Since chipmaker AMD retired the ATI brand name in 2010, its line of Radeon graphics cards for desktops and laptops now carries the same AMD branding as its CPUs. The company hopes to be the high-end laptop GPU maker of choice with its new Radeon HD 6000M, AMD's second generation of Microsoft DirectX 11-capable mobile graphics.
In the past year, we've seen many high-end laptops, such as HP's Envy series, use AMD/ATI graphics, and AMD says that as of the end of 2010 it owned about 60 percent of the laptop discrete GPU market.
Of the new 6000M, Matt Skynner, general manager of AMD's GPU Division, says, "AMD's best just got better by cementing its leadership in notebook graphics. Through our feature-rich line of top-to-bottom next-generation notebook graphics, including AMD's fastest-performing notebook graphics processor, we're enabling a superior visual computing experience in virtually every segment."
The different versions of Radeon 6000M are as follows: HD 6900M/6800M for high-end enthusiast laptops; HD 6700/6600/6500 for nongaming performance laptops; HD 6400 for mainstream systems; and HD 6300 for thin and light laptops that would normally not use discrete graphics.
The new Radeon chips will continue to support AMD's Eyefinity system, which allows for up to six simultaneous displays, and also supports DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4a. One thing we're not seeing yet, however, is an automatic integrated/discrete graphics switching system that's as seamless as Nvidia's Optimus system.