Update on AMD’s HD 7000M Lineup

There was ample disappointment when we figured out AMD was resorting to the old “trick” of renaming old GPUs instead of transitioning from the 40nm process to 28nm, along with the new Southern Islands architecture or Graphics Core Next (GCN).

Nvidia is doing the same thing, and it probably has something to do with an inability for their mutual manufacturer TSMC to produce enough 28nm parts. As a result, the current entry-level and mid-range HD 7000M-series mobile GPUs are more or less identical to their 6000M-series counterparts, with some minor adjustments. For example, the Radeon HD 7690M in the Envy 17, dv6t Quad and dv7t Quad is a HD 6770M with a 100MHz higher memory clock.

Some clarifications have nevertheless emerged after CES and according to AnandTech there may be some additional improvements in the “new” 40nm parts after all, although certainly nothing groundbreaking. The HD 7690M (or HD 6770M) remains a solid option in the mid-range segment, with enough gaming performance to run Battlefield 3 at good frame rates, and by extension all less demanding titles (i.e. most of them).

AMD slide

Another new piece of interesting information is that AMD intends to keep all of the HD 7000M-series cards up to the HD 7600M series at 40nm, while the new graphics core will be reserved for the high end–the 7700M, 7800M and 7900M cards. The old 40nm core will apparently also remain in AMD’s upcoming Trinity APUs that will eventually replace Llano. This does not mean that the performance improvements will be insignificant, however. According to recent claims from AMD, the performance increase for the GPU part in Trinity is as much as 50%, and 25% for x86 performance.


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1 Comment
  1. Berg: This regards your reply to my post in the top 10 laptops news comments. Last I checked 11.11c was the best Catalyst for Llano Crossfire. But 12.1/12.1a offer solid improvements for Skyrim and such, and better control over dual graphics settings. Trinity supposedly has better Crossfire overall but we are unclear on the CPU socket and whether this involves needing a VLIW4 dGPU. The demo video on YouTube would seem to indicate UVD has been updated with a full hardware video encoder. (Demo had playing a video, transcoding another video and running Dirt 3 simultaneously on three different monitors, 60%CPU, SUPPOSEDLY the 17w Trinity APU for ultrabooks)

    If you have infinite free time, check out the “HP dv6z AMD Llano (6XXX) Owners Lounge” thread, which has run up to nearly 500 pages of overclock feedback and etc.

    I picked up a dv6z-6135dx with dual graphics 6755G2 for only $500USD on a whim, it runs Shogun 2 on Ultra everything with MSAA. Skyrim runs with most settings on High or better. I’ve got a catalogue of lighter games like Fallout 3/New Vegas to play on battery with the integrated graphics (Med/High settings), with battery life exceeding four hrs with stock battery and approaching TEN with the 9-cell. I get more than three hours playing Starcraft II online with stock battery.

    I overclocked from 1.5/2.4GHz to 2.4/2.6 with no mods, but with repaste and laptop cooler some guys run 2.8/3.0 or better. Dramatic undervolt, idle time went from 5hrs to 7 on stock 6-cell and a couple guys report closer to 15hrs with the 9-cell.

    Doubting Trinity will be a world-ending upset to Llano but you’ll see ultrabooks below $600USD, and we’ll see if the new Crossfire pairings can run Battlefield 3 on High for less than $1000.

    If you have the numbers laying around, would be nice to see some of these gaming laptops profiled in regard to battery. Some guys were real angry their i7 XM chips were underclocked to a 12W envelope on battery, but the alternative would be another “fifteen minute” gaming luggable. So which of these machines are laptops and which are merely luggables?

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