Buyer beware: Hardware configurations can eat up 25% of Radeon 6800M's performance

Soupreme

Posts: 20   +0
Staff
Editor's take: The new Radeon RX 6800M GPU in Asus's Strix G15 seems to suffer serious performance deficits with its stock RAM, as well as when outputting to its internal display. Both of these can be fixed relatively easily, but it's not a good start for the hardware-focused AMD Advantage initiative.

When is a GPU not that same GPU? When it's in a laptop!

Gaming laptop buyers are long-used to buying weaker versions of the graphics cards sold under the same name in the desktop space, with lower TDPs and fewer cores (even when not intended!)—but as well as those two factors, AMD's RX 6800M seems to be being tripped up by the rest of the laptop it comes in.

With the Asus ROG Strix G15 in review, YouTuber JarrodsTech found that the laptop had serious performance losses when using stock RAM and the laptop's own internal display in use. The ROG G15, like many other gaming laptops, incorporates hybrid graphics switching between the discrete GPU and the CPU's integrated graphics; this improves battery life but constrains bandwidth and eats into the CPU's power budget.

Nvidia's Advanced Optimus can force a discrete-graphics-only mode, but the G15 has no such option, meaning that it only reaches maximum performance when outputting to an external display. Furthermore, the loose timings of the manufacturer-provided memory also hurt performance further—previously also seen in the Ryzen-powered Lenovo Legion 5 Pro—and the effect of these two factors is rather shocking when put together.

Replacing the RAM and outputting to an internal display saw the G15 jump from an 102 to 135 FPS average in Shadow of the Tomb Raider; in relative terms, the 6800M was being held back to barely RTX 3060-beating performance when it could be trading blows with a high-powered RTX 3080.

This presents a serious issue for would-be buyers. Our review of the Radeon 6800M here at TechSpot used the same Asus laptop and we took note of the issue of memory timings -- we actually replaced it in order to benchmark the GPU apples-to-apples as we usually do -- and ran tests with both internal and external display output, but many others won't have, leading to consumers simply seeing an AMD-only unit underperforming compared to its Intel and Nvidia rivals when in reality it's being constrained by poor decisions on the manufacturer's part.

Seeing the G15 with these issues is a particularly bad look for the red team, as it's supposed to be the debut of the AMD Advantage initiative, a set of targets set by AMD for laptops when working with manufacturers akin to those of Nvidia Max-Q or Intel Evo.

Asus's recent close partnership with AMD—bringing Ryzen CPUs to the ROG Zephyrus G14 and Flow X13 ultraportables and even going to the engineering effort of using liquid metal thermal paste on them—makes these design gaffes even more baffling.

And while none of the Advantage requirements explicitly cover RAM, graphics switching or even performance as a whole, the initiative is supposed to be AMD working with their partners to get the best out of the systems their chips go into—and having poor implementation choking those chips two tiers down the product stack is hardly putting their best foot forward.

Permalink to story.

 

Xex360

Posts: 86   +107
AMD chose the wrong brand to showcase their new GPU, maybe something like the Legion 7 with higher power and proper handling of both internal and discret GPU would definitely shown better results. Unfortunately buyers should avoid Asus laptops for now as they don't offer a way to force the use of the dGPU, apparently they didn't it on purpose when asked about the lack of a Mux switch or advanced optimus for GeForce based laptops.
 

Nanochip

Posts: 36   +29
More like AMD disadvantage. That’s a poor implementation to hold back the gpu by almost 30 percent. At least it’s still cheaper than nvidia 3080 laptops.
 

Beerfloat

Posts: 108   +196
I‘m nor even blaming Asus here - why does AMD keep showing up to a gun fight with fists ?

There isn't enough incentive to improve. Their faithful followers have demonstrated again and again that they will accept *anything*.

Missing features? Poor software? Cost cutting configurations? Defend them all, loudly.
 

Hardware Geek

Posts: 358   +373
It seems like forcing the computer to use the discreet graphics card should be a basic option readily available for the user to select.
 

Irata

Posts: 1,512   +2,476
There isn't enough incentive to improve. Their faithful followers have demonstrated again and again that they will accept *anything*.

