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In an effort to mimic the model year nature of cars and other durable goods, in recent years PC OEMs have increasingly moved to updating their wares both on a technical basis and on a calendar basis. Of course with the technical cycles being 15-18 months as opposed to a 12 month calendar cycle, this means that OEMs are often put into a position where they’re doing their yearly refresh in the middle of a technical cycle, and 2013 is no different. This of course gives rise to the annual rebadge cycle that we have become familiar with over the years.

We’ll see a number of “new” desktops and laptops at CES this year. But along with rebadging the systems themselves, the pressure to rebadge has been pushed down to the component suppliers, which means that powering these “new” systems we’ll see a number of “new” components. In the GPU world both AMD and NVIDIA make an annual event of this, which for market reasons are roughly timed to coincide with CES.

Kicking the GPU rebadge cycle off this year is AMD, who along with their press conference today also pushed out their rebadges. Let’s jump right into the thick of things.

Desktop

Because the rebadge cycle is OEM driven, rebadging is typically focused exclusively on OEM parts, and this year is no exception. The Radeon HD 7000 series isn’t going anywhere in the retail market, but in the OEM market where OEMs are demanding parts with higher numbers, the entire Radeon family from top to bottom is getting rebadged. This means everything from the powerhouse Radeon HD 7970 GHz Edition to the diminutive (and ancient) Radeon HD 5450 are getting 8000 series product designations. AMD to their credit has kept their retail desktop lineup consistent in naming and features, but with the OEM lineup this has gone completely out the window.

AMD Desktop Radeon 8000 OEM Series GPU Specification Comparison
  AMD Radeon HD 8970 OEM AMD Radeon HD 8950 OEM AMD Radeon HD 8870 OEM AMD Radeon HD 8760 OEM AMD Radeon HD 8740 OEM
Was 7970 Ghz Edition 7950 W/Boost 7870 7770 7750-900
Stream Processors 2048 1792 1280 640 512
Texture Units 128 112 80 40 32
ROPs 32 32 32 16 16
Core Clock 1000MHz 850MHz 1000MHz 1000MHz 900MHz
Boost Clock 1050MHz 925MHz N/A N/A N/A
Memory Clock 6GHz GDDR5 5GHz GDDR5 4.8GHz GDDR5 4.5GHz GDDR5 4.5GHz GDDR5
Memory Bus Width 384-bit 384-bit 256-bit 128-bit 128-bit
VRAM 3GB 3GB 2GB 1GB 1GB
FP64 1/4 1/4 1/16 1/16 1/16
Transistor Count 4.31B 4.31B 2.8B 1.5B 1.5B
Board Power <250W <200W <175W <110W <75W
GPU Tahiti Tahiti Pitcairn Cape Verde Cape Verde
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm
Architecture GCN GCN GCN GCN GCN

AMD Desktop Radeon 8000 OEM Series GPU Specification Comparison
  AMD Radeon HD 8670 OEM AMD Radeon HD 8570 OEM AMD Radeon HD 8400 OEM AMD Radeon HD 8350 OEM
Was New New 6450 5450
Stream Processors 384 384 160 80
Texture Units 24 24 8 8
ROPs 8 8 4 4
Core Clock 1000MHz 730MHz 625-875MHz 650MHz
Boost Clock ? ? N/A N/A
Memory Clock 4.6GHz GDDR5 4.6GHz GDDR5 / 1.8GHz DDR3 3.6GHz GDDR5 / 1.8GHz DDR3 <=1.8GHz DDR3
Memory Bus Width 128-bit 128-bit 64-bit 64-bit
VRAM 2GB 2GB 512MB/1GB 512MB/1GB
FP64 1/16 1/16 N/A N/A
Transistor Count ? ? 370M 292M
Board Power <75W <50W <35W <25W
GPU Oland Oland Caicos Cedar
Manufacturing Process TSMC 28nm TSMC 28nm TSMC 40nm TSMC 40nm
Architecture GCN GCN VLIW5 VLIW5

The OEM 8900 series are rebadges of the 7970GE and 7950 w/Boost respectively. Meanwhile the sole 8800 part, the 8870, is a rebadge of the 7870. Further down the list the 8700 series is composed of a rebadged 7770 and 7750-900 (which never saw a proper launch outside of China).

