Earlier this month, AMD launched a brand new Adrenalin Version 22.5.1 driver, which is identical driver we used to check all GPUs for the brand new Radeon refresh fashions together with the 6650 XT, 6750 XT and 6950 XT. The highlights of the motive force launch notes was that it added help for the brand new Radeon fashions and nothing else, however that very same day, AMD launched a second driver known as “AMD Software program Preview Driver Might 2022,” and the discharge notes for that driver have been fairly attention-grabbing.
AMD’s launch notes declare that DirectX 11 optimization for Radeon RX 6000 sequence GPUs may end in as much as an 8% efficiency enchancment for the Radeon RX 6950 XT, versus the earlier software program driver model 22.5.1. And whereas they used the 6950 XT for example, the declare is that each one RX 6000 GPUs ought to see improved DX11 efficiency.
The notes additionally declare optimizations for SAM (Sensible Entry Reminiscence) in Demise Stranding and Watch Canine Legion, with good points as excessive as 24%. These are relatively substantial boosts which may assist enhance Radeon RX 6000 sequence efficiency and assist them stack up higher in opposition to the GeForce competitors.
To seek out simply how a lot of a distinction the brand new driver makes, we took our 50 sport lineup to match the Radeon driver model 22.5.1 and the brand new Preview Driver utilizing the Radeon RX 6700 XT. Ideally we should always have examined extra GPUs however for a 50 sport pattern I feel you will perceive why we restricted the testing to a single graphics card.
For all testing Resizable BAR was enabled — that is SAM for the Radeon GPUs — and we’re utilizing a system powered by the Ryzen 9 5950X with 32GB of dual-rank, twin channel reminiscence. All 50 video games have been benchmarked at 1080p, 1440p and 4K resolutions. As ordinary we’ll take a look at the efficiency throughout all 50 video games, however earlier than that we’ll go over the info for just a few video games individually.
AMD claimed wherever from a 6% to a 24% efficiency enchancment in Watch Canine Legion with SAM enabled, relying on the GPU used. Right here we’ve got the Radeon 6700 XT which was as much as 17% quicker utilizing the preview driver, seen at 1440p the place body charges have been elevated from 82 fps to 96 fps. This can be a strong enhance that noticed the 6700 XT lead the RTX 3070 by 9% margin whereas beforehand it was 7% slower.
The opposite sport that was claimed to supply efficiency increase utilizing SAM was Demise Stranding and that is one other title that we have been already testing. AMD claimed as much as a 12% increase and with the Radeon 6700 XT we noticed an 11% increase at 1080p, 14% at 1440p, after which simply 5% at 4K.
That is good for the 6700 XT in its battle with the RTX 3070 as a result of beforehand at 1440p the Radeon GPU was 4% slower, however now it is 9% quicker with the preview driver.
Now let’s transfer on to take a look at a few of the extra spectacular good points we noticed with the preview driver in titles that weren’t talked about within the launch notes.
Right here we’ve got The Witcher 3, the place the preview driver boosted efficiency by as much as 10% at 1440p. That is a pleasant achieve that helped the 6700 XT compete with the dearer RTX 3070. Beforehand it was 12% slower than the GeForce GPU, now it is simply 3% slower.
Transferring on to Apex Legends, we discover a 9% increase at 1080p, 8% at 1440p after which 6% at 4K. Once more, the place the Radeon was slower than the RTX 3070 at 1080p and 1440p, it is now capable of match it.
Curiously, Name of Obligation Vanguard which by default makes use of DX12, nonetheless noticed a efficiency enchancment with the preview driver. At 1080p body charges have been improved by 9%, then a extra delicate 5% at 1440p and seven% at 4K. This was sufficient to present the 6700 XT a efficiency benefit at 1080p and 1440p whereas it caught the RTX 3070 at 4K.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider is one other sport we check utilizing DX12, however even right here the preview driver did supply some enchancment. At 1080p efficiency was boosted by 7%, then simply 4% at 1440p and 4K. The good points have been constant throughout our testing and whereas actually not large, it helped the 6700 XT shut in on the RTX 3070, making it 6% slower at 1440p against 10% slower.
