ATI releases new 40nm 4800-series Mobile GPUs

Sunnyvale (CA) – Today, AMD announced two new ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4000-series GPUs for notebooks, the HD 4830 and HD 4860, both built on ATI’s new 40nm process technology and both supporting DDR3, GDDR3 and GDDR5 memory support (GDDR5 more than doubles graphics memory bandwidth over GDDR3). The GPUs sport 640 stream processors in a die size that is nearly the same size as the previous mobile near high-end 4670 chip, which had 320 stream processors. Power consumption shows a nearly 50% increase in performance per watt, resulting in a slight overall increase under maximum load, but a near doubling of mobile compute performance to 832 Gflops compared to 4600-series (up from 432 Gflops), and down slightly from 880 Gflops in 4800-series though on less power.

Along with all of the standard features, including DirectX 10.1 support, audio-over-DisplayPort abilities, GDDR5, MPEG-2 and H.264 encoding acceleration, DVD upscaling and picture enhancement, dynamic contrast and dual-stream playback, ATI as also significantly improved its power savings features.

When not in use, the GPU powers-down using ATI PowerExpress and ATI Switchable Graphics Technology. In addition, the 40nm parts employ advanced clock gating, which exists in coarse, medium and fine modes, along with a GPU activity monitor which can be used to manually set values, along with auto-monitor features based on lower peak power and TDP targets. All of these Radeon power-saving features are extended further by the ability to utilize a separate, built-in graphics processor of much lower power consumption and ability (for normal day-to-day work, and not graphics or gaming). Switching between the integrated graphics processor and ATI Mobility Radeon HD can be done on the fly without rebooting, and as often as necessary (it does not switch automatically).

According to AMD, the GPU supports DDR3, GDDR3 and GDDR5 memory to allow for a wide range of EOM solutions. While the 4830 and 4860 are targeted at the enthusiast market, GDDR3 would target more mainstream apps, with GDDR5 targeting the highest end due to its increase in memory bandwidth from the 2005 standard GDDR3 up to the 2008 standard and 64 GB/s (which exceeds the 57 GB/s seen in desktop Radeon 48xx-series parts). Memory bandwidth is somewhat crippled, however, compared to the chip’s potential. This is due to a 128 bit bus, down from 256 in Mobility 4800-series. A faster core clock compensates for this slightly while providing additional power savings.

DirectX 10.1 improves hardware-supported gaming features like better anti-aliasing and anistropic filtering, better shadowing and global illumination abilities for the entire virtual 3D scene. ATI claims these improvements at 40nm result in a 7% increase as seen in STALKER, just by switching from DX10 to DX10.1.

Even though this is a mobile product, the ability to support ATI’s CrossFireX is still present. As are all high-end features of its accessories, such as its DisplayPort output ability which theoretically supports four 2560 x 1600 monitors in a notebook footprint — though AMD told TG Daily this is an OEM consideration that is not likely to make it into final products, though their chip is capable of it.

AMD has announced several 40nm ATI Mobility Radeon HD win updates for 4860 and 4830, including ASUS N81Vp, N51Tp and W90, which use 4600-series or desktop 4870-series today. MSI’s GT727 will upgrade from 4850. And Toshiba’s Satellite 300 up from 4570 or 4650. AMD also has additional partners that will be announced at CeBIT.

The following chart shows a comparison of the 55nm products (4300, 4500, 4600 and left-4800) to ATI’s new 40nm 4800-series Mobility Radeon product (right column):

Item 4300
4600 4800 4800
Process 55nm 55nm 55nm 40nm
DirectX 10.1 10.1 10.1 10.1
80 320 800 640
Transistors 242M 514M 856M 826M
Core Clock 680 MHz 675 MHz 550 MHz 650 MHz
Memory Clock 800 MHz 800 MHz 3.2 Gbps 4.0 Gbps
Compute 108 Gflops 432 Gflops 880 Gflops 832 Gflops
Memory DDR2
Memory bus 64-bit 128-bit 256-bit 128-bit
UVD Yes Yes Yes Yes
DisplayPort Multiple Multiple Dual Multiple
7.1 Audio Yes Yes Yes Yes
Audio over
Yes Yes No Yes
Integrated product found in mobile/notebooks.
Not sold separately.
 Availability  AMD did not give a timeframe.