AMD Catalyst 14.1 Beta Driver Brings Mantle Support, Frame Pacing Phase 2, HSA


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A troubled launch to be sure

AMD has released some important new drivers with drastic feature additions over the past year. Remember back in August of 2013 when Frame Pacing was first revealed? Today’s Catalyst 14.1 beta release will actually complete the goals that AMD set forth upon itself in early 2013 in regards to introducing (nearly) complete Frame Pacing technology integration for non-XDMA GPUs while also adding support for Mantle and HSA capability.


Frame Pacing Phase 2 and HSA Support

When AMD released the first frame pacing capable beta driver in August of 2013, it added support to existing GCN designs (HD 7000-series and a few older generations) at resolutions of 2560x1600 and below. While that definitely addressed a lot of the market, the fact was that CrossFire users were also amongst the most likely to have Eyefinity (3+ monitors spanned for gaming) or even 4K displays (quickly dropping in price). Neither of those advanced display options were supported with any Catalyst frame pacing technology.


The First Mantle Ready Driver (sort of)

A technology that has been in development for more than two years according to AMD, the newly released Catalyst 14.1 beta driver is the first to enable support for the revolutionary new Mantle API for PC gaming. Essentially, Mantle is AMD’s attempt at creating a custom API that will replace DirectX and OpenGL in order to more directly target the GPU hardware in your PC, specifically the AMD-based designs of GCN (Graphics Core Next).



Mantle runs at a lower level than DX or OGL does, able to more directly access the hardware resources of the graphics chips, and with that ability is able to better utilize the hardware in your system, both CPU and GPU. In fact, the primary benefit of Mantle is going to be seen in the form of less API overhead and bottlenecks such as real-time shader compiling and code translation.
If you are interested in the meat of what makes Mantle tick and why it was so interesting to us when it was first announced in September of 2013, you should check out our first deep-dive article written by Josh. In it you’ll get our opinion on why Mantle matters and why it has the potential for drastically changing the way the PC is thought of in the gaming ecosystem.
Read the full article at PCPER
 
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V_R

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AMD Catalyst Mantle Driver Delayed

As mentioned in our older article from Thursday, AMD discovered a major bug with its Catalyst 14.2 driver at the last minute, which threw a wrench in the works at the company. The driver was originally slated to come out in sync with DICE' update of Battlefield 4 on Thursday. AMD now tells us that their teams have been working overnight to fix the driver, and should have their next status update for us by mid-afternoon EST (New York time), later today. That update doesn't necessarily mean a driver release at that point in time, and so AMD might be forced to label it Catalyst 14.2 beta, keeping up with its calendar-based driver version naming. Catalyst 14.1 beta was expected to ship the first public distribution of Mantle, AMD's ambitious 3D graphics API to rival Direct3D and OpenGL.
http://www.techpowerup.com/197425/amd-catalyst-mantle-driver-delayed.html
 

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