Missing features? Poor software? Cost cutting configurations? Defend them all, loudly.
Are you talking about Asus followers (I find this is a completely stupid term as we‘re talking about companies, but I digress) or Intel supporters defending shady tactics ?

If you talk about AMD customers, I‘d say they have been pretty vocally unhappy about crappy OEM systems with AMD chips in them.
So you can't even force dGPU in Adrenalin? That's crazy. Guess I'm looking towards the HP Omen 16.
This is about physical connections and not a software feature. In some laptops, the internal display is physically connected to the iGPU, the external one to the dGPU.

If the system contains a multiplexer (mux switch), you can - as the name implies - switch between gpu connections.

So for performance, the dGPU is used but the signal still needs to go through the iGPU for the laptop screen.
 

Toju Mikie

Posts: 196   +178
This is why we should read reviews before purchasing. I am sure that other upcoming laptops with the 6800M will have better results.

About the liquid metal: why not? I think all gaming laptops should come with liquid metal preinstalled or at least an option to do so from the manufacturer. The PS5 has it too
 

DukeJukem

Posts: 198   +184
This article literally says amds' own hardware is suffering due to other hardware bottlenecking it. this has what to do with amd?

thats like me 4 months ago when my rtx 2070 was being bottlenecked by my 4690k and 60 hz display.....I didnt blame the graphics card lol.

this is 100% an ASUS problem due to their thoughtless decision to combine weak hardware with a stronger component. it kind of surprises me that a company thats outputting 360hz monitors and touts the fastest motherboards and graphics cards would botch something like this.
 

Dimitriid

Posts: 691   +1,225
This is fairly indicative of one of the major issues AMD faces today: They're already past intel in hardware and they're getting there to Nvidia in GPU hardware too.

And while AMD might attempt to close the gap on software too with FSR now (Although it remains to be seen and tested vs DLSS 2.0) it still has basically been treated as the off-brand, cheapo-device company by hardware manufacturers when it comes to laptops.

It makes absolutely no sense: Ryzen chips are demonstrably better than intel offering on almost any aspect you can think of, IN THEORY. In practice, all of the companies' R&D are still focused 100% on intel and Nvidia hardware so things like this happens: It certainly *looks* like AMD is just a poor choice but even within the really heavily inconsistency on Asus between their flagship devices and everything else, AMD seems to get the "Everything else" treatment of "If it works without crashing or exploding just ship it" mentality we all know from Asus budget and midrange laptops at this point.

Not a good look: AMD needs to convince them to actually dedicate some time and engineering to their products too.
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,426   +1,570
This is fairly indicative of one of the major issues AMD faces today: They're already past intel in hardware and they're getting there to Nvidia in GPU hardware too.

And while AMD might attempt to close the gap on software too with FSR now (Although it remains to be seen and tested vs DLSS 2.0) it still has basically been treated as the off-brand, cheapo-device company by hardware manufacturers when it comes to laptops.

It makes absolutely no sense: Ryzen chips are demonstrably better than intel offering on almost any aspect you can think of, IN THEORY. In practice, all of the companies' R&D are still focused 100% on intel and Nvidia hardware so things like this happens: It certainly *looks* like AMD is just a poor choice but even within the really heavily inconsistency on Asus between their flagship devices and everything else, AMD seems to get the "Everything else" treatment of "If it works without crashing or exploding just ship it" mentality we all know from Asus budget and midrange laptops at this point.

Not a good look: AMD needs to convince them to actually dedicate some time and engineering to their products too.
Thankfully OEMs don't sell products based on some websites hardware performance review using off the shelf parts as opposed to stock to make the product look better than it is out of the box.

Maybe when AMD stops needing its hand held by the tech community and can enter some form of consistency, we'll see more AMD products sold by OEMs.
 
This is fairly indicative of one of the major issues AMD faces today: They're already past intel in hardware and they're getting there to Nvidia in GPU hardware too.

And while AMD might attempt to close the gap on software too with FSR now (Although it remains to be seen and tested vs DLSS 2.0) it still has basically been treated as the off-brand, cheapo-device company by hardware manufacturers when it comes to laptops.

