AMD’s new Software Preview Driver for May 2022, has brought about some astonishing performance gains for several DX11 titles, with some titles gaining a 30% boost in minimum fps. However, such gains may not be very common, based on the results of a 50-game benchmark suite tested by Techspot. AMD’s miracle-working driver helped in a few cases, but the ‘magic’ was clearly lacking elsewhere.
AMD’s claim of 10% higher graphics performance in DX11 titles only applies to a few select games, less than 10 to be more precise. Techspot’s 50-game average revealed that the preview driver provided only minor performance benefits over the current Adrenalin 22.5.1 driver in general.
It’s worth noting that Techspot tested both DX11 titles and DX12 titles in its suite of 50 games. AMD specifically stated that it’s May 2022 preview driver only boosted games that use the older DX 11 API. Even there, Techspot found several DX11 games that didn’t improve much if at all, though elsewhere a could 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 sheer amount of games being tested, only one card was tested rather than checking multiple GPUs. The card was tested with the current 22.5.1 drivers along with the preview driver, at 1080p, 1440p, and 4K.
Out of the 50 games tested, only about one third showed more than a minor performance benefit with the preview driver, and two-thirds showed a 1% or higher improvement. The rest had no benefit or incurred a slight performance penalty. That’s for the 1080p testing, and the 1440p and 4K results showed even lower gains.
At 1440p, 20 of the 50 games saw zero performance improvement from the preview driver, with four games suffering a performance deficit. At 4K, this pattern extends to 24 titles, or basically half of the test suite.
Games that showed notable performance increases include Watch Dogs: Legion (it’s not clear if that was in DX12 or DX11 mode), Death Stranding (a DX12-only game), The Witcher 3, Apex Legends, and Forza Horizon 5 (another DX12-only game). All of those saw at least a 5% or higher bump in performance at all three resolutions. Watch Dogs: Legion and Death Stranding were the only games to get above the 10% mark with the preview driver at 1080p and 1440p, while the largest improvement at 4K was 9%.
Interestingly, Godfall consistently showed worse performance. That’s another DX12-only game, and performance was 6-7% lower at 1440p and 4K. That’s an AMD-promoted game, but it’s always been a bit inconsistent in our own testing. Plus, this is likely a “preview” driver for good reason.
Overall, the preview driver averaged a 3% performance benefit 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 handful of games that showed larger gains, you might appreciate the improvements, but don’t expect miracles across a broader selection of titles.