AMD delays Battlefield 4 Mantle update to January

By on December 30, 2013, 6:00 PM
amd, battlefield, api, delay, battlefield 4, mantle, ea dice

We've had a surprising amount of Battlefield 4 related news today, first with word that the popular first-person shooter was banned in China, and then that the game might be bundled with AMD's upcoming Kaveri APUs. Now AMD has sent out an email informing us that their Mantle API update for Battlefield 4 has been delayed until January.

After much consideration, the decision was made to delay the Mantle patch for Battlefield 4. AMD continues to support DICE on the public introduction of Mantle, and we are tremendously excited about the coming release for Battlefield 4! We are now targeting a January release and will have more information to share in the New Year.

No word was given on exactly why the update was delayed, although it likely has something to do with the all the issues EA have faced in getting the title to play smoothly. DICE put on hold all future projects, including Battlefield 4's DLC and probably Mantle as well, to focus on fixing the various issues and bugs in the game; issues which have caused lawsuits by various parties.

Mantle is a low-level, high-performance API for PCs designed to give developers closer access to the 'metal' of a graphics card, in a similar way to how game consoles work. The API is supported on all GCN-based Radeon GPUs and certain APUs, and AMD claims it will offer noticeably better performance compared to using DirectX 11.

EA DICE aren't the only developers working on Mantle-enabled titles. Square Enix's Eidos-Montréal has hopped aboard the Mantle bandwagon for Thief and all future titles, alongside Cloud Imperium Games who will integrate Mantle into Star Citizen. New studio Oxide Games is also working on getting Mantle support into their upcoming 64-bit multi-platform game engine called 'Nitrous'.




User Comments: 25

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1 person liked this | Littleczr Littleczr said:

Where is the response form NVDIA? I have been an NVIDIA loyalist since 09, but I will jup ship if things look good.

wastedkill said:

Where is the response form NVDIA? I have been an NVIDIA loyalist since 09, but I will jup ship if things look good.

If Nvidia start developing there own Mantle clone I would seriously start to think Nvidia just hired a non tech person and put him in charge, what needs to happen is Nvidia need to work with AMD to get mantle working on their cards its only gonna hurt everyone if they dont.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Where is the response form NVDIA? I have been an NVIDIA loyalist since 09, but I will jup ship if things look good.

If Nvidia start developing there own Mantle clone I would seriously start to think Nvidia just hired a non tech person and put him in charge, what needs to happen is Nvidia need to work with AMD to get mantle working on their cards its only gonna hurt everyone if they dont.

There hasn't been a history of collaboration on this sort of thing. Just look at physics acceleration...

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Where is the response form NVDIA? I have been an NVIDIA loyalist since 09, but I will jup ship if things look good.

Ooooh since 09, damn your loyal... Talking about jumping ship. Word of advice, loyalty means less than nothing to the companies making these products. Just go with whoever has the fastest card at time of purchase for your budget. Neither side has any reason for you to be loyal.

Ha Physics Acceleration is the biggest reason to believe this won't get support from nVidia, they seemingly purposely retard the industry by; A owning a physics engine making it impossible for game developers to make beautiful physics work on all hardware, instead have games with or without or just half ass'd physics, the seemingly new industry standard. or B paying game developers to make games run faster on their hardware, because the way its meant to be played means we crippled the other guys to have an unfair advantage. But hey, kudos to AMD for at least trying to improve something.

jeffz6 said:

I hope it works wonders, but seriously, when has there ever been a huge jump? Its always tagged for small incremental performance gains.

veLa veLa said:

Where is the response form NVDIA? I have been an NVIDIA loyalist since 09, but I will jup ship if things look good.

I've been an NVIDIA loyalist since 2005.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

There hasn't been a history of collaboration on this sort of thing. Just look at physics acceleration...

[link] when they choose to.

I'd add, that PhysX as an Nvidia-only option, [link] , came about as much from AMD's posturing as from a licencing issue. In Mantle's case, AMD aren't offering Mantle to Nvidia or Intel for the foreseeable future...so whether Nvidia (and Intel) are interested or not becomes somewhat moot since AMD aren't offering the tech.

If AMD offered licencing and Nvidia turned it down hoping Intel developed a usable low level API then the situation would be a near identical situation to that of PhysX.

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

[link] when they choose to.

I'd add, that PhysX as an Nvidia-only option, [link] , came about as much from AMD's posturing as from a licencing issue. In Mantle's case, AMD aren't offering Mantle to Nvidia or Intel for the foreseeable future...so whether Nvidia (and Intel) are interested or not becomes somewhat moot since AMD aren't offering the tech.

If AMD offered licencing and Nvidia turned it down hoping Intel developed a usable low level API then the situation would be a near identical situation to that of PhysX.

