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AMD Announces Radeon HD 8970M High-End Mobile GPU

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the check-it-out dept.

AMD 56

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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found one (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43737781)

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

There should some kind of standard (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43737785)

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

Re:There should some kind of standard (4, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43737833)

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...

Re:There should some kind of standard (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43738763)

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 everything into this thin light package means you'll end up with slower parts that cost more, and with the amount of power the high end chips suck making battery life measured in minutes? All in all these just don't make sense to pretty much all but a handful of die hard LAN players and road warriors so its no wonder that the support for switching GPUs just isn't there.

Re:There should some kind of standard (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43747881)

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 laptop parts; but still cram themselves tightly enough to leave room for a (half height) PCIe x16 slot(sometimes even two, in recent models). You'd think that something easier to swap than on on-motherboard option; but smaller than a full x16 PCIe card, might be a fit there. Aside from one or two of the iMac models, though, I've not seen MxM in space-constrained non-laptops anywhere.

Re:There should some kind of standard (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43750401)

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 office users will be happy with either of those APUs, no need to go discrete on an office box. Hell i have one of those Bobcat APUs in my netbook and can play HL2, Portal 1&2, there are even vids of guys running Crysis on the things with minimum setting but to me that is going a little too far.

Re:There should some kind of standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43737837)

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

Well, there is and it's indeed "some kind of"*.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MXM
*it's quite hard to find compatible ones, but it's a standard.

Re:There should some kind of standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43737881)

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

There should be one that is actually used, yes. Then again, there should be a standard phone connector/charger/transfer cable.

Re:There should some kind of standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43738105)

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

There should be one that is actually used, yes. Then again, there should be a standard phone connector/charger/transfer cable.

Part of the problem is a lack of space. Rarely do manufacturers want to make allowances for a chunky video card in the guts of their laptops, especially where the chipmakers are pumping out integrated chipsets that are horrible but take up very little room.

And as far as standard connectors for phones go, it's called USB. Sure, over the years my phones have changed from having miniUSB to microUSB, but I'm happy to call that my standard, and if your phone doesn't have it then you need to reconsider changing phones.

Re:There should some kind of standard (1)

fbobraga (1612783) | about a year ago | (#43744287)

And as far as standard connectors for phones go, it's called USB. Sure, over the years my phones have changed from having miniUSB to microUSB, but I'm happy to call that my standard, and if your phone doesn't have it then you need to reconsider changing phones.

+1 Informative!

Re:There should some kind of standard (2)

DiSKiLLeR (17651) | about a year ago | (#43738041)

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.

Re:There should some kind of standard (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year ago | (#43738875)

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 answer, the machine's too thin to mount something on top of, or below the logic board.

The other reason is that laptops generally run fairly marginal on cooling. A laptop designed to have a 30W GPU in it is not going to sufficiently cool a 45W GPU.

Re:There should some kind of standard (0)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#43739571)

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.

Re:There should some kind of standard (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year ago | (#43742845)

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 (yes, I've actually seen brand new laptops that can't boot on their battery).

Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro fulfils all of those requirements.

To me, that sounds rather like it's full of substance, while the gaming laptop is simply an ePenis (aka style) –and not a very long one.

Re:There should some kind of standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743285)

"Gaming" laptops are in my mind the ultimate in style over substance. What is it you need from a laptop:
Something portable
  Something that can fit in a bag
Something you can carry without breaking your back

Meanwhile, the MacBook Pro fulfils all of those requirements.

To me, that sounds rather like it's full of substance, while the gaming laptop is simply an ePenis (aka style) –and not a very long one.

You left out the most important feature of a GAMING laptop. The ability to play GAMES, meaning the latest titles with full details at HD native resolution. That's what "gamers" - not just people who play games liek Peggle or whatever want. Not jaggies or playing the latest game with half the options turned off. I've barely touched Skyrim, because I want to see it all and enjoy it, like a fine wine. Not chug it like a beer. I want full smoke, shadows, fire particles, all that jazz. I don't go to the movie theater with bad screens to save $2.

I bought an HP envy 17" boat of a machine. Not ASUS gaming chunky, but still hitting 9# with a 9 cell battery. It lets me play games late at night in a hotel if I want to destress before passing out from work. It fits in my laptop backpack with other travel doodads (and a Kindle HD for when I'm on the plane catching up on magazines like PC Gamer). I use that instead of a new Surface Pro or my old Core2Duo Lenovo tablet because I have genuine power needs too. The i7 lets me run full virtualization for the client environment, dev machines, esx and hyper v. The radeon card lets me play games. The two drive bays and accessible memory slots let me run 1.5TB with 16GB standard - I think I can bump it to 32GB now too.

