AMD Radeon HD 7970M
The AMD Radeon HD 7970M is a 28nm DirectX 11 graphics card based on the GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture. Built primarily for large laptops, the advanced card is positioned near the top of the high-end category as of 2012.
The design of the Radeon 7900M series has its roots to the Pitcairn chip as found, for example, on the desktop Radeon HD 7870. The 7970M in particular is similar to its desktop 7870 counterpart with 1280 1D shader cores and 80 texture units, but has a core clock of only 850 MHz versus the 1000 MHz of the HD 7870. As a result, general performance of the HD 7970M is expected to lie somewhere between the 7850 and 7870 desktop Radeon cards.
When compared to mobile Nvidia GPUs, the HD 7970M performs significantly faster than the GeForce GTX 675M and roughly on par with the GTX 680M. In fact, the card scores P5900 in 3DMark 11, while the GTX 680M achieves P6000. Therefore, almost all demanding games of 2012 will run fluently with maxed out details and 1080p resolution.
Features of the 7970M include the new UVD3 video decoder for decoding 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 directly from the AMD GPU.
The 7900M series also supports automatic graphics switching between the integrated GPU and discrete GPU. Called Enduro, the technology supersedes AMD's Dynamic Switchable Graphics and is similar to Nvidia's Optimus. Furthermore, the 7970M can directly support up to 6 connected monitors using Eyefinity Technology if Enduro is disabled.
Other features of the 7900M series include ZeroCore for reducing power consumption when the display is turned off. Power Gating, however, is not supported according to AMD. PowerTune allows automatic overclocking and underclocking of the graphics card as long as the GPU is within its TDP range. For example, the chip may be underclocked when running FurMark and OCCT, but will overclock in certain games like Lost Planet, Crysis or Resident Evil 5.
The integrated HD audio processor is able to transmit HD Audio (TrueHD or DTS Master Audio) over HDMI and DisplayPort (e.g., for Blu-Ray videos). Additionally, it now allows audio to output simultaneously and in parallel to multiple devices with the new Discrete Digital Multipoint Audio (DDMA) feature.
Power consumption of the 7970M is in the same ballpark as the GeForce GTX 675M. According to Dell, users can expect a 100 Watt TDP from the AMD GPU. The subsequently large heat output suits the 7970M as an option only for large laptops or DTRs (desktop replacements) that have relatively powerful cooling solutions.
Radeon HD 7900M Series
|Pipelines||1280 - unified|
|Core Speed||850 MHz|
|Memory Speed||4800 MHz|
|Memory Bus Width||256 Bit|
|API||DirectX 11.1, Shader 5.0, OpenGL 4.2|
|Power Consumption||100 Watt|
|Date of Announcement||01.05.2012|