I should say there hasn't been a great history and I'm a skeptic

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

New studio Oxide Games is also working on getting Mantle support into their upcoming 64-bit multi-platform game engine called 'Nitrous'.

I would like to mention I've seen a presentation these guys did, a tech demo to show what mantle was capable of in their new engine, it all seemed quite impressive but I got this feeling all Mantle seemed to have done was removed Driver overhead and allows multiple cores to be used which massively improves the amount of "batches" that can be run thus allowing more to happen in engine. They were clearly bigging up AMD quite a lot throughout the presentation but if Mantle does actually make as much of a difference as they claim, It could be quite impressive, or at least impressive enough for Nvidia to take note.

I also doubt Nvidia are just sitting there doing nothing, they probably have something up their sleeve.

Geesus said:

Where is the response form NVDIA? I have been an NVIDIA loyalist since 09, but I will jup ship if things look good.

I've been an NVIDIA loyalist since 2005.

My last gpu made by ati was a 9800pro.. 2002 I think it was and I upgrade every year to 18 months, so I've had quite a few nvidia gpu's. I bought two R9 290's when they became available recently so amd are doing something right. I think it was the power to £ ratio. I have two powerful gpu's and I bought full cover EK blocks and backplates for them. This whole bundle including the cooling blocks was still quite a bit cheaper than a single titan. Nvidia are just not good value.

Mbloof said:

So if one takes a generic Window's application and $pend month$ (and countle$$ $$$) recompiling and optimizing to run on a specific set of hardware there may be some performance gains?

No real news here.

"Hey game developers! Don't bother making sure your stuff works at release - AMD will fix it up to run on their hardware for free!" (and then claim that it's because of "Mantle" or some such nonsense.)

veLa veLa said:

My last gpu made by ati was a 9800pro.. 2002 I think it was and I upgrade every year to 18 months, so I've had quite a few nvidia gpu's. I bought two R9 290's when they became available recently so amd are doing something right. I think it was the power to £ ratio. I have two powerful gpu's and I bought full cover EK blocks and backplates for them. This whole bundle including the cooling blocks was still quite a bit cheaper than a single titan. Nvidia are just not good value.

The last ATI video cards my crew used were a 9200 256MB and a 9250 128MB. At the time ATI drivers were absolutely horrendous and caused all sorts of different glitches in the games we played at the time. That left a sour taste in my mouth so I always just thought NVIDIA's slightly higher price was to justify the superior driver support.

JC713 JC713 said:

I think AMD made them delay it since they didnt have a stable-enough beta driver available yet.

1 person liked this | GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

I think AMD made them delay it since they didnt have a stable-enough beta driver available yet.

It may also be related to the work on the game to improve performance and stability. I hope when this comes out we will all be happily leveling the battlefield

ghasmanjr ghasmanjr said:

Will Techspot be releasing a Mantle review in the future comparing the new framerames of Battlefield 4 and Thief to the original release benchmark results?

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Will Techspot be releasing a Mantle review in the future comparing the new framerames of Battlefield 4 and Thief to the original release benchmark results?

To what end? To reach an obvious conclusion that could be distilled down to "The patched game runs better than the launch release"?

How many games have patches issued to fix stability, gameplay, and performance issues? And how many are retested 2+ months after they hit retail ?

I could see the game being retested IF the content is sponsored by EA/DICE, but from a pure benchmarking exercise it makes no sense...unless you're planning to retest using the original graphics drivers (with the lower fan speed profile for the R9-290 series I'd note). If not, where is the baseline comparison if all of the parameters change?

Any new graphics card reviews should automatically be using the latest patched version of the game in conjunction with the latest drivers. That seems like a much better use of resources than running a pointless comparison with an obvious conclusion.

theBest11778 theBest11778 said:

I don't think many of you guys have read in to what Mantle's designed to do. It's not meant for AMD to beatup on Nvidia, rather it's meant to make AMD's CPUs relevant against Intel's. Intel CPUs dominate the tops of all CPU performance charts, sometimes by HUGE margins. You see i7s and i5s pulling in 2x the framerates of AMD's APU chips. Even their FX 8 core CPUs barely keep up i3 chips (look at techspot's Arkham Origin's CPU tests.) Mantle is meant to offload as much as possible from the CPU to the GPU, where AMD dominates Intel. All it will do is allow you to buy an AMD CPU + AMD GPU and know it will perform the same as an AMD GPU with an Intel CPU. It's that simple guys. Not going to be earth shattering, but will allow you to build a gaming PC with cheaper CPUs if you don't need the extra horsepower for other applications.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

All it will do is allow you to buy an AMD CPU + AMD GPU and know it will perform the same as an AMD GPU with an Intel CPU. It's that simple guys.
And this works with all applications? No wait, some think games are all you can do with a PC. Besides even if that is true, it would be a piss poor attempt at damage control, from failing to keep up with CPU innovation.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

That's not exactly true, Mantle is designed to give the programmer more power to grasp the gpus actual capabilities on the same level console developers have been doing for years (actually pretty much forever if you get down to it). It really has almost nothing to do with the CPU except it should alleviate some CPU stress and force it to the graphics card.