It's not for everyone, like the earlier poster said, only 3% or so need this. But some of us do have that need - as far as any of us "need" entertainment at all.

Re:There should some kind of standard (1)

Luckyo (1726890) | about a year ago | (#43744545)

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 applications and such for people who are willing to pay a lot for a little extra speed in their everyday office work on the go.

Gaming laptop is essentially an exact opposite. It needs a big screen with low resolution to ensure giving user a big field of view while retaining small enough amount of pixels to ensure that graphics hardware can render the picture in a game at good quality with high frames per second. It's bulky so it can properly vent massive amounts of heat generated by the powerful discreet GPU on board that is fully capable of providing that kind of graphical prowess and CPU that can support it. It has a huge battery but battery life is still an afterthought as gaming laptops are essentially desktop replacements for gaming and battery only needs to last you long enough for a short breaks between getting your laptop's PSU into next power socket.

Essentially a gaming laptop is a fairly powerful big and low resolution vanity item. It's aimed at giving gamers a mobile machine that can adequately run their games at high frames per second with wide field of view while hooked to nearest power socket and that can be moved with minimal hassle unlike a desktop.

Re:There should some kind of standard (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43741127)

You add it as an edge connected motherboard. Seems simple enough.

Think about it, the chips and support circuitry on a RAM chip or a graphics card need to be there already, so 99% of the integrated part is already somewhere on the logic board. Adding this 1-2mm thick piece of plastic for an connection point is inconsequential.

Re:There should some kind of standard (1)

beelsebob (529313) | about a year ago | (#43742871)

Oh right... And where does the space for the larger GPU board go (larger, because previously its parts could be interleaved with the other logic board parts, and now it has to be routed out, and separated). Where does the cooling for that part go? Do you stick all that cooling for a massive GPU in there, even when none of the stock options include it?

Re:There should some kind of standard (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43739523)

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 throwing away a whole laptop. Unfortunately, manufacturers don't actually admit when they have a bad GPU, so they also don't bother to replace a defective one. When nVidia was having their QuadroFX die bonding problems, I got one of their bad GPUs in a HP nw9440, at the time pretty much their most expensive system. It took me over 24 hours on the phone spread out over two weeks to finally get someone to acknowledge the problem, then HP sent me a new machine finally (yes, really) and then failed to properly pick up the old one. After notifying them several times that I still had it, I finally broke it down for parts, basically getting a SATA drive out of it since everything else was by then too old to be useful, even the memory. So rather than bothering to fix their mistake, it just went to the landfill.

In short, there should not be a standard for this, because there is one now, and all it does is raise costs by adding a connector and circuitry to handle it.

should of saved the display and cpu (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43741255)

should of saved the display and cpu

Re:should of saved the display and cpu (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43742061)

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...

Amendment to that staement (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43737935)

"AMD Announces Radeon HD 8970M High-End Mobile GPU that will have it driver development suspended within 24 months" making your laptop useless and forcing you to upgrade.

Ya well AMD (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#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 (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43738785)

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 (4, Informative)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:Ya well AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743331)

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.

NVidia's drivers were responsible for 57% of all reported kernal panics in Vista, according to MS. My nvidia systems on it were trash, my AMD's, flawless. I actually liked Vista and found it more stable (nvidia drivers aside) and shifted exclusively to AMD since then (aside from an intel i7/amd5850 17" laptop).

Re:Ya well AMD (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | about a year ago | (#43743833)

NVidia used to have buggy drivers too, and AMD was more stable for most of the time Vista was around. I remember stories in this vein about NVidia back then. NVidia stepped up big time on their driver development shortly before Win7's release, while AMD has gone downhill. This indicates it's something about their internal processes and priorities, not with Intel.

Re:Ya well AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43747639)

NVidia used to have buggy drivers too, and AMD was more stable for most of the time Vista was around. I remember stories in this vein about NVidia back then. NVidia stepped up big time on their driver development shortly before Win7's release, while AMD has gone downhill. This indicates it's something about their internal processes and priorities, not with Intel.

Two things:
1) I can't say I've seen a drop in AMD's drivers - but then I run Windows on my discrete card machines. I've seen maybe 3-4 abends on my primary box in the last year and a half, only 1 of which required a reboot to recover from under normal conditions. This is on a box OC'ed 800Mhz air used for 14 hours a day with 2 or 3 displays active.

