware architecture? Or will it be alright if the game only works on Maxwell and GCN 1.1?

edit: oh wait I completely forgot Intel IGP and their 5 or 6 different hardware architectures
edit edit: add $10 for OpenGL support to run on Steam Box
Your tone suggests the reader might have missed the point I was making. Mantle is ONLY getting airtime due to DX11 not being as efficient as it could be. The argument against Mantle is the same as the arguments you make against your list above. Dont forget CUDA, Physx etc.

The point is that the lifespan of Mantle will probably not go beyond DX11.x because of the reasons you listed above. As soon as MS shorts out the alleged inefficiencies in the DX11 API/drivers then we will get better performance. We all remember the comparison of DX9 vs. DX10 and how much faster DX9 was
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#3
tokyoduong
by: lemonadesoda
In terms of performance, is Mantle better than DX9 or just DX11? We all know that DX11 is a disaster with too much overhead and complexity in the API. When MS releases DX12 will they finally sort out their bad design/coding? And will the GPU manufacturers write better GPU drivers? Because with DX12 and better drivers Mantle would have nothing to boast about. Therefore Mantle is dead, just like all the other temporary performance optimisations, if it isnt the standard, it's an expensive temporary bootstrap.
As far as I know, Mantle has all DX11.1 features + some of its own for optimizations. Mantle can also be updated and modified just like DX.

I don't think you understand the point of Mantle. It was never about making money. It is mostly meant to boost performance to lower end systems. Basically, it makes more games playable for everyone. This open up potential customers for developers to sell more games to. Almost all PC systems are shipped with integrated graphics now. The APU is becoming mainstream if it hasn't already. This is good news for developers and gamers on a budget.

The other part of Mantle is to push developers and MS to optimize their software. If one day, DX12 or whatever version become close to metal just like Mantle and displace Mantle, then it had done its job. Think about why AMD left Mantle open so that Intel and NVDA and implement it on their GPU. They're not trying to corner the market like NVDA did with PhysX and CUDA. They are also not charging a premium for it so it is nothing more than a resource drain. The only benefit AMD gets is it "might" open up more sales for APU. However, it does not discriminate Intel CPUs so that's why it's just a maybe. The only people benefiting from this are consumers and developers. Developers trade a little more development time for more sales.

I hope Mantle gave the industry a good kick so they force Mantle to disappear. That would be the day. For now, Mantle is a great thing regardless of what brand you prefer because it just sparked up competition and more innovation in the future. I also don't mind free performance even if it's just 1%.

Wizzard
DirectX saves developers time, and money ($$ = important!) because it abstracts the hardware.

Are you willing to pay $100 for a game that works on NVIDIA Fermi, NVIDIA Kepler, NVIDIA Maxwell, AMD VLIW, AMD GCN, because the developers had to spend extra time on each hardware architecture? Or will it be alright if the game only works on Maxwell and GCN 1.1?

edit: oh wait I completely forgot Intel IGP and their 5 or 6 different hardware architectures
edit edit: add $10 for OpenGL support to run on Steam Box
Mantle will undoubtedly increase sales for games because minimum and recommended specs will lower. As far as integrated graphics go, there's only Intel and AMD left. Intel's GPUs are still mostly useless for games except for Iris on some games. AMD is the only one in town with a worthwhile on-die iGPU. So in a business perspective, it would make sense to optimize for GCN through Mantle as it is the the most popular low end GPU that can run games. It is also the only architecture for all 3 consoles which games are made for. Mantle also open up game sales for people with older systems because they only need to upgrade their GPU.

Nobody is willing to pay $100 for games. In fact, developers know that $60 is the limit and have not raised that for 3 generations. A lot of them are charging lower MSRP now. They realized it is better for them to take a $10-20 hit per game and sell 2X the volume. This was proven by Steam. Since R&D make up most of the expenses for a game, it makes sense that selling more will decrease the marginal cost per unit. In the end, they will actually make more money selling it cheaper. Selling games cheaper like Steam will also decrease the volume of software piracy.

For example, anyone notice the new Metal Gear Solid for all systems will only MSRP for $40? I'm sure we'll see a lot more like that since devs will get their other $20 through DLC. After gaming become mainstream for China, I am sure games will get cheaper. By staying the same price, it is essentially cheaper because of inflation.

