AMD introduces Radeon HD 8000M mobile GPUs

We were all a little surprised when AMD’s Radeon HD 7000M-series mobile GPUs came out last December. Despite their branding, those weren’t 28-nm parts based on the latest Graphics Core Next architecture. Instead, they featured previous-gen, 40-nm chips powered by the TeraScale architecture—just like the 6000M series. AMD eventually introduced GCN-based parts at the high end of the 7000M lineup, but the rest of the series is starting to grow long in the tooth.

Luckily, it’s about to be retired. AMD has just announced the Radeon HD 8000M family, which finally brings Graphics Core Next and 28-nm goodness at lower price points and thermal envelopes. AMD is unveiling four models today: the 8500M, 8600M, 8700M, and 8800M, which supplant everything from the Radeon HD 7700M on down. (Reminder: The 7700M is GCN-based, but everything below that is powered by the old TeraScale architecture.) These new GPUs should all be available in the first quarter of next year.

Here’s a little roadmap that shows the positioning of the new parts:

As you can probably tell, AMD has adjusted its model numbering scheme somewhat. For example, you’d expect the 8700M to succed the 7770M series, but that’s not going to be the case. Instead, the 8700M series will be priced on par with the 7600M series. Also, these new introductions don’t span the full breadth of AMD’s mobile GPU lineup—the top-of-the-line 8000M-series offerings aren’t due out until the second quarter of next year.

AMD has shared some specifications for the first round of offerings. (More specifics on unit counts and the like will be made public early next month.)

GPU SPs Core clock Max.

mem clock

(DDR3)

Max.

mem clock

(GDDR5)

SP

GFLOPS

DP

GFLOPS

Radeon HD 8500M 384 up to 650 MHz 1000 MHz 1125 MHz 537 33
Radeon HD 8600M 384 up to 775 MHz 1000 MHz 1125 MHz 633 39
Radeon HD 8700M 384 620-850 MHz 1000 MHz 1125 MHz 537-691 33-43
Radeon HD 8800M 640 650-700 MHz N/A 1125 MHz 992 62

Performance-wise, AMD expects the new GPUs to be substantially quicker than their predecessors. The company’s internal benchmarks show gains of around 20-50% from the Radeon HD 7590M to the Radeon HD 8690M, and about as much from the 7670M to the 8770M. In other words, folks should be getting a lot more performance—and likely increased power efficiency—at the same price points.

The 8000M series doesn’t appear to boast any unique architectural refinements, though. AMD told us that, while these parts do feature new silicon, they’re still based on the original iteration of the GCN architecture, just like the desktop Radeon HD 7000 series. Functionality like DirectX 11.1 support, PCI Express 3.0 connectivity, and AMD’s Enduro technology are all included, but that’s also true of the GCN-based 7000M-series parts. (Enduro works with the TeraScale-based GPUs, too.)

In short, the 8000M series seems like what the 7000M series should have been a year ago. I won’t blame you for feeling underwhelmed, but at least AMD is bringing forth some substantial improvements for the middle of its mobile GPU lineup.

Comments closed
    • ashleyw2934x
    • 7 years ago
    • stacey1x0pp
    • 7 years ago
    • jonjonjon
    • 7 years ago

    Q2-2013 should say ‘Out of business’. sorry i couldn’t help it.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      You know, Tuesday should be called “Be Nice To AMD Day”. We [i<]really[/i<] don't want AMD to go under I'll suggest that in tomorrow's shortbread

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        You should always be nice to those more frail than you.

    • bcronce
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve been looking back into Linux gaming because of Steam and all I read about is how bad AMD graphic drivers are. nVidia isn’t great either, but I hear they’re better for OpenSource support.

    I hope AMD can do something fast because I see Linux+Steam going places fast. You know, with Win8 out there making people reconsider Windows in the first place.

      • Goty
      • 7 years ago

      The open source drivers are pretty sad, but the closed source Catalyst drivers from AMD work just fine. I’ve got GPU switching and multi-monitor working flawlessly on my Envy 15 and the gaming performance seems fine (I don’t actually do much gaming on the laptop period, but it handles Bastion just fine at 1920×1080).

      • tbone8ty
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=amd_drm38_radeon&num=1[/url<]

    • slaimus
    • 7 years ago

    Too bad names like 8500M and 8600M may confuse people with the failure prone Nvidia models of the same name that resulted in the Dell/HP/Apple laptop recalls.