It makes absolutely no sense: Ryzen chips are demonstrably better than intel offering on almost any aspect you can think of, IN THEORY. In practice, all of the companies' R&D are still focused 100% on intel and Nvidia hardware so things like this happens: It certainly *looks* like AMD is just a poor choice but even within the really heavily inconsistency on Asus between their flagship devices and everything else, AMD seems to get the "Everything else" treatment of "If it works without crashing or exploding just ship it" mentality we all know from Asus budget and midrange laptops at this point.

Not a good look: AMD needs to convince them to actually dedicate some time and engineering to their products too.
That is so true and not only limited to the laptop segment. Recently I got a ryzen 9 5900x and combined it with an Asus Rog motherboard and by default the vcore voltage was set to a blazing 1.47 volts (Extreme OC territory) and just sitting in the bios the cpu was running at a toasty 55 to 60 °C. I am not certain but it certainly felt like the mobo was trying to kill the Cpu, manually lowering the voltage fixed the temps and random Bsod.
 
This article literally says amds' own hardware is suffering due to other hardware bottlenecking it. this has what to do with amd?

thats like me 4 months ago when my rtx 2070 was being bottlenecked by my 4690k and 60 hz display.....I didnt blame the graphics card lol.

this is 100% an ASUS problem due to their thoughtless decision to combine weak hardware with a stronger component. it kind of surprises me that a company thats outputting 360hz monitors and touts the fastest motherboards and graphics cards would botch something like this.
Except this is the AMD Advantage edition that AMD claims they built WITH Asus
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,426   +1,570
To be honest, AMD didn't need hand holding to pass Intel, or to catch up to Nvidia performance wise, so I doubt they will need it moving on.
Ryzen is great, but RDNA2 is no direct competition to Ampere aside from Raster. Radeon is second place - again and still playing catch up on the software side. AMD software just isn't there, and what software they have (ie: Chill and FRTC) are pure trash. FSR is getting praise for blurry images before testing it. There are countless reasons to believe it will suck, but tech sites are eating it up instead of approaching it with extreme skepticism.

That's hand holding.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 1,321   +1,238
TechSpot Elite
Ryzen is great, but RDNA2 is no direct competition to Ampere aside from Raster. Radeon is second place - again and still playing catch up on the software side. AMD software just isn't there, and what software they have (ie: Chill and FRTC) are pure trash. FSR is getting praise for blurry images before testing it. There are countless reasons to believe it will suck, but tech sites are eating it up instead of approaching it with extreme skepticism.

That's hand holding.
Well hell if that is hand holding then Nvidia and Intel are also part of it.
Not as fast, weak, blurry. All have been tilted at them before.

You know I am well aware of what AMD, Intel and Nvidia has done over the years. RT remains a joke, AMD "Tech" was duplicated in days, and Intel has never agreed to anything close to an even playing field. My joy comes from the people that just defends one company like it was their Mommy while ignoring the sins of their own worship.
 

Tom Yum

Posts: 100   +232
So you can't even force dGPU in Adrenalin? That's crazy. Guess I'm looking towards the HP Omen 16.

I think the issue is whilst you can force the laptop to use the dGPU (via Windows 10 settings), you can't disable the iGPU which means the iGPU is still eating into the shared TDP, reducing GPU and CPU performance. When using external the iGPU can switch off completely, increasing the power available to the CPU and dGPU, hence the different scores. If the game was running on the iGPU you would be getting frame rates in the 10's at those settings, not 100.
 

Mr Majestyk

Posts: 766   +648
Luckily I don't a toss about laptop gaming, but this is pathetic. I wonder how workstation laptops running the pro AMD GPU's will fare, will they be smashed too?
 

hahahanoobs

Posts: 3,426   +1,570
Well hell if that is hand holding then Nvidia and Intel are also part of it.
Not as fast, weak, blurry. All have been tilted at them before.

You know I am well aware of what AMD, Intel and Nvidia has done over the years. RT remains a joke, AMD "Tech" was duplicated in days, and Intel has never agreed to anything close to an even playing field. My joy comes from the people that just defends one company like it was their Mommy while ignoring the sins of their own worship.
DLSS 2.0 is regarded as a game changer all over the internet. Everyone waiting for AMD's response.

RT is a joke yet every platform is adopting it and using it as a selling point...

Try harder please.