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Thursday, January 30, 2014
Mantle Now Available in Battlefield 4

DICE and AMD have made available a new game update for Battlefield 4, which brings the Mantle renderer.

Mantle is a new low-level graphics API and it is a major change and improvement to how dvelopers are able to program & use modern GPUs in order to get the most out of them.

Battlefield 4 on PC is already quite heavily optimized using DirectX 11 and DirectX 11.1, but with Mantle the game's developers have managed to significantly reduce CPU cost in their rendering, efficiently parallelized it over multiple CPU cores and reduce overhead in many areas.

The biggest performance gains can be seen when the game is bottlenecked by the CPU which can be quite common even on high-end machines.

In order to use Mantle you will need the following:

- AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta drivers. AMD will post them here.
- AMD Radeon GPU with Graphics Core Next (Note: AMD Catalyst 14.1 initially supports the AMD Radeon R9 290X, R9 290, R7 260X and "Kaveri" APU)
- 64-bit Windows (7, 8 or 8.1)

If you have the above you will see a new "Graphics API" option in the in-game Graphics Options settings after starting the game, here you can switch between using DirectX 11 and Mantle (remember to restart the game after changing). To compare performance with Mantle vs DX11 Frostbite devekopers have done a couple of benchmarks with Battlefield 4 on 3 different configurations & test scenes:

Test case 1: Low-end single-player

CPU/GPU: AMD A10-7850K ('Kaveri' APU), 4 cores @ 3.7 GHz
Settings: 720p MEDIUM settings
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
Level: Singapore "Beach"
Result: 26.6 ms/f -> 23.3 ms/f = 14% faster

Test case 2: Standard 64-player multiplayer

CPU: AMD FX-8350, 8 cores @ 4 GHz
GPU: AMD Radeon 7970 3 GB (AMD will add support for the AMD Radeon HD 7970 in a later stage of Mantle?s release schedule)
Settings: 1080p ULTRA 1x MSAA
OS: Windows 8 64-bit
Level: Siege of Shanghai - level was tested with 64 "pseudo players".
Result: 18.87 ms/f -> 15.08 ms/f = 25.1% faster

Test case 3: High-end single-player with multiple GPUs

CPU: Intel Core i7-3970x Extreme, 12 logical cores @ 3.5 GHz
GPU: 2x AMD Radeon R9 290x 4 GB
Settings: 1080p ULTRA 4x MSAA
OS: Windows 8 64-bit
Level: South China Sea "Broken Flight Deck"
Result: 13.24 ms/f -> = 8.38 ms/f = 58% faster

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