AMD takes its world-leading graphics technology to the humble laptop
The brand new Radeon HD 6990 graphics processor is the fastest graphics technology in the world – no small claim by semiconductor design company AMD, but it seems to be merited.
‘This is for the really high-end gaming market,’ Leslie Sobon, vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing at AMD, told Shiny Shiny. ‘It’s faster, more realistic, and delivers a much better visual experience.’
But it’s not only gamers who will benefit from this cutting edge technology – anyone working with high-end visuals will benefit, says Sobon. ‘Those working with video editing or creating can take advantage of this as well. It’s the top of the line, so it’s ideal for anyone who considers themselves an enthusiast.’
On to the specs: The card records score of P11865 in the industry standard 3DMark11 benchmark. There is native support for up to five displays, with potential to upgrade to six with additional components. There is also a dual-BIOS toggle switch, allowing enthusiast gamers to unlock the card and rev up the clocks and voltages for even more performance. The card also allows for stereoscopic 3D gaming and film viewing as it has HDMI 1.4a support.
Into affordable laptops
While gamers will be salivating over the news, others may be more enthused to hear AMD is taking this cutting-edge graphics technology beyond the gaming world. Fusion APU is the company’s new combined technology, where the graphics capabilities are joined with the regular computer brain onto a single chip. This means faster processing, and AMD expects to see this top-of-the-line technology become available for even basic laptops, explains Leslie Sobon.
‘The improvements are still very much about the visuals and the graphics, but with the new chip you get this without sacrificing the battery life.’
Equally interesting is the fact that these jacked-up laptops will come in at modest price points too: ‘They will be highly affordable as well,’ says Sobon, suggesting prices under the £500 mark.
Fusion has now been officially launched with products including the Sony VAIO Y Series, Acer Aspire One AO522 and Toshiba NB520, and AMD expects budget Fusion APU-powered laptops to become available also from Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, MSI and Samsung.
Specs for the Fusion APU: Multi-core CPU (x86) technology, a high-definition video acceleration block and a high-speed “bus” that speeds data across the differing types of processor cores. Furthermore there’s stutter-free HD video playback, DirectX 11-capable graphics and “all-day” battery life.
Sobon says upgrades to the Fusion APU range will continue to be announced on a bi-annual schedule: ‘We’re moving forward in leaps and bounds.’