AMD has launched its latest graphics processor (GPU) for mobile PCs: the AMD Radeon HD 8970M is going to be AMD’s highest-performing laptop GPU, probably until the next generation architecture hits. If we compare it to the rest of the Radeon HD 8000 family, it has nearly twice the number of processing unit (cores) when compared to the Radeon 8800M (1280 vs. 640). However, if you compare it with the previous Radeon 7970M, the number of cores and the frequency are very close, so it would be interesting to compare the two to see how much of an evolution there actually is.
At this point, AMD is aiming for rival GeForce GTX 680M from NVIDIA, and according to AMD’s labs test, they beat it across the board (oh surprise!). As usual, I would recommend taking those numbers with caution, and relying on independent benchmarks if you are really interested by performance numbers. If the Radeon 8800M is a slightly faster version of the 7950M, it would make sense that AMD scores a slight advantage relative to the GTX 680M, and in this market 12% to 20% would be important enough to grab some customer attention.
However, the word on the street is that NVIDIA is preparing its 700-Series of mobile GPUs, and it would most likely hit when the back-to-school refresh starts with Intel’s new Haswell chip. What NVIDIA has in store remains to be seen, but we will know soon enough I suppose. The current flagship laptop for this GPU is the MSI GX70-3BE which is a 17″ gaming laptop that comes with an A10 AMD CPU.