Samsung Exynos SoC Packing AMD RDNA 2 GPU Crushes All Phones In 3DMark Wild Life

Samsung Exynos
It has been a long wait to see the fruit of Samsung's licensing agreement with AMD, in which the former will inject the latter's graphics into system-on-chip designs for supercharged mobile devices. That day has still not arrived, but it is coming. There is reason to be excited, too—leaked benchmark results suggest that the infusion of RDNA 2 into Samsung's Exynos chips will deliver class-leading graphics performance among mobile phones.

The initial announcement of the partnership between Samsung and AMD dates back to June 2019. At the time, Samsung hyped bringing to market "groundbreaking graphics products and solutions." And for AMD, it meant yet another avenue for its high performance graphics IP, and namely its Radeon DNA (RDNA) architecture.

More recently, AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su confirmed that RDNA 2 is headed to a Samsung phone relatively soon. And yes, it will feature hardware-level support for real-time ray tracing.

"The next place you’ll find RDNA 2 will be the high-performance mobile phone market. AMD has partnered with industry leader Samsung to accelerate graphics innovation in the mobile market, and we’re happy to announce we will bring custom graphics IP to Samsung’s next flagship SoC, with ray-tracing and variable rate shading capabilities. We’re really looking forward to Samsung providing more details later this year," Dr. Su said during AMD's Computex 2021 keynote.

Exciting stuff, but what kind of performance can we expect?

Samsung Exynos Chip With RDNA 2 Graphics Runs Through 3DMark's Wild Life Benchmark

We will have to wait a bit before getting a final answer to that question, but in the meantime, a leaked benchmark run spotted at 3DMark's database is intriguing.

Samsung Exynos with RDNA 2 at 3DMark
Click to Enlarge (Source: 3DMark via @UniverseIce)

Prominent leaker Ice Universe posted the details to Twitter (I tried looking for a direct link to the database entry but could not find it), and assuming the Exynos/RDNA 2 benchmark run is legitimate, it shines a bright light on what Samsung and AMD are doing in the mobile space.

"Samsung is testing the AMD GPU in the new Exynos, and the Wild Life test on 3DMark has scored 8,134 points. It is worth mentioning that the CPU in this test is A77 architecture, for reference only. Each test has different results, we need to wait for more results," the leaker states.

So what this boils down to is a test chip (which may or may not be an engineering sample) pairing custom RDNA 2 graphics with Arm's Cortex-A77 processor cores. There will undoubtedly be other configurations, but as is, the 8,134 score is impressive.

How impressive? Have a look...

3DMark Phone Scores
Click to Enlarge (Source: 3DMark)

Looking at 3DMark's collection of the best performing smartphones in the Wild Life benchmark, the leaked Exynos chip with RDNA 2 graphics towers above them all. It is a around 6 percent faster than the official top performing phone, and around 10 percent faster than the iPhone 11 Pro Max that sits in fifth place.

If narrowing the field to just Android handsets, Huawei's Mate 40 Pro+ takes the top spot with a score of 6,036. Compared to that phone, the leaked benchmark run is nearly 35 faster. So in other words, this early benchmark run is 6+ percent faster than all iPhone devices, and 35+ percent faster than all Android handsets, in the Wild Life test.

Finalized silicon with properly tuned software optimizations should, in theory, perform even better. We'll have to wait and see, but in the early going, there is reason to be excited about what Samsung and AMD are cooking up in the mobile phone space.