It's been a long time in the making, but it's finally here. The first iteration of Mantle is now available to the general public and the promise of console-style GPU optimizations for PC is now upon us.

Battlefield 4 is the king of benchmarks right now. If you want a beautiful, high-end game in which to test your GPU's mettle, you're likely to use Battlefield 4. However, the game isn't quite as optimized for PCs as the console counterparts. This has always been an issue between consoles and PCs, that the PC – despite having bigger, badder, more powerful hardware – always lagged behind in optimization efficiency in comparison to home console counterparts.

Oftentimes fanboys from one side or another will say “A PC from the same year can't run 'X' game the same as 'Y' console because consoles are just optimized better!”

It's somewhat true, yes. Until now.

AMD released Mantle last week under NDAs to benchmark enthusiasts and professional pixel counters. The test results are now public after AMD released the official Catalyst 14.1 drives with Mantle support. These drivers will supposedly increase performance for Battlefield 4 with startling degrees.

According to WCCF Tech, it does appear to be true that the performance gain is real and tangible and test-worthy. They spotted an independent benchmark from German website, where the benchmark scores don't lie and we see an obvious 19% raw performance gain with a i7-4770k PC running Windows 7 at 4.5ghz on a R9 290X using the new Mantle drivers. Don't take my word for it, check out the benchmark results below.

That's very impressive.

It definitely showcases DirectX not to be as optimized as Microsoft might lead everyone to believe. An easy-to-use or reliable API that shortchanges a PC's true potential. How unsurprising.

It's not all rose gardens and daffodils, though. Anand Tech points out some of the GPU testing with Battlefield 4, where they purposefully bottleneck the CPU and measure performance. Using a R9 290X, you can check out the results below.

It's obviously not the 40% performance gain AMD was touting, nor is it the 19% gain featured in the other benchmark, but it's still something.

What's most surprising is that on the low settings Mantle stomps all over DirectX, especially with a bottlenecked CPU running similar clock speeds to the Xbox One and PS4. An omen for things to come?

In short, it looks like Mantle does do what AMD intends for it to do: increase performance. Assuming these benchmarks are legit and aren't from corked drivers sort of like how Activision corked the benchmark comparisons for Call of Duty: Ghosts on the PS4 and Xbox One to “maintain parity”, which resulted in Resolution-gate, it could mean that the console-style optimization becoming a norm for PC isn't such a far fetched goal.

Now all AMD has to do is make sure that Mantle is properly supported in SteamOS and then we'll have a real winner on our hands.

The Mantle patch is available right now from the AMD official website, but keep in mind that the drivers are still highly unstable for Mantle and may or may not break your gaming experience. If you're not absolutely sure that your PC is up to snuff, I advise you keep with what drivers are currently working until a more stable version of Mantle is made available to the public.

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