Mantle might not show up until February
Several months ago, AMD Product Manager Deveon Nekechuck boldly claimed that the Radeon R9 290X would be able to "ridicule" Nvidia's GeForce Titan graphics card when running Battlefield 4 with Mantle, AMD's new graphics API. It's worth noting that the the R9 290 sports a 438 square mm die versus the Titan's 550 square mm GK110. Unfortunately for us and everyone else wanting to put that claim to the test, the Mantle patch for Battlefield 4 might to be delayed once again.
A Mantle patch for BF4 was originally supposed to ship in December of last year. It was delayed until the week of January 20th, which has come and gone with no sight of Mantle, and now it looks like the patch won't come out until sometime in February.
Twitter user Ruben Santana tweeted a picture of a chat transcript with an Electronics Arts support person, who indicated "it will be released next month."
Further confusing the matter, Santana posted an update from Roy Taylor, VP of AMD's Global Sales Channel, who said the update will launch this month as scheduled. However, it's believed he was referring to AMD's updated drivers, not the BF4 patch that will enable Mantle.
Update: We asked AMD what the situation was with the Mantle update, and Robert Hallock, PR manager for AMD Graphics and Gaming, replied by stating, "Mantle is still on track for January, in-line with the last date made publicly available." That would mean the release is immenent, as the month ends Friday. Given last week's spawning issues with BF4 though, this timeline seems optimistic since the game is supposed to be "fixed" before Mantle or DLC are released. However, we'll take AMD at its word and wait and see what happens this week.