Not everyone was on board with AMD
's decision to scoop up ATI for some $5.4 billion back in 2006. There were some who thought it was a brilliant acquisition, and many who questioned whether or not AMD had fallen off its rocker, perhaps for good with such a hefty investment. We now know that those in the former camp had the better hindsight, a point that's once again underscored with the release of AMD's Radeon HD 6990M mobile graphics processor, which is only the fastest single mobile GPU on the planet, according to AMD.
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AMD's not trying to blow smoke up anyone's backside. This bad boy packs an obscene feature-set for mobile platforms, including 1.7 billion transistors, 1,120 stream processors, a 715MHz engine clockspeed, and 2GB of GDDR5 memory clocked at 900MHz on a 256-bit memory bus. That translates into 1.6 TFLOPs of raw compute power, and over 115GB/s of memory bandwidth.
"There's always been a belief that when it comes to mobile computing you need to make performance compromises. Today AMD demolishes that myth," said Matt Skynner, corporate vice president and general manager, GPU division, AMD. "The AMD Radeon HD 6990M GPU, which not only packs AMD Eyefinity technology with unprecedented specs, also provides full Microsoft DirectX 11 and Stereo 3D support. Bottom line, this processor is epic and it's here -- now."
Click for high res. Source: AMD
AMD says its new HD 6990M raises the bar from both a performance and image quality perspective compared to its Radeon HD 6970M, but let's be real, what everyone really wants to know is how it compares to Nvidia's flagship mobile part, the GeForce GTX 580M. We'll answer that question ourselves in due time, but for now, AMD claims the HD 6990M is up to 25 percent faster than any other announced notebook enthusiast GPU. AMD didn't dance around the topic, making direct comparisons to Nvidia's 580M with numerous benchmarks from tests conducted at AMD's own labs at 1920x1080. Some of the highlights of AMD's findings include:
- 26.82 percent faster in ET: Quake Wars at 8xAA/16xAF
- 23.69 percent faster in Dragon Age 2 at 4xAA/16xAF
- 16.85 percent faster in Batman: Arkham Asylum at 4xAA/16xAF
- 16.59 percent faster in Wolfenstein MP at 8xAA/16xAF
Again, we have to emphasize that these are AMD's own internal benchmarks and not our own. However, we'll be able to examine performance soon enough, as a number of notebook makers announced plans to launch machines built around the 6990M, including Alienware (M18x), Clevo (X7200, P170HM, P150HM), and Eurocom.