Ahead of its official launch to take place during CES, AMD took the time to discuss some of what’s in store for its Radeon HD 8000M series. Yes – M, as in “mobile”. AMD at the moment is remaining quiet with regards to its desktop counterparts, no doubt due to the fact that its current-gen parts are selling well, helped in part thanks to its “Never Settle” promotion.
Before tackling specs, I thought it’d be interesting to first share this slide:
As we first talked about last fall, it seems trends are holding true for PC gaming. If Jon Peddie’s assumptions play out, PC gaming isn’t going anywhere in the foreseeable future. Sounds good to me.
AMD isn’t being too specific about the differences between the HD 8000M and HD 7000M series, except to say that they’re based on the second generation “GCN” architecture. They feature DirectX 11.1 and also the latest iteration of AMD’s Enduro technology – one that allows the GPU to switch cores on and off based on load for efficiency’s sake.
The mainstream HD 8500M and 8600M parts feature 384 Stream processors with clock speeds of 650MHz and 775MHz, respectively.
The higher-end HD 8700M retains the same number of cores, but can run with clocks of up to 850MHz. The highest-end part out of the gate will be the HD 8800M, sporting 640 Stream cores and clocks of 650~700MHz.
So how do the cards improve from one generation to the next? Well, it’s hard to consider AMD’s performance graphs to be gospel when we’re not exactly sure what the particular card it benchmarked with features, but for the sake of seeing at least one comparison, we can look at the graph below:
From one generation to the next, AMD shows off a 50% advantage in Battlefield 3, a 40% advantage in 3DMark 11 and at least a ~22% improvement elsewhere. Not too shabby.
We should be learning a lot more about these GPUs once CES rolls around, and hopefully at around the same time details about the next-generation desktop parts will begin to leak out as well.