AMD Radeon HD 8850M

AMD Radeon HD 8850M

The AMD Radeon HD 8850M is a 28nm DirectX 11 graphics card based on the GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture. Built primarily for medium-sized laptops, the card is positioned in the performance category as of 2013. Compared to the similar Radeon HD 7850M, the 8850M offers slightly different clock speeds.

The design of the Radeon 8800M series has its roots to the Cape Verde chip as found, for example, on the desktop Radeon HD 7770 with 640 1D shader cores and 40 texture units. However the core clock of the 8850M is only 575-725 MHz (or up to 625-775 MHz with Boost) versus the 1000 MHz of the desktop HD 7770. As a result, general performance of the HD 8850M should be similar to the desktop HD 7750.

Equipped with GDDR5 memory, the HD 8850M competes with the Nvidia GTX 660M. The DDR3 version of the HD 8850M is expected to be a bit slower, although it could offer higher clock rates. Many games of 2013 can be played fluently in medium or high detail and resolution settings.

The 640 shader cores can be used with OpenCL 1.2 for general-purpose calculations.

Features of the 8850M 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 8800M 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 8850M can directly support up to 6 connected monitors using Eyefinity Technology if Enduro is disabled.

Other features of the 8800M 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.

Power consumption of the 8850M should be below that of the 8870M, corresponding to the core clock. Therefore, the 8850M is suited for medium-sized laptops and DTRs.

Radeon HD 8800M Series
Radeon HD 8870M (compare) 640 @ 725 MHz128 Bit @ 4500 MHz
Radeon HD 8850M 640 @ 575 - 725 (Boost) MHz128 Bit @ 4500 MHz
Radeon HD 8830M (compare) 640 @ 575 MHz128 Bit @ 2000 MHz
Pipelines640 - unified
Core Speed575 - 725 (Boost) MHz
Memory Speed4500 MHz
Memory Bus Width128 Bit
Memory TypeGDDR5, DDR3
Max. Amount of Memory2048 MB
Shared Memoryno
DirectXDirectX 11.1, Shader 5.1
Transistor Count1500 Million
technology28 nm
FeaturesOpenCL 1.2
Notebook Sizelarge
Date of Announcement18.12.2012


3DMark - Cloud Gate Standard Score 1280x720
min: 5537     avg: 6313     median: 6278 (10%)     max: 7124 Points
3DMark - Cloud Gate Standard Graphics 1280x720
min: 11312     avg: 11826.3     median: 11387 (6%)     max: 12780 Points
3DMark - Fire Strike Score 1920x1080
min: 1683     avg: 1694.3     median: 1693 (6%)     max: 1707 Points
3DMark - Fire Strike Graphics 1920x1080
min: 1828     avg: 1845.7     median: 1845 (5%)     max: 1864 Points
3DMark - Ice Storm Standard Graphics 1280x720
min: 43556     avg: 54921     median: 44037 (6%)     max: 77170 Points
3DMark 11 - Performance 1280x720
min: 2444     avg: 2513.3     median: 2507 (7%)     max: 2589 points
3DMark 11 - Performance GPU 1280x720
min: 2340     avg: 2380.7     median: 2349 (5%)     max: 2453 points
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 +
Cinebench R15
OpenGL 64Bit +
Ref. Match 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
44.4  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
33.4  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
27.9  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
17.2  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.


low 1024x768
60  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
49.9  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
38.7  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
24.9  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings high.


low 1024x768
27.1  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
22.5  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
19.7  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
11.5  fps    + Compare
» The benchmarks indicate that the game is not playable in the tested settings.
low 1024x768
56.4  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
27.2  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
13.5  fps    + Compare
ultra 1920x1080
11.7  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.
low 1024x768
35.1  fps    + Compare
med. 1366x768
33.2  fps    + Compare
high 1366x768
16.9  fps    + Compare
» With all tested laptops playable in detail settings low.