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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  • chizow - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    One generation of cards (rebranded a few times), Tahiti and newer. Bonaire and Hawaii are updated versions of GCN, but still of the same generation.
  • Dentons - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    Effectively, both new consoles are just PC's, but they do have something few PC's have, a massive amount of memory available to the graphics subsystem. 8GB shared memory. Game developers are certainly going to make use of that RAM. Currently, PC users have few options to reproduce that capability.

    If video cards with 8 or more GB of RAM will be required to run cross-developed console titles at comparable quality to the consoles, AMD may be anticipating an unprecedented rush to upgrade PC video cards.

    What better way to sell consumers on AMD cards than by making their PC video card ecosystem as similar as possible to the new consoles for which most new game titles will be primarily designed?
  • bill5 - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    Nah, the actual game usable RAM on both PS4 and X1 is 5GB. They both reserve 3Gb for OS.

    Yeah it's a lot reserved but it's true.

    Then on top of that the consoles have to run the CPU out of the same unified 5GB RAM pool as the GPU. So how much VRAM is the GPU getting? I think we can assume often 3-4GB or less.

    So yeah, with higher end GPU's already often being 3, 4, and even 6GB, I think the VRAM gap to consoles is already slim to none on PC, and will be even less in a little time. Plus those PC GPU's are backed with up to 16GB of DDR in system memory, unlike the consoles.
  • hfm - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    Not to mention my gpu barely uses 1G most of the time at 1080p.
  • MADDER1 - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    It's the usage model in consoles (PS4/XboxOne) that will make a difference. If the developers can get the usage right, you would no longer pay the performance penalty to copy the textures from system memory to graphics memory (VRAM) in current PC systems.
  • testbug00 - Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - link

    actually, the PS4 currently only gaurentees 4.5GB of RAM (has 1GB that is "flexible" last I checked) and reserves only 2.5GB for the OS.

    Provided sony does what they did no the PS3, the PS4 will eventually have 1.5-2GB of memory reserved for Os (6-6.5GB for games).

    provided they don't, they will end up with 5.5GB for games.
  • andrewaggb - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    well... it's still interesting. As I see it what this likely means is that games will have directx support with some custom code for the then current generation of video cards. It's still probably a win.
  • yowanvista - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    This somewhat reminds of 3dfx Glide.
  • 1Angelreloaded - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    So basically, apples and oranges to an extent M$ is optimizing and streamlining for consoles while Mantle does the same for PC but because they are easier and normalized it will make it easier to port things over..................................so Whats the big deal? good for them maybe we will get better ports as M$ exclusive doesn't include the PC as a platform. Now Nvidia whats your deal on all this, and what will you brig to the table?
  • chizow - Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - link

    I just don't understand how AMD thinks Mantle will somehow streamline the PC development process. Source code is going to be written with one of the predominant HLSL (DX/OGL) regardless and then ported to whatever console API as needed. Mantle just adds one more layer of stratification to the mix for a PC platform that will already need to support one of those two APIs.

    It's obvious that while one Dev may have asked for this (EA/DICE), many more are not so keen on it. Ubi has called Mantle a "double-edged sword" specifically citing longer development times and more work, and Activision seemed less than thrilled by saying they may be forced to support it, jokingly asking if someone could just provide them with a lightweight OGL/DX Mantle wrapper.

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