Undertaken by the editor: The new Radeon RX 6800M graphics processor in Asus’ Strix G15 seems to have serious performance shortcomings with its RAM as well as output to its internal display. Both can be repaired relatively easily, but that’s not a good start for the hardware-focused AMD Advantage initiative.
When is the GPU not the same GPU? When in a laptop!
Gaming laptop buyers have long been accustomed to buying weaker versions of graphics cards sold under the same name on the desktop, with lower TDPs and fewer cores (even when not designed!) – but just like those Two factors, the AMD RX 6800M seems to be stumbled by the rest of the laptop it comes in.
With the review of the Asus ROG Strix G1
Nvidia’s Advanced Optimus can only force mode with discrete graphics, but the G15 does not have such an option, which means that it reaches maximum performance only when displayed on an external display. In addition, the free timings of the memory provided by the manufacturer also further damage performance – previously seen in power supplies from Ryzen Lenovo Legion 5 Pro – and the effect of these two factors is quite shocking when combined.
See what the RX 6800M can offer in the Strix G15 Advantage Edition, if ASUS can get better RAM + allow us to disable iGPU 😱 pic.twitter.com/Lgb8LuNLyb
– Jarrod’sTech (@JarrodsTech) June 4, 2021
Changing RAM and displaying to an internal display saw the G15 jump from 102 to 135 FPS on average in Shadow of the Tomb Raider; in relative terms, the 6800M was prevented from achieving just the RTX 3060 when it could trade strokes with the powerful RTX 3080.
This is a serious problem for potential buyers. Our review of the Radeon 6800M here at TechSpot uses the same Asus laptop, and we took into account the memory timing issue – we actually replaced it to compare GPU apples to apples, as usual – and tested both the internal and external display. but there aren’t many others, which means that consumers simply see AMD-only devices with lower results than their competitors Intel and Nvidia, when in fact it is limited by bad decisions by the manufacturer.
Seeing the G15 with these issues is a particularly bad look for the red team, as it is expected to be the debut of the AMD Advantage initiative, a set of goals set by AMD for laptops when working with manufacturers similar to those of Nvidia Max -Q or Intel Evo.
Asus’ recent close partnership with AMD, which led Ryzen processors to the ultraportable ROG Zephyrus G14 and Flow X13 devices and even focused on engineering efforts to use liquid metal thermal grease on them, makes these design blunders even more confusing.
And while none of Advantage’s requirements explicitly cover RAM, graphics switching, or even performance in general, the initiative assumes that AMD is working with its partners to get the most out of their chip systems, and that their poor performance suffocates these chips two levels down the product stack is unlikely to put its best foot forward.