Has AMD given up on the performance notebook market?

Discussion in '3D Hardware, Software & Output Devices' started by ToTTenTranz, Dec 11, 2014.

  1. ToTTenTranz

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    Their top-end mobile product in a notebook is the R9 M290X, which is a rebrand of Radeon 8970M, which is a rebrand of Radeon 7970M.
    Even putting aside the fact that they have rebranded the same mobile graphics card twice for the same performance segment, same core clocks (give or take a 50MHz Turbo?), same memory clocks and same power envelope, they're now using a 3 year-old GPU as their top-end choice.

    When Bonaire came up with a much better performance/power ratio than the previous GCN parts, some people thought that would be a great contender for a mobile graphics card.
    At least on paper, even the desktop version of Bonaire seems to use less power than the mobile version of the old Pitcairn, while performing quite similarly. And then Bonaire never appeared in a mobile product.
    This chip has been out for almost 2 years, so I don't believe it was the lack of a design win. I think AMD just chose not to bring this chip for the laptop market which seems such a wrong decision to me..

    Then Tonga came up, and its first appearance in rumors was actually as a mobile graphics card, the M295X.
    The desktop version came out as Radeon 285 and it also has a higher performance/price ratio than the 3 year-old cards. It would be safe to assume that a mobile version of this card should perform better than the old Pitcairn-based cards given the same power envelope (which is about the same within their desktop counterparts btw, 180W for Pitcairn R9 270X and 190W for Tonga R9 285).
    And this M295X did come up... in an AiO desktop from Apple. I've searched and searched, but I couldn't find a single notebook that is on the market or has even announced to come with a M295X.

    During the last few of months, lots of new gaming laptops have been announced for the holiday season (Clevo, MSI, Gigabyte, etc) - they're all carrying Maxwell chips. It's either GM107 for mid/high performance laptops or GM204 for high/top performance laptops.
    Zero mention of AMD GPUs for these new laptops.


    So.. what's going on? Why has AMD decided to not throw Bonaire or Tonga into the notebook market?
    Could it be that they tried but couldn't secure a single design win?
    Did AMD just look at Maxwell and figured they shouldn't even try to compete in the notebook market, at least until 20nm and/or HBM?
    Is AMD just quietly stepping out of the discrete graphics for laptops, and they'll focus solely on their (failing) APUs for notebooks and discrete graphics for desktops?
     
  2. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    1.) Tonga is new. OEM NB design cycles are typically quite long
    2.) Despite Tonga being new the mobile variant is already shipping in iMac.
    3.) Bonaire is shipping on Workstation notebook platforms from both Dell and HP. There may be consumer designs, but frankly I don't follow it - I'm sure digging around notebookcheck.net or similar will give you more information.
     
    #2 Dave Baumann, Dec 11, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2014
  3. homerdog

    homerdog donator of the year
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    Lol Tonga is too new to put in a notebook. GM204 says heeeeeey :D
     
  4. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    GM204 is a drop in replacement for GK104. Among other deltas, Tonga requires new regulators, thus platform needs to change.
     
  5. homerdog

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    Fair enough. Do you know why Bonaire hasn't received more attention in the mobile sector?
     
  6. ToTTenTranz

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    Granted.
    However, it's a narrow market compared to consumer laptops and doesn't explain why a Radeon graphics card with Bonaire doesn't even exist in AMD's laptop portfolio.
     
    #6 ToTTenTranz, Dec 12, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  7. silent_guy

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    I don't know how much extra engineering effort it takes to bring a GPU to the notebook market, but if market share is low anyway, it's better to not do anything at all.
     
  8. homerdog

    homerdog donator of the year
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    If that's the case then the answer to the OP is an emphatic "Yes". :(
     
  9. ToTTenTranz

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    Exactly.
     
  10. Dave Baumann

    Dave Baumann Gamerscore Wh...
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    Ignoring the fact that the most recently release, high end chip already has a mobile design and notebook design kits for Bonaire have already been implemented.
     
  11. ToTTenTranz

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    Actually, for Bonaire the engineering effort would be near zero because apparently there are already a couple of laptops with it. But they're under the FirePro brand, there's no Mobility Radeon with a Bonaire.
    Which makes its absence in a consumer laptop design even weirder.


    Dave, I'm obviously not looking for some kind of official declaration about AMD leaving the discrete graphics laptop market.
    I was simply trying to start a discussion about the notable absence of Radeon graphics cards in the new gaming laptop models of Q4 2014.

    As someone who keeps pace with notebook news, I was already used to rarily hear about about a new laptop with an AMD graphics card.
    But this year? This year AMD seems to be completely gone from the map on gaming laptops.
    Maxwell GPUs have taken everything. While Bonaire is simply there, pushed to a corner, without even a "Radeon" name of its own.
     
  12. kalelovil

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    The M295X is now an option in the Alienware 15, price positioned between the GTX 970M and the GTX 980M.
     
  13. homerdog

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    That's a Tonga part, which makes it AMD's best high end option in the notebook space. GM204 is still a far better option. Personally I want a laptop with GM107. Great performance for the power.
     
  14. oklok

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    AMD is and will always be there for notebook, just maybe they have a new strategy, remember phones and handhelds is one of the most sold products as for today, AMD have no reason leaving this field.
     
  15. Albuquerque

    Albuquerque Red-headed step child
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    I really wish AMD was "always there for notebook", but I challenge you to find me an AMD laptop that would be considered a premium product. All the AMD notebooks I see are the bottom barrel volume leaders, not profit leaders.
     
  16. orangpelupa

    orangpelupa Elite Bug Hunter
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    they also dont have lines for tablets or ultrabooks.

    the even weirder thing is, they also not cheaper than a laptop with Nvidia gpu + intel CPU. weird.
     
  17. silent_guy

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    Right now, they don't have anything silicon that's remotely competitive.
     
  18. ToTTenTranz

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    The Kaveri line should me more than enough competitive for thin $400-700 laptops with a Core i3, though the chip has been pretty much rejected by every maker out there.
     
  19. silent_guy

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    Well, yes, but $400-$700 isn't premium notebook IMO.
     
  20. digitalwanderer

    digitalwanderer Dangerously Mirthful
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    No it's not, but the market for 'em is pretty huge. ;)
     
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