AMD's Catalyst 14.1 drivers are incoming with Mantle update and more

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phatbody

http://community.amd.com/community/amd-blogs/amd-gaming/blog/2014/02/01/amd-catalyst-141-a-must-have-driver-for-gamers

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nick779

I had really high hopes for this considering its open to nvidia too as far as i know, but I just have a feeling that mantle is just going to overall blow up in everyones face.

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vrmlbasic

I thought that "doge", from "dogecoin" was something "cool", some term that perhaps meant something interesting and/or significant.

Come to find out that it is just a bastardized version of the word "doggy", brought to us by tech-inclined hipsters. Ignorance truly was bliss. Where is Eric Cartman to rid us of these hipsters?

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vrmlbasic

Now if only I could finally get a GPU that can use Mantle.

Where's our supply of well-cooled 3rd-party R9 290s to exploit the huge demand of miners (and gamers)?

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joshnorem

It sucks. I have not been able to find a single R9 290 with an aftermarket cooler available anywhere. The 290X cards are $150 over MSRP too.

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Carlidan

They had a deal for bit miners on Newegg.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboBundleDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1544347&nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL013014&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL013014-_-EMC-013014-Index-_-Combo-_-Combo1544347-LM1A

And this is why gamers hate miners.
A 180 dollar mark up price from MSRP price. Thank you guys.

It doesn't sound like the prices will go down in a month or so. Guess I have to go Nvidia for this upgrade.

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vrmlbasic

I saw that in an email from the Egg. I was shocked to see that AMD still makes single-core CPUs, and saddened to see that they expect miners to pair 3 awesome GPUs with a CPU so poor that, if they ever tried to game, well, not even Mantle could make that possible.

I'm struggling with a 6870/6850 xfire setup and it is having some issues with 2560*1440. It can handle 1080 just fine but those 1.6 million more pixels make it cry. I don't know if it is the low memory amount (1 GB VRAM), the lower memory bandwidth/bus width or if the old compute hardware in these cards that is holding them back, but held back they are and I'd like a 290 to fix that.

Miners :(

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AFDozerman

http://www.fudzilla.com/home/item/33809-dice-releases-bf4-mantle-performance-numbers

This is odd. Seems like very high-end Intel CPUs are getting massive boosts in some situations, too. Under what scenario would a 3970x be bottlenecking a GPU?

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joshnorem

They are running dual R9 290X cards at 1080p so it's a bit of a strange scenario.

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AFDozerman

That makes sense. I was just glancing to see what other sites were saying, so I didn't read too much.

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Peanut Fox

It clearly has benefits, but it's not at all what I was expecting.

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LatiosXT

Given the hardware setup with the numbers provided, this only furthers my conclusion that a bulk of Mantle's performance improvements come draw calls, which are CPU dependent. Meaning Mantle will only help lower end processors that can't keep the GPU fed with tasks.

Is this a good or a bad thing? Well, it's a good thing because this lowers the CPU requirements bar a lot and allows for CPUs to last even longer before the so-called "CPU bottleneck" rears its head.

The bad thing is that AMD marketing suggested this was going to be a fix for every system regardless, not just lower end ones.

However I'm still wondering if developers will really care. Coding for specific hardware is resource consuming.

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The Mac

I would disagree, from the start, they have always maintained it would have better performance the larger the performance gap between cpu and gpu.

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LatiosXT

I would not say I'm an expert on graphics rendering or even delved in it, but from what I understand from what's going on from other places, the only major thing left for the CPU to do graphics related is to gather up what needs to be drawn and ship it off to the GPU. Apparently this ends up being a performance killer if you have the CPU issue a lot of commands at once, or if your CPU is too busy to issue enough commands.

NVIDIA has a tech demo of this at http://developer.download.nvidia.com/SDK/10/direct3d/samples.html under "Skinned Instancing". I ran this on a Core 2 based machine way back when up to a Core i5-4670K that's slightly overclocked. You can bring the rendering performance to its knees even on a modern system if you turn off instancing, which ups the draw calls by a good amount.

In any case, the point is still this: if your gaming performance is still GPU dependent, Mantle doesn't help much because your CPU is supplying sufficient amounts of draw calls to keep the GPU busy. Could it make more draw calls? Sure. But what does that buy us? More realism? The layman probably thinks the original Crysis is the most realistic looking game ever. Heck even the "Return to Proxycon" demo in 3D Mark 06 looks almost as detailed as Killzone: Shadow Fall.

