MANTLE AND AMD OMEGA
For those of you who are not familiar with AMD’s Mantle API, it is an API for games similar to DirectX11. AMD developed it to help developers get “Closer to the metal” similar to how consoles can utilize the hardware more effectively. One of the biggest changes is its underling ability to utilize multiple core scaling for CPU workloads, as well as its overall reduction in CPU overhead.
This API is currently in Battlefield 4, Thief, Sniper Elite 3, Civilization Beyond Earth, Plants VS Zombies Garden Warfare, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Battlefield Hardline and the upcoming space simulation game Star Citizen. We are not sure how much more the number of Mantle supported games may grow at this point, since both DirectX 12, and Mantle’s spiritual successor Vulkan are on the horizon, regardless it is a useful feature to have.
Provided courtesy of AMD, we can see the above graph showcases the potential increase in performance with Mantle versus DirectX 11 in games like Theif, this increase is shown in both CPU, and GPU bound environments. With the former showcasing the largest increase of just over 50%.
AMD had worked for over 6 months giving their driver a makeover and adding a wealth of new features, as well as performance leaps and bug fixes. AMD put a lot of time and effort into these new special edition drivers, which they wanted to name something different to help them stand out from the usual releases. AMD also says to expect one major driver release such as Omega, per year.
AMD claims performance improvements across a variety of titles, averaging 10% better performance over previous drivers, and even as high as 19% in Bioshock: Infinite.
AMD has also worked on frame pacing for dual GPU systems. The Omega driver now focuses on bringing these enhancements to APU and GPU dual graphics configurations which should allow for less frame time variance, and reduce micro-stuttering.