Battlefield V runs finest utilizing the DX11 API and due to this fact that is usually how we check the sport. The brand new preview driver did enhance efficiency and whereas the good points have been persistently produced, they’re additionally relatively small.
We’re 4% at 1080p, 3% at 1440p and 4K. Not precisely sport altering outcomes, however it’s free efficiency.
We additionally check PUBG utilizing DX11 and right here the Radeon GPUs typically get crushed by the GeForce competitors and the preview driver did not assist a lot to alter that. We’re 3-4% extra efficiency which is principally nothing when you think about that the RTX 3070 remains to be 30% quicker at 1080p.
Microsoft Flight Simulator can also be examined utilizing DirectX 11 and like loads of video games we discovered no efficiency good points.
Battle Thunder is one other DX11 title that noticed no efficiency enchancment with the preview driver, and that is one other title the place Nvidia would not have a considerable efficiency benefit.
We noticed a little bit of every little thing from spectacular good points, to some relatively miniscule adjustments, after which nothing in any respect. Due to this fact the large query is, simply how a lot does this new driver assist throughout a variety of video games and to reply that we’ll transfer on to the 50 sport comparability at 1080p, 1440p and 4K…
Beginning with 1080p, we see that as spectacular as a few of the good points are, the general image is not modified with a 3% efficiency increase on common. The one sport the place efficiency actually went backwards was Godfall and that might simply be a bug, besides if we have been to take away that end result the margin stays at 3%.
Though the SAM efficiency good points in Watch Canine Legion and Demise Stranding have been mighty spectacular and the uplift for video games corresponding to Apex Legends and Vanguard have been additionally wonderful, for essentially the most half we’re good points of 4% or much less. In actual fact, 36 of the 50 video games examined noticed a efficiency change of 4% or much less.
Transferring to 1440p sees the general margin lowered to 2% in favor of the preview driver and now we’ve got simply three video games the place efficiency was improved by double-digits, which remains to be mighty spectacular, nevertheless it would not a lot to alter the general image.
At 4K we see an general enchancment of two%, however not a single sport with double digit good points and simply 5 titles the place the efficiency uplift exceeded 5%.
Earlier than this driver launch we discovered the RTX 3070 to be 11% quicker than the 6700 XT on common and though we’re calculating the margins within the reverse order right here, you may see that general the 6700 XT is now 7% slower, so just a few % change that based mostly on present pricing makes the Radeon GPU the extra engaging selection for this specific match up.
Efficiency Increase or Not?
It is at all times nice to see some further efficiency delivered at no further value and that is what we have seen right here in just a few cases. Sadly, the DX11 good points aren’t seen throughout the board they usually have been for essentially the most half fairly delicate. Video games the place Radeon GPUs battle in comparison with GeForce opponents go unchanged, corresponding to PUBG and The Outer Worlds.
General we would say the preview driver is a good step for AMD and it wasn’t one thing we have been anticipating to see. That mentioned, we expect these outcomes will disappoint a few of you after headlines that painted a way more optimistic image with avid gamers anticipating a minimum of 4% throughout the board with good points usually a lot greater in sure titles.
Actually, if you happen to concentrate on video games corresponding to Watch Canine Legion, Demise Stranding, The Witcher, Apex Legends, Forza and Vanguard, to quote just a few good examples, you are a ten% enchancment on common which is a really substantial uplift from a driver replace.
However in relation to our 50 sport head-to-head battles, on common the good points are just some %, and even lower than evaluating SAM on vs. off outcomes. Then once more, each bit helps and with Radeon GPUs already extra reasonably priced than the competitors, this could tip the worth equation additional in AMD’s favor.
Backside line, we do not count on this driver will change reviewers’ GPU suggestions, however we do not wish to water down the good points seen as a few of them have been really spectacular. All in all, great things from AMD.