AMD Radeon HD 8000 Series Reportedly Launching in Q3 2013 – Alleged Specifications Revealed


HD 8000 Series

Latest reports from Chiphell suggest that AMD would launch their Radeon HD 8000 series in Q3 2013, the site also mentions new specifications of the upcoming graphic cards which might stir up some interest of AMD fans since they haven't seen a true successor for the Southern Islands based HD 7000 series since over a year.

AMD Radeon HD 8000 Series Launching in Q3 2013?

Previously, it was mentioned in a roadmap by AMD that their HD 7000 series would be kept as a primary focus till Q3 2013 after which they would probably release a new generation of graphic cards. All was good until NVIDIA planned to launch their GeForce 700 series in May 2013 with the GeForce GTX 780 rather than pushing them to Q4 2013 as was rumored earlier. AMD currently have nothing in their sleeves to tackle the $649 GK110 monster known as the GeForce GTX 780 and only a few days later would the green side also introduce another GeForce 700 series product "GeForce GTX 770" which is expected to be 10% faster than AMD's fastest Radeon HD 7970 GHz edition GPU.

But these current reports from Chiphell suggest that all is about to change. You may remember us talking about the 20nm AMD Volcanic Island series which was rumored to launch in Q3/Q4 2013. Forget that, the 20nm part may not happen since the HD 8000 series is again going to be based on a 28nm manufacturing process but the codename might be "Volcanic Islands" since "Sea Islands" is currently being branded for the mobile and 7000 series SKUs such as the HD 7790.

AMD Radeon HD 8970:

Well according to the reports, the Radeon HD 8000 series would kick off with the launch of the Radeon HD 8970. The Radeon HD 8970 would pack 36 compute units resulting in 2304 stream processors, 144 TMUs and 48 ROPs. To tackle the GK110 rivals such as TItan and 780, the card would be equipped with 6 GB of GDDR5 memory which would operate along a 384-bit interface and clocked at 7000 MHz effective. The core clock would be maintained at 1100 MHz though whether or not Boost tech would be available is unknown. Still this is 100 MHz higher than the GHz edition plus is based on a newer architecture codenamed "GCN 2.0 Curacao". The compute performance is mentioned at 5.07 TFlops which would mean that overall the HD 8970 would offer 35% performance lift over the HD 7970 GHz at a price of $599. The price may look high but it was the obvious choice for AMD since the cost that would take to manufacturer a chip to compete GK110 would cost alot and at the same time AMD had to make sure that they don't go the Titan route by pricing the card higher since GTX 780 offers Titan-like performance for $350 less price.

AMD Radeon HD 8950:

The other three cards mentioned include Hainan 28nm based HD 8950 which is based on a totally different architecture than the HD 8970. We are looking at a GTX 780 and GTX 770 like scenario over here. One card is based on a high-performance compute chip while the HD 8950 sticks to a lower-compute performance chip with a new name. The GPU features 3.5 Billion transistors and 8 Asynchronous Compute Engines compared to four on first GCN architecture. Specifications include 1792 stream processors, 112 TMUs and 32 ROPs while clock speeds are boosted to 1.2 GHz for core and 7 GHz effective for the 4 GB GDDR5 memory that operates along a 256-bit wide interface. It would cost $399 US and bring 10% better performance compared to the HD 7970.

The next two cards HD 8870 and HD 8850 are based on disabled variants of the Hainan chip which can be seen below:

AMD Radeon HD 8970 AMD Radeon HD 8950 AMD Radeon HD 8870 AMD Radeon HD 8850
Core Curacao XT Hainan XT Hainan Pro Hainan LE
Process 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm 28 nm
Transistors 5.5 B 3.5 B 3.5 B 3.5 B
Processors 2304 SPs 1792 SPs 1536 SPs 1280 SPs
TMUs 144 112 96 80
ROPs 48 32 32 32
Core Clock 1100 MHz 1200 MHz 1100 MHz 1000 MHz
Memory 384-bit 256-bit 256-bit 256-bit
VRAM 6 GB 4 GB 2 GB 2 GB
Memory Clock 7.0 GHz 7.0 GHz 6.0 GHz 6.0 GHz
ACE Units 8 8 8 8
Peak Floating Point 5.07 TFlops 4.30 TFlops 3.38 TFlops 2.56 TFlops
Price $599 $399 $299 $229