Historically, the cost of R&D have risen higher than the growth of gamers population. With China being in the mix legally, this will dramatically change the R&D expense to sales ratio. Hopefully this will mean we get complete games instead of $60 games + $50 DLC.
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#4
Prima.Vera
by: TheHunter

Let NV make a proper mantle driver - its a open API not bound to GCN, end of story.
Is not an open API. The guys here were screaming that is ONLY for GCN cards. And AMD confirm it by releasing (or will release) drivers only for 7xxx and 2xx generations.
This is why I was bitching about. If it would have been open, you could have use Mantle on nVidia or even Intel chips. But as those guys flamed me, is not only about the drivers, right? ;)
They need also hardware support. ;)
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#5
NeoXF
by: lemonadesoda
We all remember the comparison of DX9 vs. DX10 and how much faster DX9 was
And then came Far Cry 2 wich actually ran faster on D3D10 than on D3D9... Oh wait, it turned out it did so because the "Ultra" preset on D3D10 was actually worse looking than than "Very High" one in D3D9.

If anything I'd like Mantle to succed just for the bitchslap factor to Micro$oft.
Posted on Reply
#6
john_
And then came DX10.1 and was faster in a few occasions than DX10 and Nvidia said "No, running faster on Radeons must be a bug. Remove it or else..."
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#7
NeoXF
by: john_
And then came DX10.1 and was faster in a few occasions than DX10 and Nvidia said "No, running faster on Radeons must be a bug. Remove it or else..."
Haha, yes, how could one forget that...
Well, it helps if you don't have a blind green eye...
Posted on Reply
#8
tokyoduong
by: Prima.Vera
Is not an open API. The guys here were screaming that is ONLY for GCN cards. And AMD confirm it by releasing (or will release) drivers only for 7xxx and 2xx generations.
This is why I was bitching about. If it would have been open, you could have use Mantle on nVidia or even Intel chips. But as those guys flamed me, is not only about the drivers, right? ;)
They need also hardware support. ;)
It is an open API. AMD isn't going to write drivers for NVDA's cards or any other architecture. That's insane. It's up to the other guys to write their own drivers but the API is open and allows them to do it.

Should NVDA write CUDA or PhysX drivers for AMD?

Mantle can work with Radens 5 and 6k series. They're not going to write drivers for it though because less than 1% wold benefit from it and it would take more work than GCN.

I know you're not that dumb to think that different hardware don't need different drivers. You're clearly pulling people's strings here or your definition of "open" is different than everyone else's.
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#9
HTC
by: Prima.Vera
Is not an open API. The guys here were screaming that is ONLY for GCN cards. And AMD confirm it by releasing (or will release) drivers only for 7xxx and 2xx generations.
This is why I was bitching about. If it would have been open, you could have use Mantle on nVidia or even Intel chips. But as those guys flamed me, is not only about the drivers, right? ;)
They need also hardware support. ;)
I think you haven't understood that it IS open.


Think of two people from different nationalities that don't speak each others language: what CGN does is a "real time" interpreter so the two dudes can yap all they want and understand each other, even though they speak different languages.

Both other AMD non-CGN cards as well as NVDA can do it too BUT, since they don't have the interpreter (CGN hardware), they'll need a software version of it for it to work which will obviously have a performance hit. This is what will give AMD an edge over NVDA.

Obviously, AMD won't make non-CGN cards use Mantle UNTIL the CGN cards can all use it and then they can make their own software interpreter for the non-CGN cards, but it won't be as good as the hardware CGN one.

AMD isn't in any way restricting Mantle and NVDA can make their own software interpreter but, like non-CGN AMD cards, it will have the same problem: it's software instead of hardware.
Posted on Reply
#10
Assimilator
by: tokyoduong
If one day, DX12 or whatever version become close to metal...
That isn't going to happen, unless the DirectX team has a collective aneurysm. Going closer to the metal is what software is moving AWAY from, and rightly - more abstraction means easier development, less writing your own libraries, less bugs, et cetera. It does mean that more performant hardware is needed, and that's fine because software drives hardware to improve, which then drives software to improve, which keeps both industries ticking over.