And you could say that you could use the extra CPU headroom for things like AI and physics, but those applications are limited to where they would be useful to deploy. Swarm AI would only really benefit large scale strategy games, not the FPS "blockbuster" titles (which nobody plays with AI anyway and most FPS AI has gotten convincing enough to emulate a real person).

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The Mac

Other than draw call batches, there re other issues with DX that mantle addresses; the biggest being the memory pipeline.

SLI and Xfire cant combine the memory pool, or use system meory for overflow, mantle solves this.

here is AMDs list of theoretical advantages:

More fine control over the hardware.
All hardware capabilities are exposed through the API
Low-overhead validation and processing of API commands
Reduced runtime shader compilation overhead
Explicit command buffer control
Reduction of command buffers submissions
Data formats optimizations via flexible buffer/image access
Explicit control of resource compression, expands and synchronizations
Asynchronous DMA queue for data uploads independent from the graphics engine
Asynchronous compute queue for overlapping of compute and graphics workloads
Advanced Anti-Aliasing features for MSAA/EQAA optimizations
New rendering techniques possible.
Direct GPU memory access.
Close to linear performance scaling from recording command buffers onto multiple CPU cores
Multithreaded parallel CPU rendering support for at least 8 cores.
No game developer reliance on existing AMD driver support release schedules (potentially no or fewer bugs on release, much faster patching for GFX related errors).
Due to bypassing of error-prone and inefficient abstraction, common technical difficulties like FPS drops, micro stuttering and texture corruption can be significantly less frequent or nonexistent.

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wumpus

Any word on Linux drivers? Mantle + SteamOS + dual boot might be worth something. Current AMD drivers + SteamOS + anything: not so much. [current Linux Nividia users might want to try Steam + Nvidia drivers, but still have to deal with OpenGL-DirectX conversions, so will almost always take a hit].

Right now, I'd assume that SteamOS makes sense only as a toy modification to an HTPC or [maybe if dual boot works] a desperate attempt to make a Intel powered notebook get a few more fps (Intel are said to have good Linux drives, not that anybody seems to care).

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AFDozerman

I wonder how much this will help my 8150 push through to my 290x. I know I'm CPU constrained, but how much?

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joshnorem

Your scenario is exactly what Mantle is designed to improve. Let us know how it does.

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AFDozerman

I'd love to, but for some bizarre reason, my memory keeps throttling down to 150Mhz and chokes off the GPU. I think it's a driver issue, because it works fine under Linux and MSI afterburner shows temps in the mid 70s (it's honestly never capped 90, even under full GPGPU load), so fingers crossed that this updated driver helps.

Edit: this is GPU memory, not main memory, which is DDR3 1800.

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maleficarus™

So the truth to all this Mantle hype is this: If you already know how to build a proper gaming PC using the right CPU with the right GPU then Mantle will give you next to zero performance increase! BUT if you are one of the many morons that do not really understand PC hardware then for them, Mantle might give up to 20 FPS increase only as long as the CPU is too slow to properly render the game!

In other words Mantle is for morons!! So for the rest of us that have more then a 50 IQ Mantle was just smoke and mirrors...

GG!

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Ikaria34

Possibly...just possibly people might have built PC's on a budget, don't you think? Also, it's quite easy to sit behind a PC and spew out negativity(so I guess I will join in your conversation with nobody), you stupid wanker, get out of your parents basement and get a life!

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Innomasta

This is sarcasm, right? Please tell me it's sarcasm

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Carlidan

No he's one of those uber people who upgrades or buys a new pc every year. Not like normal gamers, who only upgrade every couple of years. Then he talks smack in his little ivory tower in the basement.

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LatiosXT

No, that isn't sarcasm.

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Mr_Lecrabe

Dunno if i m awhere but not supported by the r9 280x ???
How many % the r9 280x ll win in bf4 ?

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joshnorem

It's not supported at launch - they are working on a fix.

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Dicehunter

Can't wait for the starswarm demo :)

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Innomasta

This is great. I got a buddy with an ancient AMD 3Core Regor chip. This should help him immensely in BF4.