Mantle or DirectX 12 will one of them have the upper hand?

With Windows 10 Microsoft implemented their new graphics API (application programming interface) version called DirectX 12. There are not that many games using the new technology so far, as it has not been out for long. The only large games using DirectX 12 are Forza 6 Apex, Arma 3 aswell as DayZ, Hitman, Project Cars, Just Cause 3, Quantum Break and Rise of The Tomb Raider.
These Games demonstrated what graphical fidelity the new powerful API can output. On top of that DirectX 12 has way better performance than it’s predecessor DirectX 11, which was and still is in use for quite some years.


What is Mantle?

Unlike Mantle everyone should have heard about DirectX in the past in some way, shape or form. Mantle is a high level and professional API just like DirectX is.
What is the difference then you may ask?
The main differences between the two API’s is from whom they are supported and what
platforms do they support.
As I already mentioned DirectX 12 is developed by Microsoft and therefore it only supports development for Windows 10 and the Xbox One. Mantle is developed by the graphics card manufacturer AMD and it’s known for its high compatibility across many platforms.
Almost every massive third-party Game Engines (e.g EA’s Frostbite Engine) nowadays work on the basis of AMD Mantle. That is probably due to the high compatibility features it provides to the developers.

A year ago AMD announced that they would be working closely with Vulkan. Vulkan is another API which is very efficient, but has not seen that much popularity yet.
There have been rumors that AMD Mantle and Vulkan will be merged and that they would build upon the basis of OpenGL (API open to public usage).

How do they perform in practise?

In benchmarks AMD Mantle is inferior to Microsoft’s DirectX 12, archiving only approximately ~90% of the performance.  But why are independent development studios still using Mantle over DirectX 12?
That is simply because the compatibility of Mantle is so much better. You don’t have to develop a game with different API’s to get them working on different systems.
But Mantle’s not perfect. It is only supported by AMD graphics cards. Therefore the only option for Nvidia graphics card is DirectX 12, which is a massive bummer for Mantle’s flexibility standards.

Which one of them is better?

I think none of the two has a massive edge over the other one. They both come with massive advantages and disadvantages.
If I had to decide I’d say that DirectX 12 will be the more successful than Mantle, sole of the fact that DirectX 12 is supported by a massive company in Microsoft.
Although I have to say that the development of AMD and the support by the third-party developers is not to be enderstimated.

Only time will tell which one the two API will get the upper hand. The release of Nvidia’s new Graphics Cards, especially the GTX 1080, will give us a great inside on what the APIs can achieve in the near future.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider © Microsoft Corporation. “Mantle or DirectX 12 will one of them have the upper hand?” was created under Microsoft’s “Game Content Usage Rules” using assets from Rise of the Tomb Raider, and it is not endorsed by or affiliated with Microsoft.  


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