In what has become a yearly tradition, AMD’s has introduced rebranded cards for the OEM market. Say hello to the HD 8000-series OEM.
Last night, several websites began reporting that AMD had released the much-anticipated HD 8000-series into the OEM space and they were nothing but rebadged Northern Islands (HD 7000-series) parts. Derision, confusion, disappointment and a fair amount of soul searching followed but, in truth, gamers have very little to be concerned about.
Let’s make one thing evident from the onset: the OEM and retail markets march to the beat of different drummers. Product cycles in the OEM circles, particularly when it comes to add in parts for PCs, rarely follow those in the retail market simply because expectations are quite different. In an effort to give their new prebuilt products a fresh face, large system builders routinely require rebranding of existing solutions. Unfortunately, since the retail and OEM product cycles are somewhat out of sync, that can result in some interesting situations like the one we’re experiencing with the HD 8000 OEM desktop products.
Through the use of the upcoming Sea Islands products, the retail market will soon be graced with the successor to AMD’s GCN-totting HD 7000-series. As the rumor mill has churned, some have called this iteration GCN 2.0 while others are have claimed it will be a drastic step towards increased performance. The mobile space meanwhile is being presented with their own HD 8000M products which are a mix of “Solar” cores that use a refreshed GCN architecture alongside a few rebrands from the HD 7000M lineup.
OEMs on the other hand have been making do with their own VLIW5-based HD 7000-series which were –for the most part- rebranded HD 6000-series parts. The cycle is now simply repeating itself as the likes of Dell, Lenovo, HP and others receive volume shipments of “new” graphics cards.
While most of the HD 8000-series OEM parts will be rebadged desktop HD 7000-series parts, there are some interesting wrinkles in an otherwise even fabric. The HD 8670 and HD 8570 (384 SP, 24 TMU & 8 ROPs) don’t line up with anything in AMD’s current stable so we have to assume these are new parts, albeit still using the GCN 1.0 architecture. AMD also has a few holdovers from previous generations in the form of a HD 8400 and HD 8350 which use the Caicos and ancient Cedar cores respectively.
Should AMD’s upcoming series be called the HD 8000-series, there’s no denying that at some point prebuilt system buyers will mistakenly assume their systems have the latest and greatest graphics technology. However, this is hardly the first time we’ve seen a component manufacturer chart this course. From a business perspective, “it just works”.
On the positive side of things, the OEM rebrand typically signals that new desktop parts are on the horizon, whatever they may be called once launched.
For more information about the HD 8000 OEM products, CLICK HERE.