AMD Radeon HD 8790M

AMD Radeon HD 8790M

The AMD Radeon HD 8790M (sometimes known as the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 8790) is a DirectX 11.1 graphics card for laptops. It is based on the Mars chip (28nm GCN architecture) with 384 shader cores, 24 TMUs, and 8 ROPs. The core is clocked at 850 MHz (900 MHz Boost) with GDDR5 VRAM at 1125 MHz (4500 MHz effective).

The performance of the Radeon HD 8790M is similar to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 660M or GT 750M and therefore in the upper mid-range category. Most games of 2013 can be played fluently in medium or high details and the WXGA resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels.

The 384 shaders can be used with OpenCL 1.2 for general-purpose calculations (as 6 compute units). Compared to old TeraScale 2 chips, the GCN-based Mars architecture offers improved performance in this framework.

Features of the 8790M include video decoding via UVD3 for decoding MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, VC-1, MPEG-2, and Flash directly from the AMD GPU. Multi-View Codec (MVC) and MPEG-4 part 2 (DivX, xVid) HD videos are now compatible as well.

The 8700M 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 8790M can directly support up to 2 connected monitors using Eyefinity Technology if Enduro is disabled.

Other features of the 8700M series include ZeroCore for reducing power consumption when the display is turned off and Power Gating to power down areas of the chip that are not used. PowerTune allows automatic overclocking and underclocking of the graphics card as long as the GPU is within its TDP limit. 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.

The power consumption should be slightly higher than the previous 7690M chip when under load (2 Watt difference according to the desktop setup from Techreport). However, the 8790M can potentially draw less power when idle (if not disabled by Enduro). Overall, the 8790M is best suited for 15-inch notebooks or bigger.

Radeon HD 8700M Series
Radeon HD 8790M 384 @ 850 MHz128 Bit @ 4500 MHz
Radeon HD 8770M (compare) 384 @ 775 MHz128 Bit @ 4500 MHz
Radeon HD 8550G + HD 8750M Dual Graphics (compare) 640 @ 720 / 825 MHz128 Bit @ 1800 MHz
Radeon HD 8750M (compare) 384 @ 620 - 775 (Boost) MHz128 Bit @ 2000 - 4000 MHz
Radeon HD 8730M (compare) 384 @ 650 MHz128 Bit @ 2000 MHz
CodenameMars XTX
Pipelines384 - unified
Core Speed850 MHz
Memory Speed4500 MHz
Memory Bus Width128 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5
Max. Amount of Memory2048 MB
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 11.1, Shader 5.0
Transistor Count900 Million
technology28 nm
Notebook Sizemedium sized
Date of Announcement16.11.2012
Link to Manufacturer Page


3DMark Vantage
P Result 1280x1024 +
P GPU no PhysX 1280x1024 +
3DMark 06 Standard 1280x1024 +
SPECviewperf 11
Siemens NX 1920x1080 +
Tcvis 1920x1080 +
SolidWorks 1920x1080 +
Pro/ENGINEER 1920x1080 +
Maya 1920x1080 +
Lightwave 1920x1080 +
Ensight 1920x1080 +
Catia 1920x1080 +
Cinebench R10 Shading 32Bit +
Cinebench R11.5 OpenGL 64Bit +
- Range of benchmark values for this graphics card
- Average benchmark values for this graphics card
* Smaller numbers mean a higher performance

Game Benchmarks

The following benchmarks stem from our benchmarks of review laptops. The performance depends on the used graphics memory, clock rate, processor, system settings, drivers, and operating systems. So the results don't have to be representative for all laptops with this GPU. For detailed information on the benchmark results, click on the fps number.

low 1024x768
38.9  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
30.7  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
17.2  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
12.5  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.


low 1024x768
110  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
85  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
59  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
19  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.
low 1024x768
56  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
40  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
22.7  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
11.7  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings med..
low 1280x720
113  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
55  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
47  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
15.6  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.


low 1024x768
93  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
38  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
29  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
16  fps    + Compare