AMD mantle

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Basic data

developer AMD
Publishing year 2013
operating system operating system independent
category Programming interface
License proprietary ( Memento from February 3, 2018 in the Internet Archive )

Mantle is a programming interface for graphics output developed by AMD . The interface is similar to Glide and should have a significantly lower administrative burden than known interfaces such as Direct3D or OpenGL .


One of the first runtime environments for games that should fully support the Mantle interface is the so-called Frostbite 3 engine , which is used with Battlefield 4, for example . In addition, the development studios Oxide and Rebellion have announced support for the Mantle API in their game engines Nitrous.

It is entirely possible in the future that Intel and Nvidia can also support the Mantle API with their own drivers, but AMD has a clear advantage due to the appropriate architecture. Support for the Linux operating system is also likely in the future .

At the AMD Developer Summit 2013 (APU13 for short), the meeting of AMD developers, which took place from November 11th to 13th, 2013, further details about the Mantle interface were announced, among other things another Mantle-enabled game was announced. In addition, the reduced CPU load was emphasized and the strong scaling of Mantle with more CPU cores was emphasized.

The interface is probably designed quite close to the PlayStation 4 , but offers a higher level of hardware abstraction .

The interface is compatible with the high level shading language (HLSL).


The name “ Mantle ” (English for “ coat ”) was chosen based on the earth's mantle . This is intended to indicate a layer model or a hardware abstraction level, with the mantle (as an interface and driver ) figuratively enclosing the earth's core (devices with support for Graphics Core Next ) and itself forming the basis for the earth's crust (applications such as games ).


Around 2008 Johan Andersson - at that time Technical Director at DICE and in 2013 Technical Director of the Frostbite Engine  - approached the various graphics card manufacturers with the request for a lean programming interface (also known as low-level API ). The company AMD was the only graphics card manufacturer to respond to his request and has started to prepare everything. The actual structure of the interface (the mantle code) began around mid-2012.

Currently (as of November 14, 2013) the interface is being set up in cooperation with the Frostbite engine .

After a publication for the trade press on February 1, 2014, the first Catalyst driver package for Windows appeared on the following day , which software-based the Mantle interface in all GCN graphics cards - initially only available in the game Battlefield 4 (Frostbite 3 engine) and the Preview demos of the upcoming Star Citizen  - includes.

At the beginning of March 2015, a high-ranking AMD manager advised developers to use the new low-level APIs DirectX 12 from Microsoft or the cross-platform OpenGL successor Vulkan instead of Mantle .


  • According to AMD , up to nine times more drawing calls or commands ( draw calls ) per second are possible by relieving the main processor than with a comparable interface; or - in other words - the administrative effort ( overhead ) should be reduced to 8% - for comparison: the administrative effort of Direct3D is around 40%.
  • Access to all commands of the GCN graphics cards
  • Direct access to the image or graphics memory
  • Performance increases compared to interfaces such as Direct3D and OpenGL
  • Platform independence
  • Possibility for better multi-core optimization
  • Multiple GPU rendering is no longer using traditional AFR but using a new process that should be similar to SFR


Supporting games

Overview of AMD Mantle-supported games
Game name Engine developer Publisher year
Thief (2014) Unreal Engine 3 Eidos Montreal / Nixxes Square Enix 2014
Sniper Elite 3 Asura rebellion 505 games 2014
Civilization: Beyond Earth own Firaxis 2K Games 2014
Battlefield Hardline Frostbite Engine 3 Visceral Games & DICE Electronic Arts 2015
Battlefield 4 DICE 2013
Dragon Age: Inquisition BioWare 2014
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare PopCap Games 2014
Star Citizen CryEngine Cloud Imperium Games Cloud Imperium Games TBA

Supporting game engines

Overview of AMD Mantle-supporting game engines
Engine developer from version
CryEngine Crytek 3
Frostbite Engine DICE 3
Nitrous engine Oxide Games
Unreal Engine (only with Thief (2014)) Epic Games 3
Asura rebellion


In a first test of is refresh rate in some multiplayer scenarios of Battlefield 4 on a test system with Intel Core i7-3770K and an AMD Radeon R9 290X increased by 76 percent, however only in a resolution of 1080p and without anti-aliasing . With 4 times the MSAA, the profit is reduced to 35 percent.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b AMD Developer Summit 2013 ( Memento of the original from November 7, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (English) - Page about the meeting of AMD developers (accessed November 15, 2013) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Interface: Over 40 developers are already working with the Mantle SDK . , May 2, 2014; accessed May 13, 2014
  3. AMD's mantle is the biggest change to gaming in a decade . SemiAccurate
  4. a b c d AMD Radeon: Mantle interface as a DirectX competitor ., September 26, 2013; accessed November 15, 2013
  5. AMD wants to improve gaming in Linux and Steam boxes with its Mantle tools . June 17, 2014; accessed June 20, 2014
  6. APU13: Mantle should be the fastest 3D interface . Heise online , November 13, 2013; accessed November 15, 2013
  7. a b Developer Summit 2013: AMD's Mantle was an idea of ​​the Battlefield developers ., November 14, 2013; accessed November 15, 2013
  8. a b APU13: The Battlefield creator via AMD's 3D interface Mantle . Heise online , November 14, 2013; accessed November 15, 2013
  9. AMD's Mantle API in the test: The processor catalyst .
  10. AMD buries 3D interface Mantle 1.0 and recommends DirectX 12 and Vulkan . Heise online , March 3, 2015, accessed March 4, 2015
  11. Thief developer on Mantle: "20 percent more GPU performance is not unrealistic" ., November 15, 2013; accessed November 15, 2013
  12. Mantle API: Star Citizen and the seven Frostbite titles ., November 4, 2013; accessed November 10, 2013
  13. Radeon HD 7970 in the test: The fastest and most economical GPU comes from AMD ., December 22, 2011; accessed November 10, 2013
  14. Mantle API for Battlefield 4 from the end of December . Computer base
  15. AMD on the basic principles of Mantle: More performance for PC gamers, new partners in November .
  19. AMD's Mantle API in the test: The processor catalyst .