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

@GhostRyder @theBest11778 has a point, the below video will explain things a little better:

Mantle is basically aimed at the CPU side of things, as they state, with todays API's and drivers, the CPU sits around doing "nothing" and therefore the GPU doesn't have anything to be fed as the overhead in current API's and drivers are extremely inefficient, Mantle allows 3D engines to utilize the multiple threads and cores CPU's have to reduce and in the drivers case eliminate overhead completely, freeing up the CPU to feed the GPU all the time, according to the devs in the video, the Nitrous engine benefited so much from mantle the 8 core AMD CPU was able to keep up with modern Intel Core i7's now in games and they managed to double the amount of Batches the engine could run (from 50k to 100k).

Don't get me wrong, it does help the GPU but only by reducing overhead (API/Drivers) but a big portion of this was down to CPU's not being utilized properly, Which Mantle alleviates thus allowing the GPU to do it's job properly.

1 person liked this | JC713 JC713 said:

@GhostRyder @theBest11778 has a point, the below video will explain things a little better:

Mantle is basically aimed at the CPU side of things, as they state, with todays API's and drivers, the CPU sits around doing "nothing" and therefore the GPU doesn't have anything to be fed as the overhead in current API's and drivers are extremely inefficient, Mantle allows 3D engines to utilize the multiple threads and cores CPU's have to reduce and in the drivers case eliminate overhead completely, freeing up the CPU to feed the GPU all the time, according to the devs in the video, the Nitrous engine benefited so much from mantle the 8 core AMD CPU was able to keep up with modern Intel Core i7's now in games and they managed to double the amount of Batches the engine could run (from 50k to 100k).

Don't get me wrong, it does help the GPU but only by reducing overhead (API/Drivers) but a big portion of this was down to CPU's not being utilized properly, Which Mantle alleviates thus allowing the GPU to do it's job properly.

It is good that they are giving the CPU more to do. But I feel like we are currently in that stage where a lot of developers are trying to offload the CPU load to the GPU since the GPU can do computations faster and more efficiently. But Mantle is great because it will compute things that are unnecessary for the GPU to waste its resources on.

1 person liked this | Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

It is good that they are giving the CPU more to do. But I feel like we are currently in that stage where a lot of developers are trying to offload the CPU load to the GPU since the GPU can do computations faster and more efficiently. But Mantle is great because it will compute things that are unnecessary for the GPU to waste its resources on.

Yep, you pretty much summed it up quite nicely there or at least, what I've been able to make of Mantle xD

Guest said:

And this works with all applications? No wait, some think games are all you can do with a PC. Besides even if that is true, it would be a piss poor attempt at damage control, from failing to keep up with CPU innovation.

Who knows what applications this can eventually lead to, but for now GPUs are designed for gaming, so AMD's targeting gaming. I think AMD sees the writing on the wall where the days of dedicated CPUs are numbered. Eventually all calculations will be offloaded to the GPU, and the CPU will just play traffic cop of the computer, essentially turning it in to a Northbridge. Mantle's the first step for AMD towards this end.

1 person liked this | cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I think AMD sees the writing on the wall where the days of dedicated CPUs are numbered.
You should look up the differences between CPU and GPU before making that statement. The CPU will never play traffic cop to IGP, as you suggest. Complete integration is the direction we are headed. Equalizing computations between them and sharing load is the goal not shutting each other out.

GhostRyder GhostRyder said:

@GhostRyder @theBest11778 has a point, the below video will explain things a little better:

Mantle is basically aimed at the CPU side of things, as they state, with todays API's and drivers, the CPU sits around doing "nothing" and therefore the GPU doesn't have anything to be fed as the overhead in current API's and drivers are extremely inefficient, Mantle allows 3D engines to utilize the multiple threads and cores CPU's have to reduce and in the drivers case eliminate overhead completely, freeing up the CPU to feed the GPU all the time, according to the devs in the video, the Nitrous engine benefited so much from mantle the 8 core AMD CPU was able to keep up with modern Intel Core i7's now in games and they managed to double the amount of Batches the engine could run (from 50k to 100k).

Don't get me wrong, it does help the GPU but only by reducing overhead (API/Drivers) but a big portion of this was down to CPU's not being utilized properly, Which Mantle alleviates thus allowing the GPU to do it's job properly.

Yea, but it's only compatible with GCN architecture video cards. It gives the developer that insider to see what is truly capable of the gpu by (after watching your link, offloading more stuff to the CPU when necessary) and utiliZing more cores which in the long run is going to benefit gamers.

I can't wait to see how it changes gaming on bf4 and in general.

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