AMD FirePro M8900
The AMD FirePro M8900 is a high-end graphics card for mobile workstations. It is based on the same chip as the Radeon HD 6970M (Blackcomb XT) and therefore offers UVD3 decoding and slightly improved Tessellation performance compared to cards found in the previous generation (e.g., Radeon 6800 series).
Compared to the Radeon consumer line, the FirePro offers certified drivers for professional 3D applications. Due to optimizations and some unlocked features, the performance when running professional applications is highly improved.
The 960 Stream processors should be still based on the "old" 5D architecture, similar to the 5000 series. Due to the different architecture of the FirePro M8900, however, the core count cannot be directly compared to the 1D cores of current Nvidia GPUs. The Stream processors can be used with DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.1, DirectCompute 11 and OpenCL. With the later two, the cores can also be used for general computations like transcoding videos.
The theoretical performance of the FirePro M8900 is similar to the consumer counterpart, the Radeon HD 6970M. However, due to the specialized professional drivers, games may run a bit slower. The 6970M is able to run modern games in high settings and resolutions fluently (see benchmarks on the HD 6970M page).
The new UVD3 video decoder supports the decoding of MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2, Flash and now also Multi-View Codec (MVC) and MPEG-4 part 2 (DivX, xVid) HD videos on the graphics card.
Furthermore, the FirePro M8900 integrates a HD audio controller to transmit HD Audio (TrueHD or DTS Master Audio) over HDMI or DisplayPort (e.g., for Blu-Ray videos).
The AMD HD3D Technology offers support for Blu-Ray 3D and 3D displays (integrated and external). However, the solution is not as mature as Nvidia's 3D Vision.
Thanks to Eyefinity, the M8900 graphics chip is able to theoretically drive up to 5 monitors simultaneously. However, this only works if the laptop features enough DisplayPort outputs.
The power consumption of the chip should be similar to the HD 6970M and is therefore best suited for large laptops (17-inch or greater) with good cooling solutions.
|FirePro M Series|
|Pipelines||960 - unified|
|Core Speed||680 MHz|
|Memory Speed||900 MHz|
|Memory Bus Width||256 Bit|
|Max. Amount of Memory||2048 MB|
|DirectX||DirectX 11, Shader 5.0|
|Transistor Count||1700 Million|
|Date of Announcement||12.04.2011|