A couple of weeks ago AMD hosted the GPU14 even and along with showing off it’s new line of graphics cards, it also announced the new Mantle API for developers, aimed at getting console level performance and optimization out of PC hardware. The API’s presence on the AMD powered next gen consoles was not confirmed at the event, but Microsoft has now told us in a blog post that the Xbox One will run it’s own ‘Direct 3D 11.2″ API.
While this could affect the amount of developers adopting the API, it could help put a stop to bad PC ports as there is now a viable option to bring that similar console level of performance to the PC. DICE has already implemented Mantle into Frostbite Engine 3, hopefully we will see more developers follow suit. Lets face it, we all want to get the most out of our hardware especially when new graphics cards are coming out every year. That said, to benefit from the Mantle API you will need a Graphics Core Next (GCN) powered card, so anything from the 7000 series upwards.
We don’t know if Mantle will be compatible with the PS4 but it’s doubtful we will see it on one console and not the other. AMD has since admitted that Mantle is supposed to be PC exclusive, although it didn’t make that clear in the initial announcement. AMD’s Richie Corpus, told the news site TechSpot “the current Mantle as we launched it was entirely developed on PC” so AMD wasn’t giving much away at the GPU14 event, keeping things pretty elusive.
AMD insists that Mantle wouldn’t do much for consoles anyway as it is designed to get the most out of PC hardware while current API tools already do that for consoles.
KitGuru Says: Many gamers assumed Mantle would be more or less the same as what consoles use. This may not be true but it will still cut costs on PC development and the familiarity of the architecture means we could see higher quality ports come out. Now we’ll just have to wait and see what developers come up with in the next year.