AMD’s New DX11 Enhanced Preview Driver Disappoints in 50-Game Test Suite
AMD’s new software preview driver for May 2022 has brought stunning performance gains for several DX11 titles, with some titles gaining a 30% increase in minimum fps. However, such wins may not be very common, based on the results of a 50-game benchmark suite tested by Techspot. AMD’s miraculous driver helped in a few cases, but the “magic” was clearly lacking elsewhere.
AMD’s claim of 10% better graphics performance in DX11 titles only applies to a select few games, less than 10 to be precise. Techspot’s 50-game average found that the preview driver provided only minor performance benefits over the current Adrenalin 22.5.1 driver overall.
It should be noted that Techspot tested both DX11 titles and DX12 titles in its 50-game suite. AMD specifically stated that its May 2022 preview driver only boosts games using the old DX 11 API. Even there, Techspot found several DX11 games that didn’t improve much, if at all, although elsewhere a series of DX12 titles showed some decent improvements.
Techspot used a Ryzen 9 5950X testbed with 32GB of dual rank memory powering an AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT. Due to the large number of games tested, only one card was tested rather than checking multiple GPUs. The card was tested with the current 22.5.1 drivers as well as the preview driver, at 1080p, 1440p and 4K.
Of the 50 games tested, only about a third showed more than a slight performance gain with the preview driver, and two-thirds showed an improvement of 1% or more. The others either had no advantage or incurred a slight performance penalty. That’s for 1080p tests, and both 1440p and 4K results showed even smaller gains.
At 1440p, 20 of the 50 games saw no performance improvement from the preview driver, with four games suffering from a performance deficit. At 4K, this model expands to 24 titles, which is essentially half of the test suite.
Games that showed noticeable performance increases include Watch Dogs: Legion (it is not clear if it was in DX12 or DX11 mode), Death Stranding (a DX12 game only), The Witcher 3, Apex Legendsand Forza Horizon 5 (another DX12 only game). All of these saw at least a 5% or more increase in performance at all three resolutions. Watch Dogs: Legion and Death Stranding were the only games to break the 10% mark with the preview driver at 1080p and 1440p, while the biggest improvement at 4K was 9%.
Interesting way, Godfall have consistently shown poorer performance. It’s another DX12 only game, and performance was 6-7% lower at 1440p and 4K. It’s an AMD-promoted game, but it’s always been a bit inconsistent in our own testing. Also, it’s probably a “preview” driver for a good reason.
Overall, the preview driver averaged a 3% performance boost over the current Adrenalin 22.5.1 driver at 1080p, and just 2% at 1440p and 4K. If you happen to play one of the few games that showed bigger payouts, you might appreciate the improvements, but don’t expect miracles across a wider selection of titles.