Tag Archives: Mantle

Dragon Age Inquisition: The Highs and Lows of AMD’s Mantle

The latest game in the Dragon Age series launched last year to critical and popular acclaim. Dragon Age Inquisition from developers BioWare and published by Electronic Arts won plenty of awards for 2014, even though it came out towards the end of November, and it is undoubtedly one of the best RPGs of recent history. With a current Metacritic rating of 85%, it's by no means perfect, but if you're a fan of the genre or series picking the latest release up is a no-brainer.
Except you might be wondering if you actually have enough graphics power to handle the game in all its glory. BioWare also updated the engine from their own Lycium/Eclipse engine used in the earlier titles to DICE's FrostBite 3 engine, of Battlefield 4 fame. Besides supporting advanced rendering features, FrostBite 3 is one of the few engines to fully support AMD's Mantle API, and that means most games that use the engine will by default support Mantle. So how much does Mantle help with performance, and what sort of hardware do you need to run Dragon Age Inquisition? The answers end up being a bit more complex than you might suspect.
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Civilization Beyond Earth Performance

Civilization Beyond Earth is interesting in that not only is it one of first games to use AMD's Mantle API, but it also uses it in a new way. Most games these days use Alternate Frame Rendering if you have more than one GPU, but with Mantle developers are free to pursue other options. In the case of Civilization Beyond Earth, developers Firaxis have created a custom Split Frame Rendering (SFR) solution that should improve both average frame rate as well as minimum frame rates. Note that it's still possible to use regular DX11 AFR mode with multi-GPU configurations, but as we'll see the result is often less compelling.
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Sniper Elite 3 Performance – Now with Mantle

This past week AMD had some interesting news with the release of an update to Sniper Elite 3 ($49.99). While it's not the first game to get support for AMD's Mantle API, it's the most recent game to receive such treatment and number four in the list of Mantle enabled games. For the record, the first three Mantle enabled games are Battlefield 4, Thief, and Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare. That last game uses the same Frostbite engine as Battlefield 4, which is why it has Mantle support; going forward, there are quite a few upcoming games that also use the Frostbite engine, so we'll start seeing even more games that use AMD's Mantle API.
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