AMD 14.11 Beta Driver Gets Released To The Press, First Impressions Revealed

Reports are that AMD has finally released the Catalyst 14.1 beta to the press. The driver is said to bring along the first release of Mantle, AMD’s ambitious 3D graphics API to rival Direct3D and OpenGL. The Catalyst 14.1 beta is said to enable the 3D renderer option in Battlefield 4, which lets you choose between DirectX 11.1 and Mantle.

TechPowerUp apparently gave it a try and they reported that the first ‘impressions’ about AMD’s mantle were nothing close to amazing. The difference between Mantle and non-Mantle systems is currently not noticeable on a Radeon R9 290 graphics card, having all settings set to 1920 x 1080 resolution, Ultra details and 4x MSAA on Battlefield 4. It is reported that the game runs smooth and well over 60 on both Mantle and non-Mantle settings. However, TechPowerUp point out that owners of a Radeon R9 270X will see a significant increase having the same settings applied, whereas on non-Mantle specs, the game’s FPS would drop below 60 FPS. Also, the driver is reported not to be optimized for any of the Graphics CoreNext (GCN) based GPUs other than Radeon R9 290 series, R9 260X, and A-Series “Kaveri” APUs.

TechPowerUp’s specs were as following: 8 GB of DCh DDR3-1333 memory, an AMD 990FX motherboard (ASUS M5A99FX-PRO R2.0, 2201 BIOS, UEFI mode); Windows 8.1 64-bit, and of course, a Radeon R9 290 (BIOS: The game settings are said to be 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution, disabled V-Sync, “Ultra” preset, HBAO, and 4x MSAA. We used the “PerfOverlay.FrameFileLogEnable 1” console command to spit out CSV files with frame-times in ms.

A 167-second playthrough on the single-player campaign chapter “Fishing in Baku,” was performed with the above specs, first being a non-Mantle test. An average frame-time of 16.26 ms, which works out to 61.5 fps. For Mantle, the same 167-second mark was performed, and the average frame-time was 14.45 ms, which works out to 69.2 fps. Overall, a 12.5 percent performance uplift was recorded. It is not much, but given the driver is still a Beta and still not optimized for anything other than the R9 290 series and R29X (if the optimization is final for those as well), we can see the 319% increase stated by AMD in the future.

Thank you TechPowerUp for providing us with this information