With gamers and enthusiasts still a crucial part of AMD’s mobile GPU strategy, the California-based semiconductor company has launched HD 8900M – a series of products which it touts to include the “world’s fastest notebook GPU”.
Powered by AMD’s GCN architecture and built on a 28nm process, the HD 8900M series is a direct replacement to the previous generation HD 7900M line-up. Slotting in above the mainstream HD 8500M and 8600M products, as well as the gaming-oriented HD 8700M and 8800M lines, the enthusiast-targeting HD 8900M series of GPUs takes top spot in AMD’s product hierarchy.
Utilising the same ‘Enduro’ power-balancing technology as the rest of AMD’s HD 8000M products, the HD 8900M series aims to offer a balance between performance and day-to-day usability.
Specifications-wise, the HD 8970M is very similar to the previous generation HD 7970M. Clock speeds remain identical at 1200 MHz for the memory and 850 MHz (or 900 MHz with boost) for the GPU. DirectX 11.1 is supported.
Combining 1280 stream processors with an 850 MHz (900 MHz with boost) core clock speed, AMD was keen to outline the HD 8900M series’ flagship GPU’s single precision compute power of over 2.3 TerraFLOPS – an increase of around 6% over the HD 7970M.
There’s no official word on memory yet, although we expect the GPU to come equipped with 2 GB of GDDR5 on a 256-bit wide interface.
Compared to nVidia’s GTX 680M, the HD 8970M is 42% and 54% faster in AMD-optimised games, Bioshock Infinite and Tomb Raider, respectively. AMD also reports a 12% performance advantage for HD 8970M in Crysis 3, and a 21% gain in 3DMark FireStrike.
Compute performance is an area where AMD wants to see the HD 8970M flexing its muscle. According to the company’s own testing, AMD Radeon HD 8970M offers over four times the performance of GTX 680M in CL Benchmark’s Physics: SPH Fluid Simulation test. An improvement of around 30% over the GTX 680M is achievable in ComputeMark 2 using normal settings and a 1024×600 benchmark resolution, according to AMD.
MSI will be using the HD 8970M GPU in its GX70 series of gaming notebooks.
KitGuru says: An impressive mobile GPU which seems to be a sensible addition to AMD’s HD 8000M series. Keep an eye out for our coverage of HD 8900M series-equipped systems.