If you already own a graphics card that supports AMD’s Mantle, plus a copy of the Thief reboot, you’ll receive a nice surprise tomorrow: an upgrade to a version of the game that supports the latest AMD technologies.
An AMD spokeswoman said Monday that gamers who own the Thief game, a graphics card powered by a compatible AMD GPU (AMD’s R9 290X, R9 290, or R7 260X cores), the AMD Catalyst 14.3 beta driver, and a means of auto-updating the game like Steam will see the game auto-update itself beginning on Tuesday to a version that supports both Mantle and its TrueAudio technology.
AMD’s Mantle technology is a low-level API that, if developers choose to use it, optimizes the game for AMD’s hardware beyond the generic Microsoft DirectX driver. AMD released the beta Catalyst driver in February. So far, AMD has said that Mantle offers a 50 percent improvement in DICE shooter Battlefield 4. But Microsoft isn’t sitting still, either—the next-gen DirectX 12 will reportedly be released this week at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco.
Equally important to Thief, however, is AMD’s TrueAudio, which creates a seemingly limitless number of positional audio streams. In Thief, AMD TrueAudio is utilized to calculate an effect called “convolution reverb,” AMD said, a technique that mathematically simulates the echoes of a real-life location. Our review of Thief, a stealth game where sound is as important or more so than sight, highlighted major audio issues—which, to be fair, only some of which the patch will solve.
Still, any improvement will only help, both in Thief and in subsequent games.