Late last year, when the Radeon HD 8000M series was announced, AMD alluded to upcoming, higher-end offerings that would be out later in 2013. Well, we're now later in 2013, and AMD has just released one of those higher-end parts: the Radeon HD 8970M.
The Radeon HD 8970M features 1280 shader ALUs, an 850MHz core clock (900MHz with boost), a 256-bit memory interface, and 2GB of GDDR5 RAM that pushes bits at 4.8 GT/s. The chip can filter 80 texels and process 32 ROP pixels per clock cycle. All in all, AMD says the 8790M can deliver 2.3 teraflops of single-precision floating-point power and 153.6GB/s of memory bandwidth.
If this all sounds familiar, it's because the 8970M is based on the same GPU as the Radeon HD 7970M that was introduced a year ago. As far as I can tell, the only difference is that the 7970M was pegged at 850MHz with no boost state, while the 8970M can sprint at up to 900MHz if thermal and power constraints allow. As a result, the 7970M's floating-point power was a slightly more modest 2.2 teraflops, and other peak rates were a little lower, as well.
AMD claims that the Radeon HD 8790M outpaces Nvidia's mobile flagship, the GeForce GTX 680M, in major titles like Battlefield 3, Crysis 3, Far Cry 3, and Tomb Raider. You can expect to find the 8970M in high-end gaming laptops including MSI's GX70, which couples the newcomer with an AMD A10 processor and a 17" 1080p display.