Farther down the lineup still, we actually see a break from rebadging with the introduction of new desktop parts. AMD’s recently announced Oland GPU, which are the very last members of the first generation of the GCN family (and not members of AMD’s forthcoming refresh), will be joining AMD’s OEM desktop lineup as the 8670 and 8570. With only 384 SPs these budget GPUs are not particularly potent, and we wouldn’t at all be shocked if these GPUs never come to the retail desktop market. The real question right now is where they stack up against iGPU solutions such as Trinity’s HD7600 GPUs or Intel’s HD4000, or NVIDIA’s equally low-end desktop GK107 cards like GT 640 and GTX 650.

Finally at the bottom of AMD’s OEM 8000 series stack are some of the oldest AMD GPUs still in production, and decidedly not GCN parts. The 8400 series is a rebadge of various configurations of the Radeon HD 6450  (Caicos GPU, VLIW5). Meanwhile the 8300 series is a rebadge of the ancient VLIW5 Cedar GPU, first introduced in 2010 as the Radeon HD 5450. Frankly it’s not at all clear at this point in time just what the purpose of these final rebadges are, as these cards are slower than a good iGPU. APAC markets are even more heavily weighted towards budget components than the North American market already is, so it’s quite likely that these cards are meant to fill APAC-specific product needs.

Source: AMD Press Release

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  • JonnyDough - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    The only time it would make sense is if your friend wanted to get rid of a $200 card for $50. Reply
  • JonnyDough - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    They should have a class action suit for misrepresentation.

    Unfortunately, that's what capitalism with marketing is, essentially.
    Reply
  • Donkey2008 - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    I have to admit that I am guitly of Unneeded Upgrade Syndrome (or UUS for the psychiatrists in the room), although I usually skip a generation. It really depends on the game. Bought a 470 GTX for BFBC2/BF3, upgraded to a 670 GTX for Borderlands 2/Planetside 2. The 470 still gets only a small amount of FPS lower then the 670 on med-high graphics settings.

    $400 upgrade to 670 GTX = (insert whatever flushing money down a toilet sounds like)
    Reply
  • JonnyDough - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    Well it's easy to want the latest and greatest but the truth is that newer hardware drivers break older software. They can't optimize every new driver for every old game so at some point you need old hardware to play old favorites. As such, today we are far from the early days when games like pong were popular, and older games are decent enough now to have some retro/flashback replay value. For example, StarCraft is a game that rings a bell in my mind. It was just so addictive. Reply
  • Donkey2008 - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    Uninformed customers = 99% of the general public. I am sure that most of the people here work in IT and have experienced something like this:

    User: "Why do AutoCAD and ArcGIS run so slow on my laptop?"

    You: "Go to the device manager and tell me what graphics card you have"

    (8 minutes later)

    User: "It says Generic PnP Monitor"

    You: (facepalm) "no no, go to display adaptors"

    User: "Oh, my brother-in-law works in IT and....."

    (4 minutes later)

    USER: "Ok, it says Intel Graphics Media Accelerator"

    You: (additional facepalm)
    Reply
  • silverblue - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    "AMD to their credit has kept their retail desktop lineup consistent in naming and features, but with the OEM lineup this has gone completely out the window."

    I know, it's not the actual lineup, but I usually looked at the OEM cards and saw model numbers that actually fit with their GPUs and thus with the rest of the series in question. Bringing back the THREE GENERATION OLD 5450 is ludicrous in the extreme. Simplifying and unifying a product stack is one thing, but at least when NVIDIA kept resurrecting the G80, it was a decent card (and it would murder the 5450/8350 - hell, even the 8400 tears the 8350 a new one, but would be destroyed by any decent A-series APU).

    Fingers crossed that the actual 8000 series is going to be more interesting than this, but at least it's not all bad - Oland is a new chip, and may even be what we see in future APUs as, besides the new architecture and whatever clock speeds they decide upon, it's pretty much the 7660D in a mirror.
    Reply
  • ET - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    Even Intel integrated graphics beat the 5450. It has no right to live. And renaming is a practice that should die a horrible death. Reply
  • silverblue - Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - link

    It's only a small step up from the 6310 in the E-350 APU. As such, quite a waste of PCB. Reply
  • Eddytion - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    Hello :]
    I want to ask you if I should buy the AMD 7950 w/boost right now, or wait for the 8000 series?
    Reply
  • tipoo - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    Even if the 8000 series wasn't OEM only, it is the exact same. Reply

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