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

Hitman: Absolution

Hitman Absolution Benchmark

The recent introduction of Hitman: Absolution gives us a new title for our suite with built-in benchmarking capabilities. Not only does it support DirectX 11, but the characters are really well-done. Although this title is available on consoles as well, there are a number of PC-only features (like higher texture resolution, higher shadow map resolution, and increased gesture resolution). DirectX 11-specific additions include global illumination, bokeh, tessellation, Eyefinity support, and HD3D support.

Even at Low quality, the Radeon HD 8790M demonstrates its advantage over the 7670M. With anti-aliasing disabled, it delivers 35% more performance than the 7670M at 1280x720.

The delta increases as resolution goes up, too. At 1920x1080, the Radeon HD 8790M outperforms the 7670M by 45%, delivering fairly playable performance where last generation's part doesn't. 

Enabling 2x anti-aliasing translates to a roughly 35% advantage favoring the Radeon HD 8790M across the board. At 1280x720, frame rates remain playable, but above that they aren't as viable. We're definitely still looking at mainstream hardware here.

The Ultra quality preset hammers that point home for us. No longer is the story about performance; it's now a matter of basic playability. Even at 1280x720 with no anti-aliasing applied, both mainstream GPUs struggle to serve up a smooth experience. Sure, the Radeon HD 8790M decimates its predecessor. But you're going to need to make some compromises when it comes to gaming on a less expensive low-power platform.

  • 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