Furthermore, in much the same way that most new apps are still single-threaded despite multi-core CPUs being around for a decade, most graphics engines don't take advantage of the parallelism inherent in modern GPUs and DX11. Mantle can utilise this parallelism, but at the cost of (re)writing your entire graphics engine; I'd daresay that with enough time and effort a lot more performance could be pulled out of DX11 (remember that most, if not all "DirectX 11" engines are DX9 or DX10 engines with DX11 features like tessellation bolted on). In fact, AFAIK the only graphics engine that is pure DX11 from the ground up is the one used by Futuremark for 3DMark, and that's not used by any games so it's not really useful as a comparison point.

At the end of the day, Mantle is an evolutionary dead end in terms of graphics. Instead of throwing money at gimmicks like Mantle, AMD should be investing in its driver team.
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#11
the54thvoid
What a horrendous thread. :(

Anyone for tea and scones down at the village green?
Posted on Reply
#12
RCoon
Gaming Moderator
by: the54thvoid
What a horrendous thread. :(

Anyone for tea and scones down at the village green?
I do love me a bit o' scones. Cornish cream and strawberry conserve? Yummy.
I did tell them there was no need to pull out their red and green beat sticks, but they never listen. Reminds me of the school I used to work at, with those kids from that demographic.
Posted on Reply
#13
ensabrenoir
:roll:Amd prob discovered mantle works better with Intel's cpus
Posted on Reply
#14
semantics
by: lemonadesoda
Your tone suggests the reader might have missed the point I was making. Mantle is ONLY getting airtime due to DX11 not being as efficient as it could be. The argument against Mantle is the same as the arguments you make against your list above. Dont forget CUDA, Physx etc.

The point is that the lifespan of Mantle will probably not go beyond DX11.x because of the reasons you listed above. As soon as MS shorts out the alleged inefficiencies in the DX11 API/drivers then we will get better performance. We all remember the comparison of DX9 vs. DX10 and how much faster DX9 was
What do you expect, low vs high level api's. Saying comparison between DX10 and DX9 is silly it's like the argument of DX11 and DX9 people see lower fps and assume worse performance. When in fact features not available in DX9 have been turned on and that's the cause of the slow down. If developers just ported the game over to DX11 and not use extra features, with the lower overhead, same as DX10. There is a significant drop in overhead from DX9 to DX10, what do developers do, well they shove more shit into the game then so any performance gains are lost.

There were also issues with DX10 and developers having to learn the api. Microsoft doesn't dick around they don't keep legacy code around for ages like opengl, they scraped everything and start over so developers used to working with DX9 suddenly found themselves lost in a new api with different ways of doing things well. DX11 is pretty much DX10 with a bunch of extra features tacked on, it's a ton closer to dx10 than it in to dx9. Why is it received better? Because developers had time to learn it and bitch about dx10 it's essentially the same re branding microsoft did with vista -> 7. Give it a service pack update call it a new name and people will praise you.

I also don't understand your point of a cost of development for rewriting the game engine in a new API equates to nvidia giving developers a SDK with features that are 95% done all you have to do is read a few documents and lazy copy pasta it into your game to get the features. You're comparing something that would cost a company 100k to something that would cost a company maybe 10k, plus all the support that games with including mantel. It's a recurring cost when you split your game engine into two parts, everytime you change something in one it has to be carried over to the other. Else you're porting games like valve who just gets 95% there and says' fuck it people wont notice a few missing lighting features or w.e
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#15
Steevo
by: Prima.Vera

Then explain why AMD said that Mantle can work on nVidia cards also, if nVidia chooses to do so, hmm? You think nVidia will change its whole GPU architecture just to be able to run Mantle? =)))
Forget the GPU architecture, it's all about the drivers man.
It can work on Nvidia cards as they have the same type of architecture with their newer chips, if you bothered actually reading and comprehending anything you would understand this. It's not about drivers, its about how a GPU with a specific "core" or "shader" can perform work and be programmed.

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#16
Prima.Vera
by: Steevo
It can work on Nvidia cards as they have the same type of architecture with their newer chips.
Now that's some genuine trolling. Nvidia cards have the same type of architecture as AMD's....
To be honest you don't see this type of bs everyday. =)))
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#17
Dent1
by: Prima.Vera
Now that's some genuine trolling. Nvidia cards have the same type of architecture as AMD's....
To be honest you don't see this type of bs everyday. =)))
It's irrelevant really, the point he was trying to make is NVidia can write their own Mantle drivers. They are open to do so.

