AMD has extended its line-up of mobile GPUs with a few brand-new models filed under its latest class of Radeon: the HD 8000M-series. The new chips deliver better performance, but are expected to do so with reduced power consumption, lower thermals and prices similar to their HD 7000M-based predecessors.
A Radeon HD 8700M trounces a GeForce 650M G5 in a variety
of internal (i.e. possibly somewhat exaggerated) AMD benchmarks.
The new line-up will feature an entirely 28nm-based Graphics Core Next (GCN) architecture. It's interesting to note this is not exactly a die shrink, as AMD's highest-end 7000M offerings were already 28nm; however, most of its 7000M line-up remains 40nm. Being GCN-based means all HD 8000M models will feature full Direct X 11.1 support and utilize ZeroCore, a technology which essentially powers down unused cores in an effort to save energy.
Equipped with a Radeon HD 8555M GPU, the Asus Vivobook U38DT currently being sold in Germany is the first notebook to see 8000M-series silicon. The 8500 series features an "up to" 650MHz core with 384 stream processors and the option of either GDDR3 @1125MHz or DDR3 @1000MHz.
Other GPUs set to be released soon include 8600M series models (384 stream processors, 725/1125MHz), 8700 series models (384 stream processors, 850/1125MHz) and a higher-end 8700M series which boasts 640 stream processors, 700MHz core and exclusively uses GDDR5.
The highest-end models are likely to turn up in Q2, which will take aim at uncompromising gamers and enthusiasts.