Leading up to CES, AMD has briefed us along with some other select press regarding their latest developments in their mobile graphics chip business. The conference call with Jay Marsden went quite well with a few details unfortunately being withheld until a later date (closer to CES).
Based upon the information we were provided with, we were told that these chips would be similar to the last generation of the 7000 series of desktop cards in terms of GCN Architecture. However, these chips are not a re-brand of the HD 7000M series, but rather new chips with the latest iteration of AMD's GCN with some tweaks for more power optimization and clock speed as well as improvements for their switchable graphics Enduro technology.
Currently, AMD is showing off the Venus based family of mobile GPUs which are all based on the Radeon HD 8800M and then cut down into lower versions. The Radeon HD 8800M features 640 stream processors, a variable clockspeed between 650 and 700 MHz as well as a memory clock speed of up to 1125MHz on GDDR5. AMD claims performance figures of 992 GFLOPS single precision and 62 GFLOPS in double precision, clearly indicating that this is a gaming architecture. All four of the GPUs based on the Venus family of Solar generation GPUs will fully support DX 11.1 unlike Nvidia at the current moment.
In addition to that, AMD provided some preliminary performance figures comparing themselves (Radeon HD 8870M) against the Kepler generation GeForce 650M with GDDR5, which we found quite odd once you look at the placement of the GeForce 650M in Nvidia's mobile offerings versus the AMD Radeon 8870M. We're not sure where AMD is trying to go with this figure, but we figure there are more accurate comparisons to make, especially if you're going to compare against your competitor's lowest offering in their latest generation of mobile GPUs. Not to mention, the HD 8870 will technically be AMD's fastest GPU offering of the latest generation and they're comparing it to a GeForce 650M.
If you look at AMD's roadmap for 2013, you can see that they actually intend to position the HD 8800M lower than the 7800M as they expect there to be more performance parts to fill that category. While we aren't entirely sure what would be above the 8800M other than an 8900M, we're more than happy to see what they've got coming. We're just a little concerned about their GPU lineup if their performance comparison is the best that they can do.
We want AMD to be competitive with Nvidia to keep both companies on their toes, there is still quite some time until the official launch at CES 2013, so we may learn more information by then. We'll be sure to cover that information and keep you updated on any AMD news at CES as it develops.