    • TurtlePerson2
    • 7 years ago

    I’m kind of curious, what do people use gaming laptops for? LAN parties are kind of rare these days. It seems that you can buy a gaming desktop and get a normal laptop for the price of the gaming laptop. And having a separate computer for each will give a better experience for both.

      • funko
      • 7 years ago

      this is what i have done since 2006. i prefer intel integreated graphics in my notebooks for battery life

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      This goes even more so now that mini ITX is as good as micro or full ATX for gaming rigs. All you need is one expansion slot for a graphics card, and if audio matters an external solution.

      • JustAnEngineer
      • 7 years ago

      When I was living in a hotel for half a year, a gaming laptop was a handy thing to have.

        • TurtlePerson2
        • 7 years ago

        I understand buying a gaming laptop in JAE’s situation, but it seems to me that the majority of these systems are sold to people who just use them as a desktop computer.

      • tbone8ty
      • 7 years ago

      i was tired of lugging my mammoth desktop tower and monitor over to my buddies house who hosted LAN parties.

      so I bought an A10-4600m + 7670m laptop which games perfectly fine at 1366×768.

      plus when Im on the go I can get my fix of CS:GO

      • chµck
      • 7 years ago

      They’re cooler, quieter, more efficient, take up less space, and easy to move when needed.
      Granted, I won’t be doing any intensive tasks…

      • Spunjji
      • 7 years ago

      As someone who is entirely sold on the concept, I’m going to start by conceding that it’s definitely a niche area.

      For me it’s the fact that I regularly travel to the houses of friends to play together – it’s how we’ve always done gaming and probably how we always will. We’re commensurate PC gamers and there’s no substitute for being within arm’s reach of someone who just exploded your head. They use PCs and put up with lugging them around. That’s fine for them, they have cars. I don’t, so being able to sling my gaming machine onto my back and literally pedal it across town is invaluable. As is being able to get Photoshop work for my other hobby, photography, done on 3-hour train journeys when I visit old friends in Sheffield.

      So, I paid £800 second-hand for a 3-month old machine that can easily equal the performance of a desktop machine with an i5 quad core, AMD 7870 GPU and Sandforce 2000-class SSD. It outperforms damn-near every one of my friends’ machines, but at something like a £300 premium over an equivalent desktop. Sure, I could have a desktop and a £300 laptop, but the laptop would be useless for Photoshop and the desktop wouldn’t go anywhere with me. It’s all about finding the compromise that works best for you.

      **For reference, my notebook is a 15″ Clevo P150HM. Some people would find it heavy but I’m used to 17″ devices, so it’s a revelation in portability for me.

      • link626
      • 7 years ago

      when the lenovo core i7quad Y580 can be had for $850 with a 1080p screen, having a separate desktop and stripped laptop doesn’t make as much sense.

      a similarly configured 2500k rig would cost about 300+40+40+80+50+50+100 = 660 give or take, with bluray burner and gpu.

      with the leftover money, you can’t even get a decent laptop.

      and when you need computing on the go, or just to move the pc around the house, even if it’s rare, you have full computing power.

      so even for seldom-mobile people, a laptop makes sense.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 7 years ago

    The 8800M series looks like a Radeon 7770 running at around 65-70% of the clock speed. Probably marginal for gaming at 1920×1080, but for all the 17″ bargain-basement laptops with 1600×900 (or 15″ with 1366×768) it’d be more than enough.

    The rest all has to be new silicon, or else it’s running a 7700-series GPU with close to half of the features disabled. That couldn’t possibly be economical for AMD.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      Think we might be seeing a desktop card belor the HD7750 based on those guys, then? Nothing down there from the current generation from either side.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        I would assume so, yeah.

    • Washer
    • 7 years ago

    I was seriously considering a laptop with a HD7970M inside it. The price was/is amazing given the performance level. Nearly GTX680M levels but usually $200~$300 cheaper (if an upgrade option, though I’ve seen a HD7970M in a $1100 laptop and the cheapest GTX680M was $1700+). However… I couldn’t pull the trigger. Review after review, forum thread after forum thread confirmed my worries. The HD7970M is a mess in terms of drivers. Enduro is so bad it’s almost universally considered a negative. So, it’s either deal with the issues of having a monster GPU always on in your laptop or see significant performance degradation and/or numerous bugs.

    “Luckily” I took so long making a decision that Nvidia released the MX update for the GTX675M, which made the decision for me.

