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AMD Hardware

AMD Announces Radeon HD 8970M High-End Mobile GPU 56

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
MojoKid writes "AMD is announcing its Radeon HD 8970M. The mobile GPU is based on a design that has a few small feature changes that have led it to be unofficially labeled a Graphics Core Next (GCN) 1.1 part versus AMD's previous gen GCN 1.0 technology. AMD claims that the Radeon HD 8970M is significantly faster than NVIDIA's GeForce GTX 680M in a variety of tests, but high-end laptops that use AMD hardware are harder to find these days."
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AMD Announces Radeon HD 8970M High-End Mobile GPU

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    http://www.engadget.com/2013/05/15/amd-unveils-radeon-hd-8900m-graphics-and-msi-gx70/

  • There should some kind of standard for laptop video cards both slot and cooling / space in higher end systems.

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:23PM (#43737833) Journal

      There should some kind of standard for laptop video cards both slot and cooling / space in higher end systems.

      It vaguely exists [wikipedia.org]; but the real-world utility is kind of a clusterfuck. Only the most monstrous of desktop replacement machines implement 100% to spec, availability of replacement/upgrade parts is spotty, and even within the bounds of the spec there is a bit of a morass of thermal envelopes and other variables.

      For better or worse, The Market appears to have spoken in favor of slim, rather than modular, on this matter...

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        As a retailer I can tell ya why....its pointless. You know how many buy gaming laptops? MAYBE 3% of the population IF THAT, we are talking about a teeny tiny itsy bitsy niche so it is really pointless as the few percent that actually buy gaming laptops aren't gonna stick with an old CPU and replace the GPU so its just pointless.

        Reality is that the majority of laptops sold are in the $400-$750 range, gamers tend to go for desktops anyway because no matter how powerful the cooling problems of trying to fit

        • I'm not at all surprised that it is essentially dead in laptops, for the reasons you indicate.

          What does surprise me a bit is that the MxM SIG appears to have made no attempt(at least no attempt that wasn't at least large enough to fail visibly) to try to turn MxM, or a slightly modified successor, into something for small form factor desktops, all-in-ones, and the like.

          A pretty substantial chunk of boring corporate desktops come in a small form factor flavor that incorporates some laptop parts, or near lapt

          • by hairyfeet (841228)

            Because most offices just don't need that much power? I deal with a LOT of SMBs, know what my two most popular builds are? The SFF box with an AMD Bobcat APU like this one [tigerdirect.com] which just FYI but if you have anybody still stuck on a P4 that needs a cheap upgrade, or if you could use an ultra low power system? They are great little units, only use around 18w under load and are still powerful enough to do 1080P. And for those that need a little more power something like this [tigerdirect.com] in a SFF case.

            Frankly a good 95%+ of

    • by DiSKiLLeR (17651)

      There is, I recently upgraded me Alienware M17xR2 from 4870M in crossfire setup with a single 7970M.

      Its not dell supported to install the 7970M but it works perfectly.

    • by beelsebob (529313)

      It doesn't exist for a reason. Standard slots have a defined shape and size. When you're working in a world where your motherboard needs to be as tiny as possible, and fit around all the other components (like fans, batteries, etc), having stuff with a predefined size and shape narrows the design space, and makes a good laptop harder to produce. I mean, look at the retina MacBook Pro's logic board [imgur.com], where do you propose a standard graphics card slot goes on that? And no – on top is not the correct

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Macbook pro is the prime example of style over substance, and as a result the antithesis to a gaming laptop which is substance over style. Gaming laptop need to be thick regardless due to need to dissipate incredible amounts of heat, they need to be heavy to be able to fit huge batteries needed to keep the thing running even for an hour on full throttle and they need big but relatively low res screens so that optimal screen resolution can produce decent FPS in heavy games on mobile hardware.

        • by beelsebob (529313)

          Macbook pro is the prime example of style over substance, and as a result the antithesis to a gaming laptop which is substance over style. Gaming laptop need to be thick regardless due to need to dissipate incredible amounts of heat, they need to be heavy to be able to fit huge batteries needed to keep the thing running even for an hour on full throttle and they need big but relatively low res screens so that optimal screen resolution can produce decent FPS in heavy games on mobile hardware.

