Graphics card specialist AMD looks to be giving up on its PC gaming API Mantle.
Mantle was announced in 2013 and was supposed to be an alternative to Microsoft’s DirectX, allowing developers the chance to use more of the power available in PC hardware and AMD GPUs than would otherwise be possible.
The idea was that in freeing up more system resources, games running Mantle would offer a significant performance boost over non-Mantle software.
However, while some games did get on board (although far, far fewer than had been hoped) things haven’t really worked out as planned. The gains over DirectX 11 rarely turned out to be as significant as hoped and will effectively be non-existent once DirectX 12 arrives this year.
Anandtech reports that following the release of its R9 Fury X card "AMD has now thrown all of their weight beyond Vulkan and DirectX 12, telling developers that future games should use those APIs and not Mantle”.
Mantle isn’t being killed, as such, but AMD is not going to be working on future optimisations and is encouraging developers to pursue other avenues.
Added the site: AMD has confirmed that while they are not outright dropping Mantle support, they have ceased all further Mantle optimisation. Mantle is essentially deprecated at this point, and while AMD isn’t going out of their way to break backwards compatibility they aren’t going to put resources into helping it either. The experiment that is Mantle has come to an end."
All of which represents a fairly expensive flop for AMD, which was rumoured to have spent up to $8m convincing EA to make a Mantle version of Battlefield 4.