    Still… really sucks. I had very high hopes for Kepler and GCN architecture mobile cards. In many ways they have lived up to to those high hopes. Except that one side is charging insane prices (Nvidia) and the other can’t deliver a competent GPU switching solution (AMD).

      • vargis14
      • 7 years ago

      But honestly who uses a desktop replacement laptop on the battery with a 100watt graphics card or 2 100 watt GPUs. The battery on those desktop replacements are basically a built in UPS.
      I don’t even see the need for a graphics switching solution on those beasts.

        • Washer
        • 7 years ago

        With graphics switching you can achieve 4+ hours of battery life on certain 17″ gaming laptops. The MSI model i settled on gets closer to 3 1/2 but I read many posts of Alienware M17x R4 owners getting above 4 hours. If the dedicated graphics are on you can expected less than half of that. It’s significant and meaningful.

        However, the far bigger issue is heat. When the dGPU is on significantly more heat is being generated. That means the palm rest and keyboard are almost always warmer than you want. It means the fan(s) are going to spin more and louder than necessary. Those are very annoying issues that greatly reduce the user experience.

        All that is avoided with GPU switching. Nvidia’s solution works, AMD’s doesn’t.

    • Helmore
    • 7 years ago

    Their branding is going to be a little confusing in the future, from what that roadmap seems to be indicating. What would they call that GPU in between the 8600M and 8700M? Or the 2 new chips about the 8800M?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Agreed. There are no numbers between 8600 and 8700, nor any above 8800. Whatever will AMD do?!?

        • anotherengineer
        • 7 years ago

        Maybe my Radeon 9800 Pro will come to life once again in another 2 yrs down the road 🙂

          • Disco
          • 7 years ago

          That might be worthy of a TR retrospective. Try to run some medium intensity games (HL2?) on both the old 9800, and on the new 9800 that should come out in a couple years (crossing fingers that AMD has not gone belly up by that time!). It would be interesting to see the actual delta in performance.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            April 1, 2013: Run benchmarks on the old 9800 and label it in graphs as the ‘9800’ 🙂 Don’t explain until the next day.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            2014? I was under the impession that the 8000 proper series was slated for next year.

            • TurtlePerson2
            • 7 years ago

            HL2 probably won’t run well on a 9800. It ran fine when it came out, but HL2 has since been updated to the Orange Box engine.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            If memory serves, I had an 8500 and tried to play HL with it. My monitor was 1600×1024. It was a slideshow even with everything cranked down. The CPU was a P4 era Celeron 1.7GHz. So, the 9800 should be able to play that version a good deal better especially with a real P4 and a better clock speed.

            It’s hard to guess what the changes to the source engine will do to the mix.

            • Disco
            • 7 years ago

            They’ll have to figure out how to make the platforms somewhat consistent (AGP vs PCI-E)

            • BestJinjo
            • 7 years ago

            8500 could only play HL2 smoothly at 800×600, maybe 1024×768 with overclocking and some setting turned down.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            I never got in the habbit of gaming at a non-native resolution on an LCD. But, these days, a massive upscale might not make a ton of difference. 🙂

            • BestJinjo
            • 7 years ago

            I had a CRT at the time.

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            I got a 17″ widescreen SGI LCD on a firesale. It was too good to pass up.

            • The Dark One
            • 7 years ago

            Hah, I played it with my GeForce2 Pro. I could eek out about 20fps with everything on low. The drivers were so bad that the map brushes would flicker in and out, and all that would be left were enemies, detail models and the skybox.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            HAX!

            • BestJinjo
            • 7 years ago

            I see I got downrated by uninformed people who never owned a Radeon 8500 and played HL2 with it. Everything under 5900XT can’t even get 30 fps in HL2 at 1024×768:

            [url<]http://www.3dnews.ru/documents/6947/ver1_2/HL2-vga-roundup.gif[/url<] P4 3.2ghz + Radeon 8500 64mb is unplayable at 1024x768 in HL2. Just to get > 50 fps at 1024x768 in HL2 with noAA/AF, you needed a card 2 generations above Radeon 8500: [url<]http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/NVIDIA/6800gs/images/hl2.gif[/url<]

            • anotherengineer
            • 7 years ago

            indeed, however since the source engine is cpu heavy you would have to use a cpu from the time of the 9800 pro to compare apples to apples, still be interesting to see.

      • chµck
      • 7 years ago

      replied to wrong thread…

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