2) Your conclusion is incorrect. The GGP or so's thesis was that Nvidia got out of the game due to Intel mucking about with abusive monopolistic practices. When Nvidia stopped competing on chipsets, Intel lost the primary reason to target them - this was before Intel had aspersions to being a "real" GPU vendor (by performance, not units shipped). AMD is still a competitor on CPUs, chipsets AND video cards. Intel has every incentive to F them over and is already a convicted monopolist - that just means they have to be slightly more careful with that particular cost of doing business.

Make that three things
3) The ONLY issue I ever had on Vista was due either to Nvidia drivers or lenovo's power management spinning down and not back up a hybrid hard disk on my tablet. For my AMD/intel boxes, Vista was as stable as Win7. Win7 was fine though I still had a few issues on a work machine with an nvidia card. Win8 is nice too. I picked up all the licenses I'll need when they were half off at launch. At least all I'll need unless they F up the activation/registration...

Re:Ya well AMD (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43750303)

How so? Because i have been using AMD exclusively in the shop for 5 years now, we are talking hundreds of systems with everything from AMD IGPs to APU to every level of discrete they make and honestly? I haven't had a single problem.

Well I take that back i had ONE problem but I don't see how I could blame AMD for that, a customer had me order him a GPU and then a month later decided to use the system as an HTPC but since i didn't know he was even contemplating that I got him a gamer card that had DVI but no HDMI and when I used an adapter the card couldn't read the EDID to set the display correctly, about 30 minutes of futzing to set overscan and Bob's your uncle.

So I don't see how anybody can say AMD has gone downhill, I really can't. I have cards as old as 1650 pro and IGPs as old as Xpress 200 out in the field and they are still purring like a kitten, as a matter of fact I even managed to find a Vista driver for the Xpress 200 so now its running Win 7, can't do Aero naturally but the driver is stable and the customer is happy, that is all that matters. Hell I was impressed enough that my entire family is on AMD across the board, we are talking 5 desktops and 2 laptops, running everything from an HD4830 to a Bobcat APU on my netbook and again, no worries.

Re:Ya well AMD (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year ago | (#43739489)

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.

Re:Ya well AMD (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a year ago | (#43742683)

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 couple of hundred AMD GPUs in the shop and not had a single problem, NOT ONE. In fact the only time I can think of having a problem with an AMD GPU since AMD took over from ATI was a single case of not having the GPU detect the right format for the TV it was plugged into....and I wouldn't even blame that on AMD as the guy didn't tell me before he had it built he was thinking about using it as an HTPC so the GPU I had chosen had DVI but not HDMI so I had to use an adapter. A little futzing with the driver settings and voila! Perfect picture.

So blaming AMD for Linux having a broken driver model is wrong, they simply don't have the resources to pull an Nvidia and give Torvalds the finger (which is really what Nvidia does, they gut about half the Linux graphics subsystem and replace with their own proprietary builds) and the fact that you just can't run the Linux drivers they released just shows what a piss poor driver model Linux has. Sorry but if you use a crap OS you should expect crap performance and crap problems, as long as Torvalds has a pulse the drivers are gonna be deep fried tampons. If you want drivers that work, don't use Linux, end of story..

Ok there AMD fanboy (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about a year ago | (#43743423)

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 Samsung SSD and a Seagate SSHD (it has two drive bays), and 32GB of RAM and so on. I didn't trade off on anything to get an Intel CPU, it's a high end laptop. It doesn't stack up to my desktop, but it is the best I can do and still have it reasonably portable.

There's also the small matter of AMD not really having many good laptop offerings. Sager, the company I elected to use, has none, Dell has none that I know of, ASUS has a grand total of two, both low end (15" 1366x768 screens, for example). I cannot find an AMD CPU laptop that uses AMD's 7970M GPU. That right there might tell you a little something about their CPU offerings.

In terms of CPUs not being an issue, I take it you've never profiled any games have you? You find games are highly vaired in that regard. Some, it matters very little. Others under-utilize the CPU overall because they are not very multi-threaded, but need a lot of speed on a single core, something AMD is not good at delivering. Still others hit it hard all over. Take a look at Battlefield 3 some time. It'll hit a quad quite hard. It also turns out games are not the only thing that like a heavy hitting CPU.

Also, as someone else noted, this -is- and AMD issue. nVidia doesn't have issues with dGPU passthrough.

Finally there's the little problem of things like jittery framerates being 100% on the GPU and its drivers. This is a long standing AMD problem that they are finally, maybe, fixing with newer drivers that affects their desktop parts too.

Re:Ya well AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43739287)

you know, there is a reason Linus Torvalds said: "nvidia is the worst company regarding linux support".
and he said "FUCK U NVIDIA". Nvidia has a very strict policy of "we don't care about linux!!".

