Today, AMD took the wraps off of it’s latest line of graphics cards for the notebook market, the 8000M series. Specifically, the flavors of the cards that they announced was the 8800M, 8700M, 8600M, and 8500M lines. These lines have the engineering name ‘Solar’, compared to the current generation(the 7000M series) name, ‘London’. The first laptop announced with this new line of cards has already been announced as the Asus Vivoook U38DT. All of these cards support DirectX 11.1, as well as at least OpenGL 4.3(most likely), but AMD did not unveil details about their OpenGL compatibility with these cards.
For the 8500M and 8600M lines specifically, they are geared toward more mainstream type of consumers, who typically may run a very light game, or just simply browse the web for a while.
The 8500M line will have 384 steam cores, at a clock speed of 650 MHz, and a memory clock for GDDR5 memory of 1.125 GHz, while the DDR3 memory variants will have a memory clock of 1 GHz. For single floating point precision, you get 537 GFLOPS of performance out of the card, and for double floating point, you get 33 GFLOPS out.
For the 8600M line, the number of cores and the speed of the memory clock is the same as the 8500M line. The only difference between the two is that the cores of the 8600M series is considerably higher, going up from 650 MHz to 775MHz. This then boosts the single point and double point computing speed to 633 GFLOPS and 39 GFLOPS respectively.
Next, for the 8700M series of cards, things begin to vary quite a bit. The base specs are the same as the 8500M, which are the lowest of the low end for this specific series of cards. On the high end, you’ll get 850 MHz on the core clock, as well as 691 GFLOPS of single percision and 42 GFLOPS of double precision out of the card.
Next, we have the 8800M series of cards. These cards ditch having any DDR3 type RAM, in favor of GDDR5 RAM. They’ll have a net total of 640 steam cores, with a clock of 650 MHz- 700 MHz, and 1.125 GHz speed on the RAM. This brings the net compute performance to 992 GFLOPS on the single percision side, as well as 62 GFLOPS on the double percision side.
Overall, it seems like the 8500M, 8600M, and 8700M are problably binned versions of the same type of card. For those of you who don’t know what binning is, it is when a chip manufacturer decides that instead of having seperate manufacturing process for different chips, they use the same chip, but if a product falls within a lower specification, they relabel that chip as that. For example, if we produced 100 chips, and say 75 of them could run at 2 GHz safely, but the other 25 could only run at 1 GHz safely, I can still sell those 25 as a lower model,. and thus help my bottom line overall. The majority of chip manufacturers do this, because there is quite a bit of variation from chip to chip.
So, what do you think about this line of cards? Let me know down in the comments section below. As always, if you like this article, follow me on Twitter here, and subscribe to get more of my articles here. Additionally, you can buy me a coffee with Bitcoins here: 16KHgNM1crGt3t2HeWsaUj6hZEU5cDWJwb