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General Purpose Compute

AMD Radeon HD 8790M: Next-Gen Mobile Mainstream Graphics Preview
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One of the most attractive qualities of AMD's GCN architecture is its alacrity in compute-optimized applications, particularly now that we've seen Nvidia go the other direction with its Kepler design. The Mars- and Venus-based Radeon HD 8000M-based parts employ the same GCN pedigree, and AMD is adamant that they share similar advantages general-purpose applications able to exploit OpenCL.

So, our plan was to run a handful of synthetic tests, WinZip 17, our OpenCL-enabled Photoshop CS6 benchmark, and the Wireless Security Auditor. Testing hit a snare when we discovered certain applications returned OpenCL initialization errors. More than likely, this is a driver issue, and although AMD wasn't able to book the lab time to confirm, this is a preview, after all. Naturally, we expect these tests to run by the time Radeon HD 8000M-series hardware ships.

Although the real-world tests wouldn't complete for us, the synthetics did, strangely enough. In both LuxMark and CLBenchmark, our Core i5-2500K managed to turn back better benchmark results than the Radeon HD 7670M. But the 8790M blows them both out of the water. Particularly on mainstream 15" notebooks with much less potent CPUs than our 95 W Core i5, that could translate to a significant speed-up in OpenCL-optimized applications.

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  • 30 Hide
    acku , December 21, 2012 4:21 AM
    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
  • 22 Hide
    shikamaru31789 , December 21, 2012 3:41 AM
    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.
  • 18 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , December 21, 2012 3:45 AM
    Nice preview, Aku and AMD.

    Though i suspect you and Chris already have large 'hints' about the HD8000 series performance, but under NDA.
Other Comments
  • 22 Hide
    shikamaru31789 , December 21, 2012 3:41 AM
    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.
  • 1 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 21, 2012 3:42 AM
    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).
  • 15 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 21, 2012 3:44 AM
    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.
  • 10 Hide
    Novuake , December 21, 2012 3:44 AM
    Second review I have seen that uses this module method. Interesting way of doing it. Thanks Toms and AMD.
  • 18 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , December 21, 2012 3:45 AM
    Nice preview, Aku and AMD.

    Though i suspect you and Chris already have large 'hints' about the HD8000 series performance, but under NDA.
  • 1 Hide
    SteelCity1981 , December 21, 2012 3:52 AM
    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.
  • 30 Hide
    acku , December 21, 2012 4:21 AM
    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
  • 12 Hide
    amuffin , December 21, 2012 4:42 AM
    ackuIn the words of Sgt. Schultz "I know nothing." =_=Cheers,Andrew KuTom's Hardware


    That's what they all say! ;) 
  • 2 Hide
    Robert Pankiw , December 21, 2012 4:47 AM
    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.
  • -4 Hide
    A Bad Day , December 21, 2012 5:33 AM
    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.
  • 5 Hide
    acku , December 21, 2012 5:55 AM
    Yeah. There's no CrossFire here.
  • 7 Hide
    silverblue , December 21, 2012 5:56 AM
    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?
  • 8 Hide
    acku , December 21, 2012 6:01 AM
    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.
  • 5 Hide
    silverblue , December 21, 2012 6:03 AM
    Very true. Just curious, though. :) 
  • 9 Hide
    acku , December 21, 2012 6:09 AM
    silverblueVery true. Just curious, though.

    Hell I wanted to show numbers, but I think it would be premature and possibly misleading.
  • 3 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , December 21, 2012 6:13 AM
    So how does this chip compare to GT3 of Haswell ? :whistle: 
  • 2 Hide
    silverblue , December 21, 2012 6:14 AM
    Now, now... :D 
  • 7 Hide
    ojas , December 21, 2012 6:36 AM
    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 
  • 5 Hide
    ojas , December 21, 2012 6:42 AM
    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.
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