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AMD Releases Radeon HD 8970M Mobile GPU

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 14 comments

AMD is launching its Radeon HD 8970M discrete mobile graphics card.

Today, AMD has officially announced the arrival of the Radeon HD 8900M Series mobile graphics cards. The new chip that AMD is releasing is the Radeon HD 8970M GPU.

The Radeon HD 8970M GPU will feature 1280 stream processors, 80 TMUs, 128 Z/Stencil ROPs, and 32 Color ROPs. The GPU will have a base clock speed of 850 MHz, with a Boost speed of 900 MHz. The card will pack 2 GB of GDDR5 memory that runs at an effective speed of 4.8 GHz over a 256-bit memory interface. The HD 8970M is simply a rebrand of the original HD 7970M. The only difference appears to be the added Boost technology, which brings the maximum stock clock speed up to 900 MHz. Regardless, the card's single precision compute power has gone up to 2304 GFlops.

Regarding the performance, AMD boasts a handful of numbers compared to the GTX 680M. For instance, Tomb Raider with TressFX off runs 54 percent faster, Bioshock Infinite runs 42 percent faster, Crysis 3 runs 12 percent faster, and 3DMark FireStrike scores 21 percent higher.

Tagging along with the release is MSI's GX70 gaming notebook. The notebook features an A10-series quad-core CPU, the HD 8970M discrete graphics card, Killer networking, and a 17" FullHD anti-glare LCD panel. It even supports Eyefinity. There is no official word on precise availability, but pricing for the GX70 notebook is expected to be around €1250.

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  • 3 Hide
    Cryio , May 15, 2013 3:38 AM
    Best laptop for a future college freshman.
  • 7 Hide
    beoza , May 15, 2013 4:12 AM
    laststop311 I have no idea what you're talking about by 2 or 3 major headaches with Mobile Radeon Graphics. I've never had any problems with mine nor has any of my family members or friends who own laptops with Radeons in them. Only issues I know of are certain manufacturers like Toshiba and Sony using custom drivers so you cant use the driver from AMD. Yes Nvidia drivers are more polished, but AMD drivers improve with each release.
  • 5 Hide
    silverblue , May 15, 2013 4:28 AM
    The 7970M used to be significantly crippled by its drivers. Credit where credit is due for turning it around, though you cannot help but wonder why they launched a flagship with such poorly performing drivers in the first place. You could also say that the 8970M launch is what the 7970M should've been to begin with - at least the drivers are mature now.
    I'm expecting NVIDIA's new flagship to handily beat this, though, albeit at a significantly higher price.
  • 3 Hide
    joytech22 , May 15, 2013 4:31 AM
    Laststop311, driver issues are basically a thing from 2006..
    I own an Alienware M17X with a Radeon 7970M and drivers are absolutely fine.
    Except that I sometimes get confused with whether or not I need Enduro drivers or not.
  • -1 Hide
    Arkos , May 15, 2013 6:02 AM
    Actually It's already been documented recently that AMD has driver issues with driver perforamnce evaluating with the better methods to determine graphics card performance so it's actually as recent as 2012-2013ish. In terms of drivers right now they're okay but enduro drivers are pretty crappy which is why laststop311 may be telling people to stay away from Radeon mobile drivers. At least in the winter enduro drivers WERE a huge headache for peopole.
  • 0 Hide
    johnwck , May 15, 2013 6:03 AM
    This is just what I need, I will get one of these when they are available, it doesn't have the single-trackpad button of the 15.4 msi. Will this cpu be fine for future games of the next 12 months?
  • 1 Hide
    jn77 , May 15, 2013 6:52 AM
    Lastop311 has no clue what he is talking about.... Last time I used a GForce card was when they had the GPU calculation problem and Nvidia denied it for something like 4 years until a class action lawsuit was issued against them and they had to come clean and replace the messed up cards for people that bought them.
    If he wants to support a company that builds hardware that does not work and then a company that lies about it, go right ahead.
  • 1 Hide
    flowingbass , May 15, 2013 7:03 AM
    @laststop311, i dont want this to appear as AMD fanboys smothering you, but as an owner of a two year old MSi GX660r with a HD 5870M, i only had 1 issue with AMD drivers, and that issue wasn't about gaming performance or game stability, it was about you tube videos freezing when using chrome back in catalyst 11.8. And thats that.
    Beyond 11.8, i had no problems at all. Ever.
  • 1 Hide
    happyballz , May 15, 2013 12:13 PM
    Quote:
    laststop311 I have no idea what you're talking about by 2 or 3 major headaches with Mobile Radeon Graphics. I've never had any problems with mine nor has any of my family members or friends who own laptops with Radeons in them. Only issues I know of are certain manufacturers like Toshiba and Sony using custom drivers so you cant use the driver from AMD. Yes Nvidia drivers are more polished, but AMD drivers improve with each release.


