AMD Mantle beta driver Catalyst 14.1 available now

AMD Catalyst Mantle
An exciting AMD logo for you all to enjoy.

For a while there, AMD’s Mantle was in a weird position. Battlefield 4 had updated to be Mantle-ready, and the benchmark for Star Swarm was released and ready to make use of it too. But the AMD driver that would enable people’s graphics cards to make use of it had not been issued.

Here we are on Saturday night (in Pacific time, at least) and AMD has now announced that the Mantle-tastic Catalyst 14.1 beta drivers are available to download. You can get them here.

Remember, only certain AMD graphics cards with the “graphics core next” architecture in them can make any use of Mantle. So unless you have an R9/R7 or HD 8000/7000 card, you won’t be able to test that out.

However, it’s still a Catalyst beta driver, so there are a few across the board improvements. Here are some of those “resolved issues”:

  • Ground texture flickering seen in Total War: Rome 2 with high settings (and below) set in game
  • Flickering texture corruption when playing Call of Duty: Ghosts (multi-player) in the space station level
  • Blu-ray playback using PowerDVD black screen on extended mode
  • Streaming VUDU HD/HDX content on Sharp PN-K321 (DP) causes the right-side half to flicker in and out
  • Black screen happened after wake up the monitor
  • Full screen issue at rotation in DX9 mode
  • Video window black screen when using Samsung Kies to play video
  • Crysis2 negative scaling in outdoor scene
  • Crysis2 has insufficient CrossFire scaling in some scene
  • Red Faction: The game has no or negative crossfire scaling with DX9 and DX11
  • Age of Conan has corruption and performance issues with crossfire enabled
  • Company of Heroes shadows are corrupted when using crossfire
  • Resident Evil5 ‘s performance is unstable when display mode set to Window mode
  • Total War: Shogun 2 flickering menu/text
  • Frame rate drop when disabling post-processing in 3DMark06
  • Negative Crossfire scaling with game “The Secret World” in DX11 mode
  • F1 2012 Crashes to desktop
  • Tomb Raider Hair Simulation Stutters on CFX
  • Negative CrossFire scaling experienced in Call of Duty
  • Battlefield 3 performance drop on Haswell systems
  • Choppy video playback on 4k Video
  • VSync ON Tearing with 2×1 Eyefinity SLS CrossFire
  • Far Cry 3 – Game flickering while changing resolutions
  • Display corruption and BSOD occurs when extending a display after disabling Multiple GPU SLS array
  • Flickering seen when enable three 4kx2k panels at the same time
  • No Video, just a black screen when setting Chrome to run in “High Performance” when playing certain video clips
  • Image crashed on Starcraft game
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    • MorningLM

      I don’t have Battlefield 4, but I ran the Star Swarm Stress Test ( Follow, Extreme, 6 mins ) on my HD 7850 (900MHZ) and the Average FPS increased from 21.20 to 34.27. The sections where large numbers of objects were on screen seemed to benefit most, with the average FPS being perhaps three to four times higher.

      I’ve now run the tests multiple times and the average FPS is quite variable – Direct3D as low as 17 and Mantle down to 29.

      I can’t find any mention of which version of DirectX Star Swarm is using. DirectX 10 and 11 should provide much better performance than their precursors.

      On a side note, SysInternals’ Process Explorer doesn’t seem to be able to detect any GPU data using the beta driver, but MSI AFterburner does.

      The numbers seem impressive for Mantle, but I’ll be more convinced if actual games show some improvement. Thief 4 is out in a few weeks and has Mantle support…I just also hope it supports mantling.