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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-GD80
Test Hardware
ProcessorIntel Core i5-2500K (Sandy Bridge), 32 nm, 3.3 GHz, LGA 1155, 6 MB Shared L3, Turbo Boost Enabled
MotherboardMSI Z77A-GD80
MemoryKingston Hyper-X 8 GB (2 x 4 GB) DDR3-1333 @ DDR3-1333, 1.5 V
System DriveOCZ Vertex 3 240 GB SATA 6Gb/s
GraphicsAMD Radeon HD 7670M 1 GB GDDR5AMD Radeon HD 8790M 2 GB GDDR5
Power SupplySeasonic 760 W, 80 PLUS Gold
System Software and Drivers
Operating SystemWindows 7 x64 Ultimate
DirectXDirectX 11
DriverGraphics: Catalyst 9.011 beta RST: 11.5.0.1207 Virtu: 1.1.101
Benchmarks
Hitman Absolution1280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, Low and Ultra Quality Presets
Far Cry 31280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, Low and High Quality Presets
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim1280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, High and Ultra Quality Presets
World of Warcraft: Mists of PandariaDX11; 1280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, High and Ultra Quality Presets
Battlefield 31280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, Low and Extra Quality Presets
Call of Duty: Black Ops II1280x720, 1600x900, 1920x1080, Normal and Extra Quality Presets
LuxMarkv2.0, Sala Scene
CLBenchmarkv1.1.2, Physics SPH Fluid Simulation
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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).
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Novuake
    Second review I have seen that uses this module method. Interesting way of doing it. Thanks Toms and AMD.
    Reply
  • mayankleoboy1
    Nice preview, Aku and AMD.

    Though i suspect you and Chris already have large 'hints' about the HD8000 series performance, but under NDA.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • amuffin
    ackuIn the words of Sgt. Schultz "I know nothing." =_=Cheers,Andrew KuTom's Hardware
    That's what they all say! ;)
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply