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AMD launches R9 and R7 'Hawaii' GPUs with Mantle API

Mantle aims to replace Direct X, offering access to GPU features
Thu Sep 26 2013, 13:50
AMD launches R9 and R7 Hawaii GPUs with Mantle API

CHIP DESIGNER AMD has unveiled its next generation "Hawaii" graphics cards and cores, the R9 and R7 series, which have been optimised for "a new era of gaming" on Ultra HD displays.

Featuring the firm's Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture, the AMD Radeon R9 is aimed at the performance gamer, while the Radeon R7 series is focused on midrange machines. They have been built using AMD's "mantle" API technology, which brings together the four pillars of the Unified Gaming Strategy - "console, cloud, content and client".

AMD didn't really explain exactly how this technology works, but said it will equip games such as DICE's Battlefield 4 with "the ability to speak the native language of the Graphics Core Next architecture, presenting a deeper level of hardware optimisation".

Basically, Mantle is AMD's answer to Direct X 11, looking to replace the standard with a solution that offers direct access to GPU features and performance.

"Mantle also assists game developers in bringing games to life on multiple platforms by leveraging the commonalities between GCN-powered PCs and consoles for a simple game development process," the chip maker claimed.

Alongside Mantle, AMD has also integrated support for multi-display configurations on Ultra HD displays with support for resolutions up to 3840x2160 including support for non-tiled 2160p60 displays with a future AMD Catalyst driver release.

"In addition, gamers more accustomed to AMD Eyefinity multi-display technology will be freed to use virtually any combination of display outputs when connecting matching monitors to the DVI or HDMI outputs on their system," AMD said.

The firm has also incorporated a "Trueaudio technology" into the R9 and R7 cards, which AMD claims enhances audio realism by simulating the human brain's perception of real-world sound, "working in concert with the user's existing audio hardware to recreate a lifelike experience".

The new AMD GPU lineup will see a product range consisting of the R9 290X, R9 290, R9 280X, R9 270X, R7 260X and R7 250 GPU available for purchase in the near future.

AMD's Mantle technology will also be detailed further at the AMD Developer Summit APU13, which will be held 11-13 November in California. µ


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