    I do not know why the other guy down-voted so much but... usually mobile graphics drivers fall on the laptop manufacturer. With my experience he is dead-on as far as HP drivers go. Their drivers for 6970m were "borrowed" from an earlier edition GPU that had insane compatibility problems. Games would constantly freeze, black screens and etc. Automatic transition from intel GPU to Radeon never worked, even if you disabled intel GPU and forced only to use radeon as the default. There was a large outcry on the internet and twitter/facebook but HP did nothing at all short of exchanging your laptop for another model within 30 days, after 30 days you were SOL. After emailing AMD/ATI they straight out said that it is the responsibility of laptop manufacturer to provide and "brew" their own drivers for their laptops.

    HP never fixed problems with their videocard drivers to this day! There was sooo much frustration that people started to release their own 3rd party modified drivers to alleviate HP's lack of care. I forgot the website but can look it up if needed.

    ATI/AMD really needs to start cracking the whip on lazy companies like HP; they make them look bad even though they are not directly related.
  • 2 Hide
    somebodyspecial , May 15, 2013 12:20 PM
    For all the NV haters that say 700 series is a rebrand and how awful that is (though the 780 is NOT, it's titan with a few bad cores disabled most likely).
    This is just terrible that AMD rebrands stuff. I mean NV never does this. I can't believe the BALLS of AMD to pull these shenanigans. I will never buy AMD again, I hope they go out of business...
    /sarcasm
    Both sides do it. Get OVER it. I guess they forgot to mention 780m is already in haswell laptop leaks ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    flowingbass , May 15, 2013 3:01 PM
    I always get my drivers directly from AMD website. Wether its for my MSi GX660r or HP G-42 372TX which has a 5470M.
    It saves me a lot of hunting, as i only have to download once and install on two machines.
  • 1 Hide
    somebodyspecial , May 15, 2013 7:25 PM
    Quote:
    Laststop311, driver issues are basically a thing from 2006..
    I own an Alienware M17X with a Radeon 7970M and drivers are absolutely fine.
    Except that I sometimes get confused with whether or not I need Enduro drivers or not.


    As the other guy noted, AMD has problems with drivers. I'll go further and say both on desktop & mobile:
    http://www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Update-Radeon-HD-7970M-vs-GeForce-GTX-680M.87744.0.html
    "Nearly 60,000 hits and more than 1,200 comments on 80+ pages: Our forum thread »Radeon HD 7970M problems« proves that AMD's mobile high-end graphics card was even months after its launch anything but mature."

    80 pages of complaints doesn't lie and this is still having issues with their rehash. They even note some crap STILL is the same from the first time they did the review a year earlier.
    "Although AMD promised optimizations, the improvements were only small. Despite several performance gains and bug fixes, the graphics card never worked completely as it was advertised. Only since Catalyst 12.11 Beta, which brought some innovations, did it begin to function reasonably well, but still not without its problems."

    His point is valid. You may have had a great experience, but TONS of people would beg to differ. Maybe they'll get it right with the rebadge eventually. It's just beginning to function well?

    "Although Nvidia's Optimus technology still performs better (Optimus is more reliable and features more visual notifications and comfortable functions), Enduro is now fairly useful."

    Well, at least they are FAIRLY useful now. See the point? Just fairly useful though.

    "Overall, the driver development is decent, but still requires improvements in some aspects. The following table lists the major fixes and what still needs more attention:"

    I'll refrain from posting the table but you see where I'm going here...

    "However, Enduro is still inferior to Optimus on almost all levels despite the small optimizations."

    "The GeForce GTX 680M can only justify its higher price to some extent. The reader has to decide whether the superior energy efficiency, bigger feature set (3D Vision, PhysX etc.), and better driver support are worth the surcharge."

    The surcharge means nothing if I don't have to live with problems for over a year that still are not fixed as shown. Features are just a bonus. As a gamer it's Drivers, Drivers, Drivers, just like in business it's location, location, location ;)  Glad you don't depend on enduro, or you'd be in their forum making comments too :)  I love AMD, but wouldn't currently buy their laptop stuff or desktop until I see prototype, and will likely go NV for maxwell due to this last year alone. I require a product that works correctly, and don't want to wait a year for the beta testing to be over.
  • 0 Hide
    oraygungor , May 16, 2013 7:07 AM
    Lol Memory speed is Mhz? Typo?