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AMD's Mantle Launches, But No Linux Love Yet

AMD

Published on 30 January 2014 11:55 AM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in AMD
95 Comments

AMD launched their new Windows graphics driver today that supports their new Mantle API as an alternative for game developers to Direct3D or OpenGL. However, there's still no indications of foreseeable Linux support.

Mantle is the API AMD unveiled last year alongside their AMD Radeon R9 290 "Hawaii" graphics cards. While it was billed as a high-performance graphics API, in its current form it turns out that it's more of a benefit to low-end CPUs that are bottle-necked rather than an interface that can better speed along high-end GPUs in all situations.

With this Mantle Windows driver it turns out that all "GCN" GPUs are not supportd but only the Radeon R9 290X, R9 290, R7 260X, and AMD Kaveri APUs.

Since Mantle's announcement in October we have wondered about Mantle Linux support. AMD later said they want Mantle on Linux and other platforms but with today's long awaited release, there is no indication of Linux support (or non-Windows platforms) support coming anytime soon. Hopefully some of the lessons learned from Mantle can just be folded back into future revisions of OpenGL to render this graphics API unnecessary.

Judging by the limited Windows games offering up a Mantle renderer at this time, the very limited hardware support, and the performance wins being mostly for lower-end CPUs, Linux users fortunately don't seem to be missing out. The updated Windows software for Mantle is available from AMD.com.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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