Your quick to point out when someone else is wrong, but when you're wrong you ignore it and deflect attention elsewhere.
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#18
Prima.Vera
by: Dent1
It's irrelevant really, the point he was trying to make is NVidia can write their own Mantle drivers. They are open to do so.
Exactly was I was saying. Exactly. I was only trying to unmask the AMD's bs that their Mantle only works for GCN cards, because of architecture difference and stuff. What did I do wrong? :))
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#19
Dent1
by: Prima.Vera
Exactly was I was saying. Exactly. I was only trying to unmask the AMD's bs that their Mantle only works for GCN cards, because of architecture difference and stuff. What did I do wrong? :))
I think you're focusing on the silly comments too much and ignoring the enriching ones.
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#20
Prima.Vera
by: Dent1
I think you're focusing on the silly comments too much and ignoring the enriching ones.
As long as they are rude and contains personal attacks and insults, they have no value.
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#21
pr0n Inspector
I don't think you people understand what open actually means. Mantle is controlled by a single vendor, tailored for only one architecture from one vendor and currently works on only one architecture from one vendor. AMD simply shows you how they did it instead of keeping it behind doors. That's not how open projects work. OpenGL is open because every member have a say in the path it takes, Khronos doesn't dream up a new spec behind closed doors, dump it and expect everyone to conform to its requirements.
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#22
sweet
by: pr0n Inspector
I don't think you people understand what open actually means. Mantle is controlled by a single vendor, tailored for only one architecture from one vendor and currently works on only one architecture from one vendor. AMD simply shows you how they did it instead of keeping it behind doors. That's not how open projects work. OpenGL is open because every member have a say in the path it takes, Khronos doesn't dream up a new spec behind closed doors, dump it and expect everyone to conform to its requirements.
But you forgot that the architecture here is used in next gen consoles. Read how Mantle work and you will see how easy to port a game from Xbox1, PS4 to PC using Mantle, thanks to the similar in the architecture. That's where the profit come from. FYI, porting games from consoles to DirectX has been a nightmare for every programmers.

By the way, this article is totally mislead as DICE confirmed that their driver works on every GCN cards. I don't know why TPU had not edited or taken it down. I smelled some bias here :(
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#23
TRWOV
by: Prima.Vera
Now that's some genuine trolling. Nvidia cards have the same type of architecture as AMD's....
To be honest you don't see this type of bs everyday. =)))
I think he means that both use programmable shaders, like every DX10> compliant card out there.

About Mantle not being on VLIW5 and VLIW4, I'll hazard a guess and say that the improvemente would be minimal if anything. I suppose that Mantle exposes the complete compute core (like a mini HSA or something) and VLIW5/4 performance in compute was very poor (a 7770 matches a 6970 in that regard for example). Of course, without internal knoledge of how the driver works everything is speculation BUT GCN was build for compute from the ground up. The fact that AMD choose to only support Mantle on GCN could be a hint of how it works.

Given how stubborn AMD is sometimes, I wouldn't write off the possibility of them writing a VLIW driver just as a proof of concept but I wouldn't expect a commercially available driver (for all we know, they could have). Heck, if IP wasn't a concern I could see them developing a Kepler driver for the same reason.
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#24
Nihilus
by: Prima.Vera
Day by day this Mantle smells like vaporware, just like ex-Intel's Larabee...
Vapor ware that magically gains 10% performance. I am ok with that.
Posted on Reply
#25
semantics
by: sweet
But you forgot that the architecture here is used in next gen consoles. Read how Mantle work and you will see how easy to port a game from Xbox1, PS4 to PC using Mantle, thanks to the similar in the architecture. That's where the profit come from. FYI, porting games from consoles to DirectX has been a nightmare for every programmers.

By the way, this article is totally mislead as DICE confirmed that their driver works on every GCN cards. I don't know why TPU had not edited or taken it down. I smelled some bias here :(
Porting to directX isn't a nightmare if you're agnostic about your coding what becomes a nightmare is porting it to windows not writing it in directX it's quarks about the underlaying os that makes porting a pain. After all most games are written in something like C then ported over to work for the console.
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