AMD's RDNA2 Fails to Impress in Samsung's Snapdragon Competitor

Samsung Exynos 2100 SoC
(Image credit: YouTube)

According to a new Samsung S22 Ultra review by Erdi Özüağ, as reported by TechPowerUp, it appears Samsung's shiny new Exynos 2200 SoC with AMD RDNA2-based graphics is not the performance powerhouse people were hoping for. When compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 version of the S22 Ultra, GPU benchmarks reveal that the AMD GPU lags substantially behind its competition.

For reference, both SoCs pack very similar core configurations consisting of a single ARM Cortex-X2 core, three Cortex A710 cores, and four A510 cores. This is known as a 1+3+4 configuration. The GPUs however are substantially different. Samsung uses AMD's RDNA2 graphics architecture in its Exynos 2200, while Qualcomm uses its own Adreno architecture the GPU packed inside the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

We don't know the full specifications of each GPU, unfortunately. All we know are the GPU core frequencies, with Adreno GPU clocking in at 818MHz, and the RDNA2 GPU in the Exynos running at 1300MHz. If we've learned anything from the Nvidia vs. AMD desktop GPU war over the past few years, core frequencies are not the "be all, end all" of graphics performance.

In 3DMark Wild Life, the Exynos 2200 version of the S22 Ultra scored 6,684 points while its twin with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 scored 9,548 points, a whopping 42% performance advantage. Results are even more embarrassing for the Exynos 2200 when compared to Samsung's previous flagship, the S21 Ultra, paired with the Exynos 2100, which outputted a score of 6,256 — only 6% less performance than the newer S22 Ultra.

The Exynos 2100 does not feature AMD RDNA2 graphics, so from these results, it appears Samsung's partnership with AMD has only delivered 6% additional performance compared to what Samsung can do by themselves.

Similar results can also be seen in 3DMark Wild Life Extreme, where the Snapdragon version of the S22 Ultra runs away with a 35% lead over the Exynos 2200 variant. Samsung's older S21 Ultra also manages to close the S22 Ultra performance gap even further with a negligible 0.6% difference in performance.

In other benchmarks that Erdi tested, performance results are similar to the 3DMark comparisons. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 flies away from the rest of the competition, and the Exynos 2200 and 2100 basically tie for 2nd place. Perhaps Samsung can fix some of its graphics problems with a software update, but AMD's first attempt at a smartphone GPU is not looking so good.

Aaron Klotz
Contributing Writer

Aaron Klotz is a contributing writer for Tom’s Hardware, covering news related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.