AMD Radeon 680M Graphics Are A Great Upgrade With RDNA2, Excellent On Linux
Last week when posting my initial Linux benchmarks of the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U performance (and also looking at the AMD Rembrandt Windows vs. Linux speed), there were two main areas to get excited about with these AMD Zen 3+ SoCs: nice power efficiency improvements across many real-world workloads and the graphics upgrade with the integrated Radeon 680M. In this article are more tests of the Radoen 680M graphics looking at the integrated graphics speed-up with RDNA2 finally replacing Vega as a big upgrade and also how this compares to the Intel Alder Lake P Xe Graphics performance for Linux laptops.
The Radeon 680M graphics with the AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U used for testing features 12 graphics cores and a 2200MHz graphics frequency. In comparison, the prior-generation AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U "Cezanne" SoC features Radeon Graphics from the GFX9/Vega family with eight graphics cores and a 2000MHz graphics frequency.
I've been testing the Radeon 680M graphics to great success under Linux. Even with the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS default stack of Linux 5.15 and Mesa 22.0, the graphics were successfully working while obviously a newer Linux kernel and Mesa can provide a more performant and up-to-date experience with the latest Vulkan extensions, performance optimizations, etc. The open-source AMD Linux graphics driver support for the Radeon 680M is under the Yellow Carp codename that has been getting squared away in the mainline code-bases since last summer.
The Radeon 680M Graphics with the Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U have been great and much better than the Vega-based graphics of Cezanne and prior. Also helping out the graphics performance is Rembrandt supporting DDR5/LPDDR5 system memory for much greater bandwidth. With the Lenovo ThinkPad X13 Gen3 used for testing is LPDDR5-6400 memory (soldered configuration) compared to DDR4-3200 used by the HP Dev One with Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U.
For comparing the graphics performance with the Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U and Ryzen 7 PRO 6850U was also the Core i7 1280P "Alder Lake P" via an MSI A12M-231 Evo notebook with LPDDR4X system memory. The flagship Core i7 1280P processor features Intel Iris Xe Graphics with a maximum dynamic frequency of 1.45GHz and 96 execution units.
The Radeon RX 680M / Radeon Vega / Intel Iris Xe Graphics were all freshly tested on the notebooks as detailed and running Ubuntu 22.04 LTS while switching to Linux 5.19 Git and Mesa 22.2-devel via the Oibaf PPA for the very latest Linux graphics driver experience.
A wide variety of OpenGL and Vulkan games were tested on Linux that can at least perform satisfactory with the latest Radeon RX 680M graphics. A mix of native Linux games as well as Windows games via Steam Play (Proton / DXVK) were used for testing at 1080p. The CPU SoC power consumption was monitored as well via the PowerCap sysfs interface for looking at the power efficiency of all three processors/SoCs under test.