$1100 MSI laptop packs Radeon HD 8970M, AMD claims fastest mobile GPU

By on May 15, 2013, 3:30 PM

In 2012, AMD began shipping its mobile line-up of Radeon HD 8000M-series just in time for the arrival of 2013. AMD unveiled today the latest addition to that mobile GPU family, its upcoming series of Radeon HD 8900M chips.  

The Radeon 8900M-series flagship, the 8970M, packs twice the number of stream processors found in its 8870M counterpart, giving it a total of 1280 stream processors (or 20 compute units). AMD's newest mobile powerhouse also boasts a speedier memory bus (GDDR5 @ 1.2GHz) and higher-clocked graphics core (850MHz).

In case you're curious to compare, the desktop variant of the HD 8970 (pdf) is expected to feature 2048 stream processors and a 1.5GHz memory bus. As mobile versions often are, the 8970M is scaled down from its a bigger brother but still remains a remarkable piece of equipment to cram inside a laptop-sized portable.

According to AMD's own benchmarks, its Radeon HD 8900M is up to 54 percent faster than Nvidia's best mobile offering, the Geforce GTX 680M. Of course, don't expect such claims to be based on entirely impartial testing though -- you can bet AMD probably isn't showing its worst results.

Coordinating with AMD's announcement, MSI will be launching a rejiggered line of GX70 laptops. GX70s destined to house AMD's highest-end mobile GPU are expected to arrive as soon as next month. The nearly nine-pound laptop will also come equipped with AMD's fastest Richland-based A10-5750M APU, a matte 17.3" 1080p display and a 7800mAH battery pack. One of the best features of this laptop has to be its price though: about $1100 MSRP.




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2 people like this | JC713 JC713 said:

The 780Ms 1536 cores will kill this. Bad move by AMD.

soldier1969 soldier1969 said:

Coming out with mobile gaming gpus before the desktop versions wtf? Like 3 people will actually buy one of these laps when compared to the 8000 series desktop cards...Bad decision.

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Mobile GPU wars, good for consumers! Let the battle continue so that we may all win.

Holyscrap said:

Coming out with mobile gaming gpus before the desktop versions wtf? Like 3 people will actually buy one of these laps when compared to the 8000 series desktop cards...Bad decision.

From what I hear AMD will jump directly to HD9000 series for desktop, the 8000s are OEM. NVidia did something similar in the past with the 300 series.

ETF Soldier ETF Soldier said:

The 780Ms 1536 cores will kill this. Bad move by AMD.

But an upside of AMD has and always will be the fact that they always manage to undercut Nvidia's prices, whether its by a negligible amount or by a lot. I can guarantee you that a Nvidia variant of this laptop would cost $100-$200 more.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

9 pound is not a laptop, it is a movable/mobile desktop.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The 780Ms 1536 cores will kill this. Bad move by AMD.

But an upside of AMD has and always will be the fact that they always manage to undercut Nvidia's prices, whether its by a negligible amount or by a lot. I can guarantee you that a Nvidia variant of this laptop would cost $100-$200 more.

Yet Nvidia never change there prices? It's because they don't need to, they have enough features and other things that consumers (including myself and others on here) we're prepared to pay the price for. That's all that needs to be said on this really, I know (and so does the rest of the world) Nvidia are more expensive, that's about all there is to it really, but its not a reason to not buy a more expensive version of this laptop with an Nivida chip in.

1 person liked this | VitalyT VitalyT said:

Yet Nvidia never change there prices? It's because they don't need to, they have enough features and other things that consumers (including myself and others on here) we're prepared to pay the price for.

The kind of logic that goes...

JC713 JC713 said:

Coming out with mobile gaming gpus before the desktop versions wtf? Like 3 people will actually buy one of these laps when compared to the 8000 series desktop cards...Bad decision.

They are really rebrands of the 7000 series, but with higher clock speeds and some adjustments.

