Earlier this month, AMD launched a brand new Adrenalin Edition 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 Preview Driver May 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 collection GPUs might lead to 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 instance, the declare is that every one RX 6000 GPUs ought to see improved DX11 efficiency.
The notes additionally declare optimizations for SAM (Smart Access Memory) in Death Stranding and Watch Dogs Legion, with good points as excessive as 24%. Those are quite substantial boosts which might assist enhance Radeon RX 6000 collection efficiency and assist them stack up higher towards the GeForce competitors.
To discover simply how a lot of a distinction the brand new driver makes, we took our 50 recreation lineup to match the Radeon driver model 22.5.1 and the brand new Preview Driver utilizing the Radeon RX 6700 XT. Ideally we must always have examined extra GPUs however for a 50 recreation 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 standard we’ll take a look at the efficiency throughout all 50 video games, however earlier than that we’ll go over the info for a couple of video games individually.
AMD claimed anyplace from a 6% to a 24% efficiency enchancment in Watch Dogs Legion with SAM enabled, relying on the GPU used. Here we’ve got the Radeon 6700 XT which was as much as 17% sooner utilizing the preview driver, seen at 1440p the place body charges have been elevated from 82 fps to 96 fps. This is a strong improve that noticed the 6700 XT lead the RTX 3070 by 9% margin whereas beforehand it was 7% slower.
The different recreation that was claimed to supply efficiency enhance utilizing SAM was Death Stranding and that is one other title that we have been already testing. AMD claimed as much as a 12% enhance and with the Radeon 6700 XT we noticed an 11% enhance at 1080p, 14% at 1440p, after which simply 5% at 4K.
This is sweet for the 6700 XT in its struggle with the RTX 3070 as a result of beforehand at 1440p the Radeon GPU was 4% slower, however now it is 9% sooner with the preview driver.
Now let’s transfer on to take a look at a number of the extra spectacular good points we noticed with the preview driver in titles that weren’t talked about within the launch notes.
Here we’ve got The Witcher 3, the place the preview driver boosted efficiency by as much as 10% at 1440p. That’s a pleasant acquire that helped the 6700 XT compete with the dearer RTX 3070. Previously it was 12% slower than the GeForce GPU, now it is simply 3% slower.
Moving on to Apex Legends, we discover a 9% enhance at 1080p, 8% at 1440p after which 6% at 4K. Again, the place the Radeon was slower than the RTX 3070 at 1080p and 1440p, it is now capable of match it.
Interestingly, Call of Duty 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 gentle 5% at 1440p and seven% at 4K. This was sufficient to offer 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 recreation we check utilizing DX12, however even right here the preview driver did provide 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 definitely not big, 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 subsequently that is sometimes how we check the sport. The new preview driver did enhance efficiency and whereas the good points have been persistently produced, they’re additionally quite small.
We’re 4% at 1080p, 3% at 1440p and 4K. Not precisely recreation 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 mainly nothing when you think about that the RTX 3070 continues to be 30% sooner at 1080p.
Microsoft Flight Simulator can be examined utilizing DirectX 11 and like a variety of video games we discovered no efficiency good points.
War 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 thing from spectacular good points, to some quite miniscule modifications, after which nothing in any respect. Therefore 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 recreation comparability at 1080p, 1440p and 4K…
Starting with 1080p, we see that as spectacular as a number of the good points are, the general image is not modified with a 3% efficiency enhance on common. The solely recreation the place efficiency actually went backwards was Godfall and that might simply be a bug, besides if we have been to take away that outcome the margin stays at 3%.
Although the SAM efficiency good points in Watch Dogs Legion and Death Stranding have been mighty spectacular and the uplift for video games corresponding to Apex Legends and Vanguard have been additionally glorious, for probably the most half we’re good points of 4% or much less. In truth, 36 of the 50 video games examined noticed a efficiency change of 4% or much less.
Moving 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 continues to be mighty spectacular, however it would not a lot to alter the general image.
At 4K we see an general enchancment of two%, however not a single recreation with double digit good points and simply 5 titles the place the efficiency uplift exceeded 5%.
Before this driver launch we discovered the RTX 3070 to be 11% sooner than the 6700 XT on common and though we’re calculating the margins within the reverse order right here, you possibly can see that general the 6700 XT is now 7% slower, so a couple of p.c change that primarily based on present pricing makes the Radeon GPU the extra enticing selection for this explicit match up.
Performance Boost or Not?
It’s at all times nice to see some further efficiency delivered at no extra value and that is what we have seen right here in a couple of cases. Unfortunately, the DX11 good points aren’t seen throughout the board and so they have been for probably the most half fairly gentle. Games the place Radeon GPUs battle in comparison with GeForce opponents go unchanged, corresponding to PUBG and The Outer Worlds.
Overall we might say the preview driver is a good step for AMD and it wasn’t one thing we have been anticipating to see. That stated, we predict these outcomes will disappoint a few of you after headlines that painted a way more constructive image with avid gamers anticipating at the very least 4% throughout the board with good points usually a lot larger in sure titles.
Certainly, in the event you give attention to video games corresponding to Watch Dogs Legion, Death Stranding, The Witcher, Apex Legends, Forza and Vanguard, to quote a couple of good examples, you are a ten% enchancment on common which is a really substantial uplift from a driver replace.
But in the case of our 50 recreation head-to-head battles, on common the good points are only a few p.c, 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 will tip the worth equation additional in AMD’s favor.
Bottom line, we do not count on this driver will change reviewers’ GPU suggestions, however we do not need to water down the good points seen as a few of them have been actually spectacular. All in all, great things from AMD.