updated 07:20 am EST, Tue March 3, 2009
Mobility Radeon HD 4860
AMD has used the start of CeBIT to launch two new notebook graphics chips that represent firsts for any video chipset from the company. Both the ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4830 and 4860 are made using a 40 nanometer manufacturing process that lets AMD step up the complexity of the processors without significantly impacting relative power or heat output. The feat lets either chipset carry 640 stream (effects) cores and run at clock speeds of 450MHz or 600MHz (for the 4830) and 650MHz (4860) without necessarily requiring a large, desktop replacement-class notebook.
In addition to core speed differences, the two chips vary in their memory support. The 4830 is limited to older GDDR3 memory, while the 4860 gets the full GDDR5 support of the recent Mobility Radeon HD 4870. Compared to the highest-end AMD mobile part, both of the newest chips also downgrade to a more modest 128-bit memory bus but continue to support full hardware HD video decoding, CrossFireX for multiple graphics processors, Hybrid CrossFire to save power using a second integrated graphics chip, and pass-through for 7.1-channel surround sound on notebooks with HDMI output. Either can also handle dual DisplayPort connectors.
A full list of companies using the new graphics hardware aren't specified, though AMD says that ASUS' new K series notebooks will be among the first to use the new ATI-branded components. They should be available both built-in as well as in an MXM-format card that lets makers of large notebooks or even small desktops use the new Mobility Radeons as upgrades.