AMD Defends Against Claims That Mantle Is Only A Temporary Solution Before DirectX 12 Launches

“You don’t throw your screwdriver away because you currently need a wrench,” says AMD’s Robert Hallock.

Posted By | On 25th, Dec. 2014 Under News | Follow This Author @GamingBoltTweet


AMD’s Mantle has seen its fair share of implementation in AAA games but there are claims from certain developers that it is only a temporary solution before Microsoft’s DirectX 12 launches next year on PC, Xbox One and mobile devices. So are these claims true and can Mantle and DX12 can both co-exist together?

Mantle and DirectX 12 are complementary tools. Of course Mantle is particularly well-suited for AMD hardware, which allows us to expose future hardware features that might not be present in DirectX,” AMD’s Robert  Hallock said to GamingBolt.

“For reasons like this, game developers are already telling us that they want Mantle and DirectX to coexist. Developers from Firaxis and Oxide Games have posted public blogs to this effect. From the perspective of a developer, it just makes sense. As the age-old adage goes: the right tool for the right job. You don’t throw your screwdriver away because you currently need a wrench.”

It will be intriguing to see how the two co-exist when DX12 launches next year but Robert definitely has a valid point and performance charts released by Futuremark does show that both APIs seem to have similar performance as far as draw features are concerned. Stay tuned for our full interview with AMD in the coming days.

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  • d0x360

    The issue is direct x does everything mantle does and a lot more. Not only that but since Microsoft is obviously the gate keeper of windows they can grant deeper access to hardware than anyone else. AMD has never seen the windows source code and has no access to hardware modes that Microsoft restricts for very good security reasons. You don’t want programs hijacking your GPU and running code with low level access it would be another attack vector for malware. Bad bad news.

    Also direct x has been a standard since win95. Everyone uses it because its proven itself worthwhile and it works with any hardware while mantle is still new and just works with AMD stuff. If you were a Dev which would you choose? You would choose DX because even if you support mantle you absolutely have to basically support DX anyways.

    • Psionicinversion

      Yeah every game used dx and is a reason why we get no where near the performance we should be getting fact is dx12 should of been here quite a while ago yet MS done nothing till now and we don’t know why

    • Tgirgis

      We don’t yet know if DX12 does more than mantle, but it does indeed do what mantle does. I wouldn’t say that AMD has never seen the windows source code however, I am nearly positive that AMD is working with microsoft on DirectX12, why would Microsoft (an AMD partner with their APUs fueling their game console, and a co-member of the HSA foundation) re-create mantle from scratch when AMD was so clearly willing to hand it over to them?

      Likewise, why would AMD deny them that opportunity when the entire intention was just to give developers access closer to the metal (allowing developers to better optimize games hardware, in order for AMD to be able to power higher resolution displays and more features without having to manufacture extremely expensive and high TDP hardware)

      I don’t believe they are competing to outdo each other, they’re likely in this together. Mantle is not proprietary, anyone can have access to it (last I heard Intel is actively discussing it’s use with AMD, Nvidia has rejected it) so there would be no benefit for AMD not to share it with Microsoft. That said, if there is an opportunity for the two APIs to co-exist, AMD will obviously take it.

    • d0x360

      Nobody but certain governments have ever seen the windows source code.
      If by partner you mean Microsoft is saying this is what we are doing then yes.

      Yea we do know direct x does more than mantle. Mantle is for CPU optimization. Direct x handles CPU, GPU, apu, I/O, and interface.

      Yes AMD and Microsoft worked together on the Xbox and no they dont directly compete with each other but direct x is an apk toolset for making games. It works exactly the same regardless of GPU, CPU or apu manufacturer or spec. That’s why its widely used. It doesn’t care what the hardware is all it does is facilitate the communication between the kernal and the hardware with a standard set of secure instructions.

      Mantle and dx12 have overall different goals it just so happens that one of the many goals of DX is shared with mantle.

    • Guest

      OpenGL is still better, way better.

    • monstercameron

      no, just no!

    • Tgirgis

      “Nobody but certain governments have ever seen the windows source code. ”

      My mistake, I thought you were referring to the DirectX source code. In that case you do have a point here.

      “Yea we do know direct x does more than mantle. Mantle is for CPU optimization. Direct x handles CPU, GPU, apu, I/O, and interface.”

      Mantle is for CPU, GPU, and APU/SoC optimization as well, but it’s mainly optimized for AMD’s GCN hardware (though it can easily be optimized by any company for any hardware)

      I maintain, we don’t yet know if DirectX12 can do more than mantle.

    • Paul17041993

      I’d still use mantle and OGL/N regardless of how far DX goes. Why? Because they’re both open-standard APIs.

      Yes, Mantle can potentially come to linux, but that would be well after the official release.

  • Simon Flynn

    Without Mantle, DX12 would not have been pushed forward like it has and feature such improvements when it arrives. AMD forced Microsoft to do this. AMD’s intention of giving the players more has paid off regardless.

  • Guest

    When DirectX12 launches it will still be second rate compared to OpenGL. Mantle has a chance to catch OpenGL with version 2 but DX12 does not it can’t as OpenGL is a hardware feature in it’s self with no driver overhead what so ever. Mantle can become like that but DirectX will always need at least some driver overhead.

    OpenGL has support for upto 140,000 draw calls with proper optimization nearly 1.5 times as many as Mantle right now & has had this ability for along time. Mantle 2 will equal this while DX12 sits back at roughly 90,000 max if it’s like mantle 1.

    • kma99

      So much fail.

  • leanton31

    If DX12 is a Windows 10 only feature. and Mantle is an AMD only feature, i don’t see real progress coming to the PC platforms any time yet. Still Mantle obligated Microsoft to release DX12 and that’s only a good thing.

  • lrkbik

    “You don’t throw your screwdriver away because you currently need a wrench,”

    Horrible analogy. If Mantle is a screwdriver then DX is a multitool.

    You have two keys, the first one that is good at opening a certain brand
    of lock, and the second that can open every brand of lock in the

    I would throw away that first key.

  • I’m rooting for mantle to take off and steal some titles from games that would otherwise use DX12. It’s an open standard, mostly ready, and cross-platform. I’m usually using a linux box and I’d love to see the number of games with good native-level performance on linux increase. Even if a game uses mantle but only offers Windows support the linux gamers will win because it’d only be a matter of time before WINE could leverage native linux Mantle libraries and only do translation on the non 3D program calls. Khronos has promised OGL NG “soon” but who knows how long soon is in Khronos estimation time. And Nvidia users can also benefit from Mantle if Nvidia just comes around and provides the driver support; if the standard catches on they’d almost certainly be forced to.


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