          Actually, "Gaming" laptops are in my mind the ultimate in style over substance. What is it you need from a laptop:
          Something portable
          Something that lasts a long time on batteries
          Something that can fit in a bag
          Something you can carry without breaking your back
          A "gaming" laptop fulfils none of these requirements to being a good laptop, they're thick, heavy, unwieldy, and generally last only an hour or two on batteries - or in some cases, so little time that they can't even boot without shutting down (

          • by Luckyo (1726890)

            You seem to miss the difference between a GAMING laptop and ULTRABOOK. MacBook Pro is an ultrabook. It has a high res smallish screen powered by a severely underpowered GPU that will never be able to run heavy 3D games on anything even close to native with decent FPS and quality settings, it is thin to ensure that it is portable and looks good and lasts for a while on batteries.

            Essentially an ultrabook is a fairly powerful high resolution vanity item. It's aimed at giving performance on the go to office app

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      There is one and it's called MXM. But you can't interchange cards of different MXM versions in spite of them all doing basically the same job, and the GPU might or might not be in the same place meaning that you might or might not actually be able to cool it -- the heat pipe cooler may or may not land on the GPU. Many laptops have been sold with MXM for which there is literally no viable GPU replacement. The idea behind using MXM is therefore simply to permit parts replacement so that a bad GPU doesn't mean

      • should of saved the display and cpu

        • by drinkypoo (153816)

          Oh actually, I did. But WTF will I ever do with the display, OR the CPU? It's a Core Duo, not a C2D, because I had an early nw9440. I've looked around for small motherboards to drop the CPU onto but there really aren't any worth buying (way too expensive or way too crap or both) and they're not selling for anything really on eBay, nor the display panel. And what can I even get to talk to the panel? I was hoping I'd be able to do it with R-Pi but uhhh...

  • Ya well AMD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Wednesday May 15, 2013 @11:57PM (#43737997)

    Have you fixed your drivers yet? I have a laptop with their previous 7970M and man, it has been a trial. To being with performance was hamstrung really badly by under-utilization. It is set up in an Enduro config, meaning it passes its video through the integrated Intel GPU, just as nVidia does with Optimus. However they had continual problems with underuse. That is now mostly fixed, though it took over 6 months for a driver, but there's still big issues of stuttering and such. There's a driver coming "real soon now" that has been that way for a few months. Also they make getting it rather hard. If you go and download the driver from their site, you get the "notebook verification tool" which says that it isn't compatible with my laptop. You have to go find the actual driver file elsewhere and install it.

    So really, I am a little unimpressed about their bragging compared to the 680M. The speed of the 680M was more impressive since it actually worked when it was launched. The best hardware is not that impressive if it isn't backed with properly working software, and AMD really seems to like to drop the ball on that. I've been rather annoyed at the problems I've had with my laptop and the length of time it has taken to fix them.

    • Re:Ya well AMD (Score:4, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968.gmail@com> on Thursday May 16, 2013 @04:23AM (#43738785) Journal

      How much of that can you blame on AMD though versus how much of it is Intel cockblocking? After all the reason Nvidia got out of the chipset business was intel cockblocking and Intel has been making it pretty clear that the future to them is Intel APUs with Intel boards and Intel support chips like it or lump it, so I have to wonder how much of the problem is Intel refusing to give jack shit to AMD to help interoperability as far as samples, docs, and specs.

      Ultimately if you are going with an AMD GPU you'd probably be better off pairing it with an AMD CPU as that seems to be the best combo as far as drivers, at least from what I've seen at the shop. Lets face it CPUs haven't been the limiting factor in games for awhile, hell the new XBox and PS4 are both using chips originally designed for tablets and netbooks for the love of Pete. So unless you are one of the handful that need every bit of speed you can get (which I would argue why are you on a laptop if that is the case) you'll save some money by going all AMD which can then be used on a real performance booster like fast SSDs or more/faster RAM.

      • Re:Ya well AMD (Score:5, Informative)

        by blackraven14250 (902843) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @07:53AM (#43739405)
        It's all on AMD, since NVidia, despite being cockblocked in the chipset market, is able to produce a reliable driver and has done so for quite a few years now. On top of that, there's just as many problems with ATI graphics on AMD-based systems, which indicates there's no real problem that's being caused by Intel.
      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        How much of that can you blame on AMD though versus how much of it is Intel cockblocking?

        All the AMD drivers suck. They suck with AMD processors and they suck with intel processors. My goddamned integrated netbook (R690M) still doesn't work in Linux. AMD are serious liars about driver support and Linux support and I wish people would let their graphics card business go under because another competitor is never going to crop up while intel is already picking up the scraps left over from AMD and nVidia.

