Picking up from where we left off with Microsoft's blog post on the state of Direct3D, AMD has released their own short statement through Twitter expanding on Microsoft's blog post with respect to Mantle. Essentially reiterating their design goals for Mantle, AMD laid out why Mantle isn’t in the console (it already has a low level API) and how they intend for Mantle to bridge the gap with console code. Strictly speaking there isn’t any new information here regarding Mantle, but it does serve to provide a short and simple description of Mantle straight from AMD.

Mantle is NOT in consoles. What Mantle creates for the PC is a development environment that's *similar* to the consoles, which already offer low-level APIs, close-to-metal programming, easier development and more (vs. the complicated PC environment). By creating a more console-like developer environment, Mantle: improves time to market; reduces development costs; and allows for considerably more efficient rendering, improving performance for gamers. The console connection is made because next-gen uses Radeon, so much of the programming they're doing for the consoles are already well-suited to a modern Radeon architecture on the desktop; that continuum is what allows Mantle to exist. ^RH

Of course the big question remains unanswered: just how similar Mantle is to the Xbox One's low level API constructs? AMD has laid out a strong case for why it's important to make the porting of code from the console as easy as possible, and in the process left a number of hints indicating that Mantle should be very similar, including committing to supporting Direct3D's High Level Shader Language (HLSL) within Mantle. We should have a better and more complete picture of the full API next month when AMD's 2013 Developer Summit convenes.

Source: AMD Twitter

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  • 1Angelreloaded - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    I am a Nvidia fan, but not to acknowledge what AMD does for the price is just stupid and they are doing their best fighting a War on 2 fronts at 1 you have Intel and the other Nvidia and in case you haven't noticed they burn money like its going out of style. I give credit where is is due in the High end gaming market you are right, in mainstream it is mixed and in computational AMD goes the long mile. My choice of preference is based on the featuresets each GPU manufacturer puts out right now TressFX is in infancy and way 2 taxing on systems, but it has a place, as does Nvidias PhysX which is what made my choice for Nvidia, but that isn't saying AMD is dead in the water or isn't being watched, because I'm kinda routing for them to make a comeback so we can have a power GPU war again.
  • eanazag - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    When discussing the mobile market, then I would buy that statement without factual numbers. On desktop side in gaming machines, which is what would be important in this context, I am not so certain. I have two Nvidia cards in separate machines at home now for gaming. But am considering an AMD for one because I had an ATI 3870 that behaved better in Starcraft II, than my GTX 660 that I got over the summer. I am considering AMD because I had better stability in my typical setup (one CPU, one GPU, single 1080p monitor, and 5.1 speaker audio). I like what they are doing with the audio side of the equation and Mantle even if it doesn't pan out. The audio functionality seems like a more solid selling point.

    With developer buy-in Mantle could be a pretty compelling factor in purchase decisions. This could positively affect power usage in AMD dGPU environments from lower CPU utilization and more efficient utilization of graphics hardware along with better performance to boot. From a numbers standpoint - AMD CPUs with AMD GPUs could actually be competitive in gaming also (this is optimistic yet and I am thinking in single video card scenarios). I am weighing price, performance, and my desire to support a second vendor to Intel on CPU side when possible. No competition for Intel sucks for buyers. Intel server processor prices are ridiculous right now.
  • bill5 - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    Actually AMD has more gfx share than Nvidia and the gap is growing.

    I see you cleverly worded your post to exclude AMD APU's, though...

    But yeah, the consoles, also.
  • hfm - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    Source for this AMD market share lead data?
  • HisDivineOrder - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    Let's say you were hypothetically correct about AMD's having more GPU market share, which I haven't seen numbers on to be sure.

    We're not talking about AMD having greater market share. We're talking about AMD's GCN-based products having greater market share. Mantle doesn't benefit anything except GCN-GPU's, so that excludes...

    Every AMD discrete GPU pre-7xxx series and every APU, excluding Kabini, Temash, and the yet unreleased Kaveri.

    Mantle also will not support any nVidia or Intel GPU.

    The percentage of the market in the PC space for this PC-only API that Mantle will support is a tiny fraction of an already tiny fraction of overall gamers. Moreover, the advantage it brings is merely "better performance," which overall is not more important to developers than either "make porting cheaper" and "making porting simpler." Sure, Mantle by itself in a world without DX might have had a shot. But DX and OpenGL exist. If a publisher wants to make money selling PC games, they're going to support to DirectX/OpenGL.

    So that leaves adding on the extra cost to support Mantle as the only optional part. Mantle will always cost more to support because DirectX/OpenGL are a given, so Mantle's always an add-on. Extra cost. More performance for a tiny fraction of an already small group of users isn't going to be compelling to publishers too lazy to even add FOV sliders, mouse acceleration disable, or high resolution options to PC ports.

    Those publishers are going to stick with a single API that gives them as large an audience as possible with as little trouble as possible to patch, update, and QA. That's going to be either DirectX or maybe if we're very, very lucky in the future OpenGL.

    Short of being paid millions of dollars (to essentially buy the game plus pay for the Mantle support), a publisher just is not going to waste money and manhours supporting a SECOND API for no reason except just more performance for that small group of users.

    This is especially true now that the, "Code once, port to all platforms" nonsense has finally been put down. By Microsoft of all companies, too.
  • Despoiler - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    I'm sorry, but what part of powering 100% of next gen consoles has little weight? Console to PC porting is going to be that much faster due to being able to port over a larger chunk of code than normally would be possible. AMD is helping developers and also boosting performance for their PC customers. End of story.
  • Nenad - Thursday, October 17, 2013 - link

    I agree on this.
    What I fail to see is what is preventing Microsoft to add this "Low Level API" (that already exists on their DirectX for console) to general (PC) DirectX standard API ?

    Obviously, ATI would be able to support such API extension (already does in their XboxOne drivers). Question is if Microsoft would be able to make "low level" API in such way that Nvidia could support it with same level of efficiency. Another question is, if that is possible, why MS didn't already add it to DirectX APIs.

    But if its possible, that would prevent fragmentation on this low level stuff.
  • Gunbuster - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    Port your code from Xbox One or PS4 to Mantle for PC that only works on our brand new cards... Hmmm let me know how that works out.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    will probably work relatively well for pushing new cards. Which is what they are interested in
  • inighthawki - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    I thought they mentioned it was for all GCN cards, which means it's compatible with a couple generations worth of cards...

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