But an upside of AMD has and always will be the fact that they always manage to undercut Nvidia's prices, whether its by a negligible amount or by a lot. I can guarantee you that a Nvidia variant of this laptop would cost $100-$200 more.

Yes, but still, they will lose their so called "performance crown".

9 pound is not a laptop, it is a movable/mobile desktop.

Yeah, that is what the Lenovo Y500 is for.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The kind of logic that goes...

Well it's part that, I personally go for Nvidia for the driver stability and compatibility, I've had way to many issues with ATI software, to be fair I don't know what ATI's latest drivers and software is like but the last card I had was a 5870 or something along those lines and the drivers were rubbish. I'm still using an Nvidia 285 and its running pretty well for its age, and I'm yet to meet the elusive (touch wood) driver crash dump screen from it.

To me, that's worth a premium.

JC713 JC713 said:

Drivers are the backbone, so yeah they are worth the premium if you care and know that knowledge. With the catalyst uninstall tool they now have, the drivers have been much more stable on my end. AMDs issue now is latency. Drivers can take care of that, but they need to start from scratch.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Well it's part that, I personally go for Nvidia for the driver stability and compatibility, I've had way to many issues with ATI software, to be fair I don't know what ATI's latest drivers and software is like but the last card I had was a 5870 or something along those lines and the drivers were rubbish.

To me, that's worth a premium.

Funny you should say that... I bought Radeon HD 5870 in the end of 2009 when it just came to the market. I never once had any problem with that and works today still. I bought it in a hurry along with the rest of the desktop components because my PC went caboom, on the account of, wait for it... my NVidia GTX 280 caught fire, spontaneously. The smoke that filled the room was really something, it really did smell like the $700 I paid for it when I bought it brand new. That's why I didn't buy NVidia cards since.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Funny you should say that... I bought Radeon HD 5870 in the end of 2009 when it just came to the market. I never once had any problem with that and works today still. I bought it in a hurry along with the rest of the desktop components because my PC went caboom, on the account of, wait for it... my NVidia GTX 280 caught fire, spontaneously. The smoke that filled the room was really something, it really did smell like the $700 I paid for it when I bought it brand new. That's why I didn't buy NVidia cards since.

Haha! That's awesome! I literally had the opposite thing happen to me!

Well on that bomb shell, I think we can safely conclude its just a "take my money" approach

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

9 pound is not a laptop, it is a movable/mobile desktop.

With gfx like that, I'm not surprised. You don't buy a laptop with this sort of GPU power and expect it to be as light as an ultrabook.

1 person liked this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

The 780Ms 1536 cores will kill this. Bad move by AMD.

The HD 8970M is just a HD 7970M (Pitcairn GPU) with a 50MHz bump in core speed, it's barely competitive (performance wise) with the GTX 680MX...and of course the soon to be released (if the sample on eBay at the moment is any indication) GTX 780M has its own 50MHz increase in core frequency (70+ w/ boost) should ensure that the status quo from last year remains- hopefully AMD have their Enduro better optimized this time around.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Yawn... it's a rebrand.

JC713 JC713 said:

The HD 8970M is just a HD 7970M (Pitcairn GPU) with a 50MHz bump in core speed, it's barely competitive (performance wise) with the GTX 680MX...and of course the soon to be released (if the sample on eBay at the moment is any indication) GTX 780M has its own 50MHz increase in core frequency (70+ w/ boost) should ensure that the status quo from last year remains- hopefully AMD have their Enduro better optimized this time around.

Enduro is really bad according to Ars or AnandTech (forgot which one). The new driver improves performance minimally, but for the most part, it makes for a glitchy part of the platform.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

From the article:

In case you're curious to compare, the desktop variant of the HD 8970 (pdf) is expected to feature 2048 stream processors and a 1.5GHz memory bus.

Which is straight cut and paste from the HD 7970 GHz Edition's specification

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

The 780Ms 1536 cores will kill this. Bad move by AMD.