As nvidia is the worst company regarding linux drivers, per definition AMD can only do better.

Re:Ya well AMD (1)

Kagetsuki (1620613) | about a year ago | (#43739377)

As nvidia is the worst company regarding linux drivers, per definition AMD can only do better.

Unfortunately they don't. The AMD driver modules are absolutely awful. Just today we had a notebook refuse to show anything (black screen even on VTs). We had to SSH into it, completely remove teh AMD binary drivers, purge the xorg configuration, restart with OSS drivers and then play russian roulett with the binary driver install process. Took us 2 hours of trying drivers, failing, purging, then trying again.

With nvidia we've never had this issue - the OSS and binary drivers both "just work".

Re:Ya well AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43741203)

Half the time I tried to update (through the automatic system updater), the system I used would almost always die / not work.

Oh wait, I was talking about Nvidia.

Re:Ya well AMD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43741155)

By stuttering, you mean the inter-frame "lag" that's reported by the tool that reports NV hardware as flawless?

I somehow think that might be biased.

More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (2)

BlueCoder (223005) | about a year ago | (#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.

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about a year ago | (#43738293)

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

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43738493)

www.newegg.com

Show me where i buy this as a consumer.

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744067)

http://www.amazon.com/HOTER-PCI-E-Extension-Cable-Adapter/dp/B0057M1ZLE/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1368731934&sr=1-2&keywords=pci-e+cable

Starts at $0.12. You can add a pci-e power cable as well. Too basic, you want it as a retail product, here:
http://www.targus.com/us/productdetail.aspx?sku=ACP60US
http://www.amazon.com/Targus-Docking-Station-Digital-Notebook/dp/B000L4H3GO/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

What's that? Mass market retail version isn't exactly what you want? Add your own choice of standard PCIE card and connect like this:
http://www.techradar.com/news/computing-components/graphics-cards/how-to-make-an-external-laptop-graphics-adaptor-915616

What's that? You're specific vision as addressed above doesn't connect to your specific laptop becuase you didn't get one with that connector standard? Wah wah wah.

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43746883)

Um... both of those suck. One is internal and for desktops, the other is PCIE 1x. Thunderbolt is PCIE 4x, the minimum required to get a performance benefit from an external graphics card.

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43747569)

Check the links, they have 4x ones too.

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about a year ago | (#43738691)

Thunderbolt isn't exciting.

It is for hackers.

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (1)

Ogi_UnixNut (916982) | about a year ago | (#43739413)

Yes it is, but not for crackers ( the designers have learned from firewire, we now have an IOMMU to prevent any device attached reading/writing the ram of another attached device via DMA).

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (1)

Hypotensive (2836435) | about a year ago | (#43749145)

Was not aware of this, thanks.

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about a year ago | (#43738381)

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.

Sony has a laptop that does this - it's not a standard Thunderbolt connector (a rather non-standard USB one), but it has Intel graphics while mobile, and you can plug it into the "mobile dock" while at a desk which includes a Blu-Ray drive and high end graphics.

There's a third party manufacturer that's supposed to make a thunderbolt to PCIe dock for Macs so you can put in a nice graphics card in it and do just that as well. Previously they made Expresscard to PCIe docks (Expresscard is PCIe x1 + USB, while I think Thunderbolt allows PCIe 2.0 x2 or so plus displayport).

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43739089)

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.

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43738643)

Plug thunderbolt cable from video card into notebook and voila.... top end graphics power.

It would be slow [wikipedia.org] .

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (1)

otuz (85014) | about a year ago | (#43740481)

Only in theory. In practice [tomshardware.com] , it's going to be better performance with an external GPU than most mobile GPU's.

Re:More excited by thunderbolt bus cables (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43738885)

thunderbolt cable from video card into notebook and voila.... top end graphics power

No, no, no!

Current thunderbolt carries 4 lanes of PCI-E, a top end graphics card will use 16... and if you're doing demanding work you still need more than one card. [cubixgpu.com]

Alienware features AMD graphics (1)

SplatMan_DK (1035528) | about a year ago | (#43738993)

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

it can only be better than nvidia (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43739275)

As Linus Torvalds said "nvidia is the worst company regarding linux support". So AMD can only do better.

Yeah, But (1)

Greyfox (87712) | about a year ago | (#43740223)

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.

Confusing processor names/Bad Linux GPU support (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | about a year ago | (#43740663)

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.

hmm (1)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about a year ago | (#43741481)

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.

It's not GCN 1.1 (1)

edxwelch (600979) | about a year ago | (#43743769)

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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