As AMD continues to work on getting Mantle support into more games, we are finally able to hear from Nvidia directly about the topic. If you recall, AMD has made it clear that Mantle isn’t directly tied to any particular architecture, and could theoretically be used by other vendors such as Nvidia. You would probably assume that Nvidia would have no interest in supporting the other guys’ API, even if it’s not proprietary. During a visit to MaximumPCMag’s podcast, two Nvidia engineers finally spoke publicly on the topic:
Some pertinent quotes include:
“We don’t know much about Mantle, we are not part of Mantle. And clearly if they see value there they should go for it. And if they can convince game developers to go for it, go for it. It’s not an Nvidia thing. The key thing is to develop great technologies that deliver benefits to gamers. Now in the case of Mantle it’s not so clear to me that there is a lot of obvious benefits there.”
“It’s possible to pull performance out of DirectX, we’re approving that, and so you can argue that maybe it’s not a good idea to put extra effort into yet another API that does the same thing essentially. Feature wise there is nothing more.”
“DX12 is coming and a lot of the features, the benefits of having a lower level API (the extra calls and stuff), it’s going to be in DX12.”
This is, of course, “the other side of the story” and shouldn’t be taken as an absolute fact, only opinion. Still, they make some good points. It definitely didn’t look good for AMD when Microsoft announced that many of the same benefits provided by Mantle will be present in DX12.
The one advantage of Mantle may be its upcoming Linux support, which of course includes SteamOS. If they can tie themselves closely to that platform – and if it’s a success – Mantle may be impossible for developers and other hardware vendors to ignore.