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AMD Clarifies 2013 Radeon Plans

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 60 comments

AMD finally clarifies its plans for 2013 and its upcoming HD 8000 line of graphics cards

To begin with, there are two new code names in use: "Sea Islands" and "Solar System". The former refers to the Radeon HD 8000 of desktop graphics cards, while the latter refers to the mobile Radeon HD 8000M family, which we previewed in AMD Radeon HD 8790M: Next-Gen Mobile Mainstream Graphics Preview.

The HD 8000 series has been surrounded in rumors that paradoxically claim that they have been released whilst others deny its existence altogether. It turns out that both are true, since all existing Radeon HD 8000s (desktop and mobile) are based on the same GCN architecture already driving the Radeon HD 7000 line-ups. AMD does have new silicon on the mobile side powering its Radeon HD 8500M, 8600M, and 8700M GPUs. That part is code-named Mars, and it's the hardware we previewed late last year. Both Sea Islands- and Solar System-based solutions are OEM-only components, which the company claims will not be available for purchase in the channel.

AMD also noted that the Radeon HD 7900 series will remain on top of its stack until the end of 2013, and that there will be new 7000-series SKUs coming out this year. Representatives were not prepared to discuss where on the performance spectrum those parts might surface, though we'd certainly like to see the company design a 7990 able to combine the power of two Tahiti GPUs in a well-engineered package that addresses some of the acoustic issues we've encountered with its single-GPU boards.

For those worried about the break in design cadence and persistence of the first implementation of GCN, AMD's vice president of channel sales, Roy Taylor, had the following to say: "We have products, we have a road map. We are not announcing them now because we want to reposition the ones we have now. We are not sitting still, we do not lack resources, we do not lack imagination."

He also added that the reason AMD is not releasing any new parts this year is that "7000-series parts are continuing to ramp up, sales are increasing". The suggestion, of course, was that AMD has no intention of releasing new parts while its existing parts are selling well.

AMD believes it offers the best products on the market, Roy reiterated several times on the call. The company plans to spend 2013 working on its drivers, establishing relationships with gaming companies, and it may release a small number of new SKUs.

 

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Top Comments
  • 20 Hide
    horaciopz , February 20, 2013 5:54 PM
    i like the idea, better driver support for the actual gpu generation,so we can squish as much as possible our cards. Also we need games that can actually use all the power that todays cards have, i mean a 7850 can run everything at 1080p at high or even ultra so thats enough for most folks out there, including me lol
  • 20 Hide
    Maxx_Power , February 20, 2013 5:46 PM
    Well, the 7000 series are still darn good. However, I suspect AMD may have laid off too many people... Can't wait for GCN2.
  • 19 Hide
    blazorthon , February 20, 2013 7:08 PM
    ibjeeprThe problem can exist with single cards as well. My 5870 micro stuttered like crazy on WoW and I've seen others running Single 7xxx cards that do it as well. 13.2 drivers and V-sync fixed most of it but not all.


    Micro-stutter is a symptom of non-perfect timing between multiple GPUs in a Crossfire or SLI array. Single GPU cards don't get micro-stutter. They can have many other types of stutter such as sub-second variable frame rate and more, but not micro-stutter.
Other Comments
    Display all 60 comments.
  • 20 Hide
    Maxx_Power , February 20, 2013 5:46 PM
    Well, the 7000 series are still darn good. However, I suspect AMD may have laid off too many people... Can't wait for GCN2.
  • 18 Hide
    FinneousPJ , February 20, 2013 5:53 PM
    I'm glad if they're doing fine at AMD.
  • 20 Hide
    horaciopz , February 20, 2013 5:54 PM
    i like the idea, better driver support for the actual gpu generation,so we can squish as much as possible our cards. Also we need games that can actually use all the power that todays cards have, i mean a 7850 can run everything at 1080p at high or even ultra so thats enough for most folks out there, including me lol
  • 5 Hide
    warezme , February 20, 2013 5:54 PM
    spending money on drivers and hopefully interface is not a bad idea considering it has been using the same tired .net dependent catalyst menus and crappy control panel since like 2000.
  • 8 Hide
    ryan5609 , February 20, 2013 5:56 PM
    Good. Just bought a 7970 and I am glad it will not be completely outdated by years end. AMD built a good product with the 7000 series in general. AMD will remain competitive until Nvidia releases their 700 series, so what is the rush?
  • 10 Hide
    iknowhowtofixit , February 20, 2013 5:56 PM
    This is actually a good move by AMD, financially and strategy wise. They aren't showing their hand (like they did last generation). Obviously AMD feels that they can release a product line that competes directly with nVidia whenever nVidia chooses to release their next line of GPUs. They are probably concentrating more on pumping out chips for the upcoming consoles rather than release GPUs which will have no competition for 6 months.
  • 1 Hide
    ibjeepr , February 20, 2013 6:05 PM
    Well they must know something about what Nvidia is doing. Because even if sales of the 7xxx are good now they surely can't expect that to continue once Nvidia's 7xx comes out.

