updated 08:50 am EDT, Tue April 24, 2012
AMD Radeon HD 7000M official
AMD offered its answer to NVIDIA on Tuesday through the Radeon HD 7000M. The 7700M, 7800M, and 7900M are the first parts to use Enduro, a live graphics switching technology like NVIDIA's Optimus. The implementation can flip between the Radeon and integrated graphics without having to reload or specify apps, and unlike NVIDIA's approach, can work with both AMD processors as well as Intel's.
Despite the relatively narrow model line spread, the three 28-nanometer parts are split sharply in focus. The 7900M series is intended for desktop replacement notebooks for gaming. A 7970M is anywhere between 16 percent to 76 percent faster than a GeForce GTX 675M in 3D gaming, depending on the title. It touts 1,280 stream (visual effects) processing cores, 80 texture units, an 850MHz core clock speed, a 256-bit memory bus, and PCI Express 3.0 support.
The 7800M is considerably more mid-tier and has 640 cores, 40 texture units, an 800MHz clock, and a 128-bit bus still using PCIe 3.0. It sees the 7700M as a part for certain ultrabook models, with its 512 cores, 32 texture units, 675MHz clock, and 128-bit bus with PCIe 2.0, all intended to keep power consumption down. All three borrow AMD's PowerTune from desktop chips and can dynamically tune clock speeds depending on the heat and workload, with ZeroCore helping shut down AMD's graphics entirely when another graphics chip is taking over.
Lower-end 7300M, 7400M, 7500M, and 7600M parts exist, but these are primarily based on earlier manufacturing processes with between 80 to 480 processing cores, eight to 24 texture units, and as frugal as DDR3 memory instead of the GDDR5 memory more common on the line.
Various notebook builders are expected to use the Radeon HD 7000M series, including HP and numerous other major builders.