        • by hairyfeet (841228)

          The only person to blame for shitty drivers in Linux is Linus Torvalds, who is an arrogant douchebag who thinks his shit don't stink. Quick, how many OSes OTHER than Linux use his driver model? NONE because its shit, that's why. Even BSD and Solaris have stable driver ABIs but Torvalds is just too fucking cool for that daddy-o, and the ones who defend it use fucking religious arguments. Its an operating system not a church,quit acting batshit.

          And I'm sorry but I have to call bullshit because I have used a c

      • That is probably one of the silliest arguments I've seen in awhile. First off, I normally AM on a desktop, one with a nice nVidia GTX 680 in it which is part of how I have a good comparison of AMD and nVidia drivers. However when I go mobile, I want all the power I can get my hands on. It isn't an either/or situation it is an "all of the above." The 7970M should have tipped you off, it being one of the highest end, most expensive, GPUs out there. My laptop has an Ivy Bridge quad core, and a 7970M, and a Sam

  • by BlueCoder (223005) on Thursday May 16, 2013 @01:01AM (#43738251)

    A modern video card uses lots of power and needs lots of cooling so I am not really impressed with mobile video chips.

    Thunderbolt is more exciting. It's PCIE over a cable. So you can have an external graphics card and enclosure. Plug power cable into wall. Plug thunderbolt cable from video card into notebook and voila.... top end graphics power. With some variations the thunderbolt tech the cable could carry enough power to power the laptop over the thunderbolt cable.

      The great thing is you still have a great portable laptop that can focus on saving power and having a great battery life but can be upgraded on the spot to a powerful gaming computer when you really need performance. The same setup can also upgrade a desktop computer in the same way so you can have a couple desktop computers and multiple notebooks and only need to buy one high end graphics card which can be quite an investment.

    This tech is so revolutionary it will lead to a new desktop form factor without slots on the motherboard. You'll have a small CPU box with a closed loop liquid cooler. It might even be completely powered by a thunderbolt cable. You will then have a bus/hub box that will be similar in many way to a classic desktop in size. The difference here is that it can be large or small. It can have many slots or just one. It can be have many type of form factors.

    • Thunderbolt isn't exciting.
      We've had PCI-E over a cable for over 6 years.

    • by tlhIngan (30335)

      Thunderbolt is more exciting. It's PCIE over a cable. So you can have an external graphics card and enclosure. Plug power cable into wall. Plug thunderbolt cable from video card into notebook and voila.... top end graphics power. With some variations the thunderbolt tech the cable could carry enough power to power the laptop over the thunderbolt cable.

      The great thing is you still have a great portable laptop that can focus on saving power and having a great battery life but can be upgraded on

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        they've been supposed to bring those out for a looong time now.

        there's some hacky made at home solutions.. but the promise of doing that really tanked.

  • Alienware has a history of offering both AMD and nVidia graphics for its models. It will only be a matter of time before they will offer this as an option in their notebook models.

    The 8970M option is likely to appear in their Haswell-generation of notebooks expected this summer, and a dual-8970M (crossfire) is likely in their next M18x model.

    With both a CPU and GPU change, i'll be holding my purchase until later this year.

    Stuck with a norma-human-being-Lenovo in the mean time. Ouch :-(

    - Jesper

  • I've been burned so many times by AMD's hardware in the past that I won't even consider buying anything of theirs anymore, no matter how awesome it is. They could make a hand job robot with perfect Linux drivers, don't care, wouldn't buy it.

    AMD could get back on my list by NOT SUCKING for, oh, about a decade, but I don't see it happening. Say what you will about Nvidia, I've never had to spend two days fixing a system after upgrading THEIR drivers.

  • I stopped buying AMD laptops firstly because the new processor naming scheme does not give me any clear picture whether one processor has better abilities than another. Intel's i# scheme does a better job. Secondly, AMD graphics chips suck on Linux a high percentage you need to do some command line work to get thengs right. (folks bash Nvidia too, from my experiences, it's just install and go, and have great performance.)

    Previously I sought out AMD laptops with nVidia graphics chipsets.

  • Too bad nobody is buying stuff that it would go into anymore. nVidia and AMD are fighting out to be the performance leader of a lost cause.

    BTW I was looking to buy my "last" high-performance laptop to kick around the house with, there is nothing worth buying anymore out there.

  • Whoever submitted this story got it wrong. The article specifically says that it's *not* GCN 1.1, (unlike the HD 7790) - it's just a shameless rebadge

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