AMD Announces Radeon 7000M Series GPUs: More Power, Less Juice


AMD doesn’t want to get left out in the cold. On the heels of Intel’s Ivy Bridge and Nvidia’s Kepler chip platform announcements, AMD released the details of its London series of GPUs, which it says will provide increased performance and greater power efficiency. 

There are six GPU series in all. The first three–Radeon HD 7450 (“Seymour’), Radeon HD 7500M (“Thames 64b”), and Radeon HD 7600M (“Thames 128b”) are all based on the company’s current 40nm process, and are currently on the market. The other three–Radeon HD 7700M (“Chelsea”), 7800M (“Heathrow’), and 7900M (“Wimbledon”) GPUs will use AMD’s new 28nm GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture, and will come out in May or June. 

Some of the new features of the 7000 series include a new instruction set architecture, a 9th-generation tessellator, support for PCI Express 3.0,  OpenCL, DirectCompute 11, and is designed for DirectX 11. 

AMD has also built in a number of power-saving features into the new GPUs. Enduro technology switches automatically between integrated and discrete GPUs based on the app, as well as if the notebook is plugged in. Power Gating–which is only available with the 7700M and 7800M GPUS–shuts down portions of the GPU when not in use. ZeroCore shuts down the GPU when idling–which AMD says results in a better than 86-percent power reduction–and is also used to control additional GPUs in CrossFire. 

In terms of performance, AMD says that the 7970M GPU will provide up to 1.5 times the performance of its previous generation graphics on titles such as “Batman: Arkham City,” as well as benchmarks such as 3DMark Vantage.

So far, one system has been announced that will use the 7970M GPU: The Alienware M17x. 

 Here’s a quick rundown of the specs of the higher-end GPUs:

    HD 7900M HD 7800M HD 7700M
Stream Processors 1280 640 512
Engine/Memory Clock 850 MHz 800 MHz/1000 MHz 675 MHz/1000 MHz
Memory 256-bit/2GB GDDR5 128-bit/1GB GDDR5 128-bit/1GB GDDR5
Compute Power 2176 GFLOPS 864/1024 GFLOPS 589/691 GFLOPS
PCI Express Interface 3.0 3.0 2.1
Texture Units 80 40 32
Maximum Displays 6 6 up to 6

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