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AMD's Mobility Radeon HD 6970 In CrossFire On Eurocom's Panther

AMD’s Radeon HD 6970M

We’re glad to see that even AMD is referring to its new mobile modules by the shorter “Radeon HD 6970M” moniker, as the original “Mobility Radeon HD 6970” naming scheme was terribly wordy. We’re even willing to overlook any similarities to the naming practices of its competitor, for the sake of brevity.

Speaking of similarities, Eurocom thought that Nvidia’s GTX 470M SLI would so closely-match the performance levels of AMD’s Radeon HD 6970M in CrossFire that it included a pair of each for today’s tests. If the performance is indeed similar, AMD will take the performance-value win with a colossal $219 price advantage.

A surprisingly-small die comes not from a shrink in die process, but the use of a less complex GPU. A closer look at the Radeon HD 6970M’s specs indicates that its “Blackcomb XT” is nothing more than an underclocked Radeon HD 6850 desktop part, indicating that it's based on the older VLIW5 architecture, and not the company's newer VLIW4 arrangement.

Desktop vs Mobility Radeon Graphics
Desktop Radeon HD 6970Desktop Radeon HD 6850Radeon HD 6970M
Transistors2.64 billion1.7 billion1.7 billion
Engine Clock880 MHz775 MHz680 MHz
Shader (ALUs)1536960960
Texture Units964848
ROP Units323232
Compute Performance2.7 TFLOPS1.49 TFLOPS1.3 TFLOPS
DRAM TypeGDDR5-5500GDDR5-4000GDDR5-3600
DRAM Interface256-bits256-bits256-bits
Memory Bandwidth176 GB/s128 GB/s115.2 GB/s
TDP250 W127 W100 W

AMD isn’t the only one still playing the horrid name game with its notebook parts, as Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 470M appears to be nothing more than an underclocked GeForce GTX 460 SE, priced around 3x higher, without the fancy heat sinks and brackets that a desktop card must include.

Desktop vs Mobile GeForce Graphics
Desktop GeForce GTX 470Desktop GeForce GTX 460 SEGeForce GTX 470M
Transistors3 billion1.95 billion1.95 billion
Engine Clock607 MHz650 MHz535 MHz
CUDA Cores448288288
Texture Units564848
ROP Units403224
Compute Performance1.09 TFLOPS855 GFLOPS634 GFLOPS
DRAM TypeGDDR5-3348GDDR5-3400GDDR5-3000
DRAM Interface320-bits256-bits192-bits
Memory Bandwidth133.9 GB/s108.8 GB/s72 GB/s
TDP215 W150 W50 W (GPU Only)

Note that AMD lists TDP for a complete card, while Nvidia lists it for the GPU alone. We expect actual power consumption to be somewhat similar from the complete modules.

  • haxs101
    5292$... Are you kidding me!!
    Reply
  • dogman_1234
    Yikes!
    Reply
  • Crashman
    dogman_1234Yikes!What, you don't have a $180,000 car sitting in front of your $5m mansion?
    Reply
  • fstrthnu
    This is even more absurd than the other recent power gaming notebook that was tested. You could save almost $500 by using Sandy Bridge instead of the old i7s, for the same performance. Even Falcon Mach V's usually don't get this expensive. This is absolutely ridiculous
    Reply
  • Crashman
    fstrthnuThis is even more absurd than the other recent power gaming notebook that was tested. You could save almost $500 by using Sandy Bridge instead of the old i7s, for the same performance. Even Falcon Mach V's usually don't get this expensive. This is absolutely ridiculousNo you couldn't. Because as of CES when these cards launched, nobody produced a dual-graphics module chassis for the Sandy Bridge.
    Reply
  • one-shot
    There are the battery life graphs that I love! Thanks for adding those to the laptop review! My first laptop was a P4 Northwood that barely got 90 minutes of battery life. This one is insane!
    Reply
  • _Pez_
    Insane and impossible to get and pay in Mëxico :( ....
    Reply
  • Maziar
    First of all,great review ! I was desperately waiting for 6970M review from Tom's.
    The overall performance is quite good especially in single mode which it's faster than both GTX 470M/480M.I think if AMD pays more attention to mobile drivers, then 2 of this cards should perform better.
    About the price,well not everyone configures the laptop with i7 980x.Websites usually test the high-end specs in order to reduce the bottleneck and let the laptop run at its full potential.
    I've read that Sager will soon release a model with mobile Sandy bridge CPUs along with 1 6970M and it won't be very expensive I think.
    Reply
  • tacoslave
    CrashmanWhat, you don't have a $180,000 car sitting in front of your $5m mansion?
    Duh of course, we all do but i mean 32 bedrooms IS kinda small. On a serious note, wtf 5k seriously? I could build a desktop and hook it up to a small generator for 1.5k and get at least 4 hours of power than pay 5k for 20min Fuk that $hit.
    Reply
  • christop
    Who is buying this? I bet it weights 50 lbs. Nice battery life of 22 minutes.
    Reply