About Mantle and the Future of AMD With Richard Huddy, Gaming Scientist
As for high end vs low end… Actually right now we see Mantle games typically deliver their biggest benefits on machines where the CPU is currently often the bottleneck – and that’s often on mid-range machines and laptops. It turns out that existing APIs like DirectX®11 and OpenGL all have artificial bottlenecks within them that limit the total throughput of the system – and Mantle shows how to remove those bottlenecks and let systems get much closer to their theoretical maximum throughput.
What we see there is an impressive improvement in frame rate (and we’d encourage you to test this yourselves, rather than take our word for it) and a great improvement in fluidity has been seen in testing of Mantle – typically delivering a smoother frame rate experience than games using other APIs. With gains like that it’s no wonder that games developers have embraced Mantle with such enthusiasm…
N2: Some very common complaints we get to hear, from our PC gaming community, are related to AMD’s graphic drivers and a number of problems they have with some newly released games. Will the presence of a Gaming Scientist and a tighter connection with the players and developers help solve this issue?
Richard: I think there are two quite separate issues here…
Firstly there is a perception in some quarters that AMD’s driver is not the best – and I think that’s just wrong. I’m convinced that this is simply an uninformed or outdated perspective. I’m not claiming that our drivers are perfect – but actually we’ve seen other sites demonstrate that our drivers are amongst the best in the business – and I’ve recently started asking inside AMD that we commission some independent research that allows us to show this publicly too. I’m convinced that the major problem here is one of perception only.
And then I’d say that the second issue is that some PC gamers expect a console-like experience where drivers are always perfect. And, sadly, no company that supports PC games can do that. The QA process for PC games is simply too unsystematic for that…
N2: Lastly, Richard, you said the future looks very good for you, AMD and the players. What other innovations should we expect from your department and the evolution of PC graphics?
Richard: Well, sadly I think it’s a little too early to tell that right now – plus I’m not able to make any big announcements here. I can see some very cool products in our pipeline, so expect some fine hardware from us in 2014 and 2015, I’m excited by what we are doing with drivers this year too and AMD is also looking into some other very interesting gaming devices.
Like we say, “Radeon _is_ Gaming”.