AMD Radeon HD 8790M: Next-Gen Mobile Mainstream Graphics Preview

Test Setup And Benchmarks

Again, because the new Radeon HD 8000M-series GPUs aren't yet shipping in notebooks, we're using a desktop-oriented setup with a PCI Express interposer to preview the performance of AMD's GCN-enabled mainstream mobile graphics processors. Although we could have used an overclocked Core i7-3770K to crush the potential of a platform-oriented bottleneck, we stepped down to a Core i5-2500K instead. Though still fast, this part running at its stock settings is perhaps a better match to the performance of what you might find in a notebook (even if its 95 W TDP is way out of bounds).

MSI Z77A-GD80MSI Z77A-GD80

Test Hardware
Processor
Intel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 3.3 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
Motherboard
MSI Z77A-GD80
Memory
Kingston Hyper-X 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
System Drive
OCZ Vertex 3 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s
Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 7670M 1 GB GDDR5
AMD Radeon HD 8790M 2 GB GDDR5
Power Supply
Seasonic 760 W, 80 PLUS Gold
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectX
DirectX 11
DriverGraphics: Catalyst 9.011 beta
RST: 11.5.0.1207
Virtu: 1.1.101
Benchmarks
Hitman Absolution
1280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, Low and Ultra Quality Presets
Far Cry 3
1280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, Low and High Quality Presets
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
1280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, High and Ultra Quality Presets
World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria
DX11; 1280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, High and Ultra Quality Presets
Battlefield 3
1280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, Low and Extra Quality Presets
Call of Duty: Black Ops II
1280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, Normal and Extra Quality Presets
LuxMark
v2.0, Sala Scene
CLBenchmark
v1.1.2, Physics SPH Fluid Simulation
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    Top Comments
  • acku
    mayankleoboy1Nice preview, Aku and AMD.Though i suspect you and Chris already have large 'hints' about the HD8000 series performance, but under NDA.


    In the words of Sgt. Schultz "I know nothing." =_=

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    Tom's Hardware
    30
  • shikamaru31789
    Wow, can't say I expected to see any 8000 series/700 series benchmarks for at least a few months. Looks prettyimpressive for a mobile GPU, can't wait to see what the high end mobile and desktop cards can do.
    22
  • mayankleoboy1
    Nice preview, Aku and AMD.

    Though i suspect you and Chris already have large 'hints' about the HD8000 series performance, but under NDA.
    18
  • Other Comments
  • shikamaru31789
    Wow, can't say I expected to see any 8000 series/700 series benchmarks for at least a few months. Looks prettyimpressive for a mobile GPU, can't wait to see what the high end mobile and desktop cards can do.
    22
  • A Bad Day
    Sometimes I wonder why instead of CFing or SLIing two high end mobile GPUs, a desktop GPU would've achieved the same performance but without the stuttering or driver issues.

    And if thermal management is an issue, then the desktop GPUs could always be undervolted (but of course more expensive because of the extra step).
    1
  • A Bad Day
    Also, I'm interested to see if the MxM cards of the 8000s are available for retail purchase. I'd like to buy a 15" laptop that supports MxM and is on sale, and swap out the weak GPU.
    15
  • Novuake
    Second review I have seen that uses this module method. Interesting way of doing it. Thanks Toms and AMD.
    10
  • mayankleoboy1
    Nice preview, Aku and AMD.

    Though i suspect you and Chris already have large 'hints' about the HD8000 series performance, but under NDA.
    18
  • SteelCity1981
    looks like the value brand hit the end of the line with the 7000m series and id expect that with the APU's becoming the standard now for value graphics.
    1
  • acku
    mayankleoboy1Nice preview, Aku and AMD.Though i suspect you and Chris already have large 'hints' about the HD8000 series performance, but under NDA.


    In the words of Sgt. Schultz "I know nothing." =_=

    Cheers,
    Andrew Ku
    Tom's Hardware
    30
  • amuffin
    ackuIn the words of Sgt. Schultz "I know nothing." =_=Cheers,Andrew KuTom's Hardware


    That's what they all say! ;)
    12
  • Robert Pankiw
    A Bad DaySometimes I wonder why instead of CFing or SLIing two high end mobile GPUs, a desktop GPU would've achieved the same performance but without the stuttering or driver issues. And if thermal management is an issue, then the desktop GPUs could always be undervolted (but of course more expensive because of the extra step).


    If you look, there is only one chip (shown on this page) which means it is not being CrossFired. I agree that 8780M would be a better name than 8790M. Andrew Ku, maybe on the front page you can clarify this?

    About using desktop parts, it is my understanding that they sometimes do exactly that. Take the 7970M, which as far as I can tell, is an 78XX part (I forget which one) except the mobile chip has MUCH higher binning than the desktop 78XX.
    2
  • A Bad Day
    If the 7970M uses two 78XX, why not use a highly binned and undervolted 79XX? Again, better driver stability, more supports from games, more consistent performance scaling, and less micro-stuttering.
    -4
  • acku
    Yeah. There's no CrossFire here.
    5
  • silverblue
    Interesting to see a relatively detailed preview this far ahead of launch. AMD should be doing this more - thanks to both parties. I was wondering - why not connect a power meter up and test the desktop setup? Would it be too prone to variation?
    7
  • acku
    Cause it's not even final silicon. And power is always going to be a function of that and shipping clock speeds, which we don't know yet.
    8
  • silverblue
    Very true. Just curious, though. :)
    5
  • acku
    silverblueVery true. Just curious, though.

    Hell I wanted to show numbers, but I think it would be premature and possibly misleading.
    9
  • mayankleoboy1
    So how does this chip compare to GT3 of Haswell ? :whistle:
    3
  • silverblue
    Now, now... :D
    2
  • ojas
    mayankleoboy1Nice preview, Aku and AMD.Though i suspect you and Chris already have large 'hints' about the HD8000 series performance, but under NDA.

    They even have Haswell chips floating around their office(s), I just know it :D
    7
  • ojas
    BTW good call using Hitman, hope we see it more often.

    Not because it's an ohmygodbestgameever type of game (has a few issues), but it is good for performance benchmarking.
    5
  • JOSHSKORN
    And how does this compare to a GTX 680?
    -11