In the tech world, no matter what anyone brings out, it'll be killed within a couple of days (if not hours) down the road by it's competitors.

havok585 havok585 said:

Well it's part that, I personally go for Nvidia for the driver stability and compatibility, I've had way to many issues with ATI software, to be fair I don't know what ATI's latest drivers and software is like but the last card I had was a 5870 or something along those lines and the drivers were rubbish.

To me, that's worth a premium.

Funny you should say that... I bought Radeon HD 5870 in the end of 2009 when it just came to the market. I never once had any problem with that and works today still. I bought it in a hurry along with the rest of the desktop components because my PC went caboom, on the account of, wait for it... my NVidia GTX 280 caught fire, spontaneously. The smoke that filled the room was really something, it really did smell like the $700 I paid for it when I bought it brand new. That's why I didn't buy NVidia cards since.

That's dumb, sorry but your logic or whatever reason u can get out of that experience is flawed.

U got yourself a bad product (faulty almost dead card to begin with, not nvidia's fault but the reseller/packager/transporter/ etc) so there was the possibility to change it for another model or AIC.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

That's dumb, sorry but your logic or whatever reason u can get out of that experience is flawed.

U got yourself a bad product (faulty almost dead card to begin with, not nvidia's fault but the reseller/packager/transporter/ etc) so there was the possibility to change it for another model or AIC.

Not as dumb as the logic of trusting an uber-expensive product after the first one ends up in flames, literally. And it wasn't a DOA product, it worked flawlessly for 1 year before someday just out of the blue it caught fire. The general consumer logic is that first you trust your own experience, and only then what others suggest.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I would love to see AMD go back to those cool as hell Dragon and Arachnid logo's/emblems they used to use.

Funny you should say that... I bought Radeon HD 5870 in the end of 2009 when it just came to the market. I never once had any problem with that and works today still. I bought it in a hurry along with the rest of the desktop components because my PC went caboom, on the account of, wait for it... my NVidia GTX 280 caught fire, spontaneously. The smoke that filled the room was really something, it really did smell like the $700 I paid for it when I bought it brand new. That's why I didn't buy NVidia cards since.
My GTX 280 ran a little warm too but some fabbed 120's fixed that. I have a friend who bought a pair of 2GB 5870's and he still rocks that setup/still has good power.

theBest11778 theBest11778 said:

I have personally had both an AMD (ATi,) and Nvidia card, going back to the 6800 GT (Nvidia,) and X800XL (ATi/AMD,) in desktops, and tried both in the notebook universe for the past 3 generations. It's pretty easy to see where both shine when you compare side by side on a yearly basis. Nvidia is better for legacy game support, automatic LCD scaling, and automatic audio switching (HDMI.) AMD/ATi always wins on price/performance, and lately + bundle. Especially in laptops. When a GTX 680 is selling for $500, you can get the 7970m for about $350. You lose the perks I mentioned above, which can be a pain at times, but overally you only lose 1-3% performance.

At the end of the day you have to ask if it's worth the extra money to make your life a bit easier. If you say yes, get Nvidia. If you play older PC games a lot (2003 or earlier,) get an Nvidia (a GT 630 would do you just fine . But if you like the latest AAA titles included, and save a few bucks, then go AMD.

The last card I had was the 7850 1GB. Got it in Nov. for $150, and got Far Cry 3 for free. So the card was really $100 as I was going to get the game anyway. With the card I could play everything at 1080P @ 45+ FPS. Not a bad deal. Before that I had a GTX 680. Cost me $500. It ruled everything, but sometimes you need money more than speed, so I sold it, got the 7850, paid off Christmas with the left overs, and got Far Cry 3. Everyone's situation is different.

JC713 JC713 said:

From the article:

Which is straight cut and paste from the HD 7970 GHz Edition's specification

Because for OEMs, it is a rebranded version of the 7970GHz edition. Bad move to keep the GHz edition tag for the 8000 series rebrand though. It will surely cause confusion.

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