We recently wrote about the likely second-quarter 2013 launch date of the AMD Radeon HD 8000 graphics cards, and now more specific information has come to light about the hardware specifications of AMD's new GPU series. The website BitDreams claims that the Sea Islands GPUs will get a modified version of the Graphics Core Next architecture, and will be produced with a 28 nm manufacturing process.
The HD 8000 series will get physically larger, according to the site. For example, the Tahiti GPU in the HD 7900 series has 4.31 billion transistors and 2,048 stream processors, and this will reportedly increase for the HD 8900 series by almost 20 percent to 5.1 billion transistors and 2,560 stream processors. The HD 8950 will have 212 fewer stream processors than the HD 8970. On both the HD 8970 and the HD 8950 the number of ROPs will increase by 50 percent to 48.
The GPU speed of both cards will increas to 1050 MHz, while the memory speeds will be 6000 MHz and 5500 MHz. This has an influence on the TDP, which will be 260 watts and 210 watts, respectively. The 3 GB of video memory will be controlled by a 384-bit memory bus. The HD 8990 will basically be a double HD 8970 with slightly lower clock speeds with twice the amount of video memory.
The low- and mid-range cards in the HD 8000 series will be interesting. All will feature 2 GB GDDR5 memory. The two HD 8800 GPUs will reportedly have 1,792 stream processors and 3.4 billion transistors. The memory bus is the same as the high-end cards, but the clock speeds will be higher. If the architecture becomes more efficient, then that is beneficial for performance and lowering the energy consumption.
If the specifications are accurate, then it appears that AMD is upping the ante in the lower part of the mid-range segment. The HD 8700 graphics cards will feature a 192-bit memory bus and 2.1 billion transistors, an increase of 40 percent over the previous generation. The HD 7700 series had a 128-bit memory bus. We suspect that the indicated TDP of 250 watts is inaccurate.
The question remains whether these leaked specifications can be trusted. The website refers to ATI graphics cards, and that brandname has not been used for more than two years since AMD acquired it. Also, the information about the mid-range HD 8800 resembles specifications that were leaked in September. Lastly, the Spanish version of BitDreams is unknown to us, and as far as we know not really an autority when it comes to hardware news and information. The chance that these specifications are accurate is about 50/50 we'd say. In any case, thanks to Fred Brabander for tipping us off.