    AMD must figure:

    "Nvidia isn't going to do anything with their 7xx this year or the new 7xx isn't anthing we can't match with tweaks to our 7xxx so either way we can push the 8xxx to next year"

    Talk about leaving the door open if they don't have some inside info on Nvidia's plan.
  • 18 Hide
    bak0n , February 20, 2013 6:15 PM
    g-unit1111Please fix micro stuttering. Please fix micro stuttering. Please fix micro stuttering.


    That is an issue with crossfire AND sli. Its due to the "communication" between cards. If you don't like it, buy a single card. Either way, its not AMD's fault.
  • -2 Hide
    sykozis , February 20, 2013 6:17 PM
    Looks like someone used HardwareCanucks as a source..... Go read the article Anandtech posted....it's more fact, less opinion....
  • 19 Hide
    blazorthon , February 20, 2013 7:08 PM
    ibjeeprThe problem can exist with single cards as well. My 5870 micro stuttered like crazy on WoW and I've seen others running Single 7xxx cards that do it as well. 13.2 drivers and V-sync fixed most of it but not all.


    Micro-stutter is a symptom of non-perfect timing between multiple GPUs in a Crossfire or SLI array. Single GPU cards don't get micro-stutter. They can have many other types of stutter such as sub-second variable frame rate and more, but not micro-stutter.
  • 3 Hide
    realibrad , February 20, 2013 7:08 PM
    I think AMD is holding back their new GPUs because the consoles are launching soon. AMD makes an APU, and needs to sell those badly. If you release new GPUs, some will get them, and a new cpu which will likely be Intel. Why drive up pressure when they can use HD7000s and make more money.

    Why make the console APU look so weak, by releasing a gpu that blows it away? better to sell their APUs and get some money flowing into the CPU part of the company where AMD is hurting.
  • 1 Hide
    blazorthon , February 20, 2013 7:11 PM
    the great randiniI think i speak for gamers all over the globe when i say "BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO".


    It isn't the first time that AMD and Nvidia will have tweaked their architectures. Nvidia did well with Fermi and AMD did a fine job of it too with Radeon 6800 compared to Radeon 5000/6700/6600/6500/6400 and those are just recent examples.
  • -1 Hide
    ibjeepr , February 20, 2013 7:12 PM
    Quote:
    Micro-stutter is a symptom of non-perfect timing between multiple GPUs in a Crossfire or SLI array. Single GPU cards don't get micro-stutter. They can have many other types of stutter such as sub-second variable frame rate and more, but not micro-stutter.


    Ok fair enough but sub-second variable frame rate is commonly also refered to as micro-stutter.
  • 1 Hide
    InvalidError , February 20, 2013 7:16 PM
    ibjeeprThe problem can exist with single cards as well. My 5870 micro stuttered like crazy on WoW and I've seen others running Single 7xxx cards that do it as well.

    I do not remember seeing any significant amounts of stuttering in WoW with my HD5770 and almost everything at Ultra. Must be a new feature from 5.x - I haven't played after 4.3.

    The only time I remember seeing lots of stuttering in WoW was before I upgraded from 4GB to 8GB RAM, the reason being that 4GB does not leave enough RAM for the OS' disk cache to hold all recently accessed map data when flying around towns or crowded areas so the game ends up continuously reloading from HDD.
  • 3 Hide
    ibjeepr , February 20, 2013 7:21 PM
    Quote:
    I do not remember seeing any significant amounts of stuttering in WoW with my HD5770 and almost everything at Ultra. Must be a new feature from 5.x - I haven't played after 4.3.

    The only time I remember seeing lots of stuttering in WoW was before I upgraded from 4GB to 8GB RAM, the reason being that 4GB does not leave enough RAM for the OS' disk cache to hold all recently accessed map data when flying around towns or crowded areas so the game ends up continuously reloading from HDD.


    I don't recall seeing any "sub-second variable frame rate" (as it's been pointed out to me), on my HIS IceQ 5770 either. I have 12gb or ram so it isn't a system memory thing. If I remember correctly though, when AMD acknowledged the problem they said it was due to drivers and memory management on the cards.

    Edit: spelling and grammer...
  • 5 Hide
    blazorthon , February 20, 2013 7:25 PM
    Quote:
    I don't recall seeing any "sub-second variable frame rate" (as it's been pointed out to me), on my HIS IceQ 5770 either. I have 12gb or ram so it isn't a system memory thing. If I remember correctly though, when AMD acknowledged the problem the said it was do to drivers and memory management on the cards.


    That problem that AMD was referring to has since been fixed and it was an issue with some Radeon 7000 cards, mostly just Tahiti cards IIRC, not the older VLIW5 generation such as the Radeon 5770.
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