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Battlefield 4 Mantle Update Released

EA's Battlelog announces the delayed "Mantle" renderer is now available for the Windows edition of Battlefield 4 for owners of AMD graphics cards, though for some reason this comes in advance of the new AMD beta drivers to enable support of the new API (when they're released they should show up on this page). They offer benchmarks to show the performance improvements seen running the military shooter sequel under Mantle, and the following explanation:

Mantle is a new low-level graphics API that weve been working very closely with AMD on over the last 2 years and it is a major change & improvement to how we are able to program & use modern GPUs in order to get the most out of them.

Battlefield 4 on PC is already quite heavily optimized using DirectX 11 and DirectX 11.1, but with Mantle we are able to go even further: weve significantly reduced CPU cost in our rendering, efficiently parallelized it over multiple CPU cores and reduced overhead in many areas.

The biggest performance gains can be seen when the game is bottlenecked by the CPU which can be quite common even on high-end machines and this was main goal to improve on with Mantle. Weve also been able to streamline and optimize some of the GPU workload. The end result is that game performance is improved in virtually all scenarios in Battlefield 4 on both Windows 7 and Windows 8 when running with Mantle!

This update is the first release of our new Mantle renderer, and we will continue to provide more tuning for different types of configurations in future updates. Still, we are really happy with the performance improvements that we are seeing with this update and we believe you will be as well.

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56. Re: Battlefield 4 Mantle Update Released Jan 30, 2014, 17:07 UHD
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Jan 30, 2014, 16:28:
We all know how much the big publishers care for and love their PC ports, right? What makes you think that anyone -without being handed similar bribes- will voluntarily support Mantle? That won't happen. What might happen is that MS and Sony will specifically start bribing devs to NOT support Mantle on the PC version as they already do when it comes to keeping the quality of PC ports on the lower end of the spectrum.

That's the first I've heard of bribes to keep PC port quality low. I figured it was more organic/lazy, like how XP and the 360/PS3 only supported DX9 and therefore targeting DX9-era hardware made the port easier.

I don't think Microsoft or Sony will be openly hostile to Mantle. Both companies have already stated they do not and will not support it on their respective consoles. That's all they really need to do. It'll still be closer to console development than DirectX/OpenGL, but since your supported platforms can't realistically be only PS4/XBone/Mantle, it's sort of moot.

Mantle is going to be a total niche that will only be supported by games where AMD coughed up a bribe (like BF4) or by indie/KS developers who want to support Mantle to attract some extra attention to their games.

Pretty much. It's like Linux ports: there's no money there, and it's not done out of charity so much as a technical exercise or as a labor of love. A Mantle port is unlikely to be either.
 
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