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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  • Popichan - Wednesday, March 06, 2013 - link

    Wait for the 8000 series so the 7950 goes down in price. If you're willing to wait to save a tiddle bit of money. Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    Beyond the obvious shame involved with such a blatant rebrand of an entire product line, this "OEM-only" rebrand is bad news for anyone hoping for new SKUs based on a new ASIC anytime soon from AMD. If AMD was planning to release a new SKU in the same timeframe this OEM line exists, they probably could've convinced their OEMS to just wait for that new SKU that would obviously bring a new Series designation.

    The main concerns here are that AMD is rebranding high-end parts as high-end, in the past they've (and Nvidia too) generally only been guilty for rebranding lower-end mainstream parts. In the past some of these OEM parts have made it to market as the rebranded model, I fully expect the same rebrands to hit the channel despite AMD's claim this is an "OEM-only" move. What's good for OEMs is good for AIB channel partners....

    Maybe if Nvidia already launched a new series, this might make more sense, but from all expectations Nvidia's next series would've consisted of GK110 + refreshes of GK104 to go up against AMD's Sea Island. With this rebrand, who knows when we get Sea Islands and Nvidia's expected reaction.
    Reply
  • iMacmatician - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    I wonder if this is the single worst GPU rebranding event ever? Reply
  • chizow - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    Given it's a top-to-bottom rebrand of their entire desktop stack with literally no change in specs or performance, yeah it's probably the worst single event ever.

    Nvidia caught a lot of crap for their G92 rebranding but the G92 rebrand at least came with some improvements along with a gradual depreciation in terms of product/performance placement to fall in line with new high-end parts.
    Reply
  • silverblue - Wednesday, January 09, 2013 - link

    It's definitely painful to read. Oh well, roll on the retail 8000 and 8900M series - there should be something more palatable there, despite them throwing even more transistors at the problem. Reply
  • CeriseCogburn - Friday, January 11, 2013 - link


    I've told blind fanboys amd is pure evil for years, now you'll just have to accept that fact.

    Oh wait a minute, it's amd so oh well "despite them throwing more transistors at the problem" ?!?

    Was that your gigantic brain fart rationalization ?

    LOL
    Reply
  • Principle - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    AMD showed nothing, I say NOTHING, about releasing updated Southern Island cards. The mobile 8000 series is even showing worse specs than AMD shows on their site for 7000M series. AMD's roadmap only show Sea Islands and Solar System. So is this real or a stupid prank from a supposed journalist? I never saw these charts from CES, so where did they come from? Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Tuesday, January 08, 2013 - link

    The source is listed at the bottom of the article. Reply

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