There's a new mobile sheriff in town.
Mobile gamers rejoice, for AMD hasn't forgotten about you. On the contrary, the Sunnyvale chip designer just unveiled its Radeon 8970M, which AMD claims is the fastest laptop GPU on the entire planet. And not only is it smoking fast, it's also more efficient than previous designs, which means you can expect longer battery life, according to AMD.
AMD's 8000M series falls into three different tiers, including Mainstream (Radeon 8500M and 8600M Series), Performance + Gaming (Radeon 8700M and 8800M Series), and Enthusiast (Radeon HD 8900 Series). The 8970M part being launched today sits at the top of the mobile GPU totem pole and boasts 1,280 stream processors, an 850MHz engine clock (900MHz with boost), and 1,200MHz memory. That translates into 2304 GFLOPS of single precision compute power and 144 GFLOPS of double precision compute power.
Speaking of which, AMD tells us the 8970M is engineered for compute with support for OpenCL and GPU acceleration. DirectX 11.1 is obviously part of the package, as is improved image quality and video playback.
As for gaming performance, AMD provided a handful of benchmark comparisons that shine a positive light on its mobile part. For example, according to AMD's testing (Intel Core i7 3770K, 4GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM, Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive), a Radeon HD 8970M is 54 percent faster than a GeForce GTX 680M in Tomb Raider running at 1920x1080 with TressFX turned off (53.6 fps versus 34.8 fps). In Bioshock Infinite (also at 1920x1080), the 8970M benched 63.29 fps, which is 42 percent faster than the GTX 680M chip (44.52 fps). And so it goes across the board.
One of the first notebooks to feature the 8970M will be MSI's GX70 gaming laptop, which is an upgraded version of the GX60 AMD's latest and greatest mobile part. It will come with a copy of Crysis 3.