AMD Unveils Preliminary Radeon HD 8000M Series Details

AMD has just released some preliminary information regarding the company’s upcoming Radeon HD 8000M series of mobile GPUs. Based on the naming convention alone, it may obvious to many of you that the Radeon HD 8000M series is AMD’s second generation of products featuring the GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture, which debuted in the Radeon HD 7000 series. Like its predecessors, the Radeon HD 8000M series targets gamers with full DirectX 11.1 support and improved gaming performance over the previous-gen, but the architecture also lends itself to GPU compute applications as well.

AMD Radeon HD 8000M Series Summary

Architectural details are scarce at this time—more information will be available during the CES timeframe in a couple of weeks—but we do know that the Radeon HD 8000M series of products are based on new GPUs (not rebranded existing chips) manufactured using TSMCs 28nm process node. The chips have been tweaked for improved power efficiency and performance versus the previous generation, but what exactly AMD has changed or optimized remains unclear.

The Initial Line-up of Radeon HD 8000M Series GPUs

AMD Enduro switchable graphics technology, which launched with the Radeon HD 7000M series, returns with the HD 8000M series. While some features and functionality were missing from Enduro versus NVIDIA’s more mature Optimus technology, we’re told Enduro is being updated with some new or improved capabilities with 8000M series. We’re told Enduro will be able to automatically select the best graphics options based on performance or power efficiency and an enhanced set of features and adjustment tools will be available to enthusiasts who like to tweak things manually.

The Radeon HD 8500M, 8600M, 8700M, and 8800M -- Four Products, Two Chips

As we’ve mentioned, more information regarding the Radeon HD 8000M series will be available in a few weeks, but we do have some early specifications of a few members of the gamily. As you can see in the images above, all of the GPUs support DX11.1. The Radeon HD 8500M sports 384 Stream Processors with an Engine Clock up to 650MHz; the memory clock will vary based on the use of GDDR3 or GDDR5 memory. The Radeon HD 8600M is essentially the same, but with a slightly higher Engine Clock up to 775MHz. The Radeon HD 8700M is also based on the same GPU, but will be clocked at up to 850MHz, for a further increase in performance over the 8600M.

The Radeon HD 8800M series, however, is based on a larger, more powerful chip. The Radeon HD 8800M series will sport 640 Stream Processors with an engine clock of up to 700MHz. GDDR5 memory will be used exclusively, at speeds up to 1125MHz.

Performance Data Provided by AMD

We plan to post up some in-house benchmarks once we have our hands on shipping hardware, but for now AMD has provided some comparisons versus previous-gen products. As you can see, the Radeon HD 8770M offers huge gains in performance versus the Radeon HD 7670M. And the Radeon HD 8690M similarly demolishes the Radeon HD 7950M.

We’re told AMD will announce more members of the Radeon HD 8000M series in Q1, along with a number of design wins, so stay tuned.