15-inch MacBook Pro Now Available with Radeon Pro Vega GPUs

Macbook Pro Oled Touch Bar 2018 Credit: Apple
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Apple is now offering AMD’s Radeon Pro Vega 16 and 20 graphics options for its high-end, 15-inch MacBook Pro models.

The company announced the new specification options during its Mac and iPad Pro Keynote Event last month and as of Wednesday, Nov. 14, Apple has made good on the promised upgraded graphics options.

As mentioned, both GPUs are only available as upgrade options on the 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, which was first announced in July. The Radeon Pro Vega 16 costs an extra $250, while the Radeon Pro Vega 20 runs $350 extra.

For comparison’s sake, the standard 15-inch MacBook Pro previously came with the option of a Radeon Pro 555X or Radeon Pro 560X, both with 4 gigabytes of GDDR5 memory.

Apple says that the new Vega 16 and Vega 20 GPU options offer up to a 60 percent performance improvement over the Radeon Pro 560X. In addition, AMD claims that its new, second-generation High Bandwidth Memory in both cards offer better bandwidth and lower power consumption over standard GDDR5 memory.

That will undoubtedly make MacBook Pro models equipped with graded graphics cards particularly well suited for intensive workflows like video editing, 3D rendering and design, gaming, and other professional graphics-heavy tasks.

The new AMD cards are seemingly custom designed for Apple’s new MacBook Pro models and should provide a considerable boost for users who conduct demand high graphics performance on-the-go.

For more stationary users, Apple has been offering its iMac Pro with AMD’s Vega Pro 56 or Vega Pro 64 graphics. In addition, Apple offers an external Blackmagic eGPU Pro for $1,199 that packs a Radeon Pro Vega 64 for stationary work locations. That option will begin shipping this month.

While the new graphics options provide some serious power, they certainly aren’t cheap. The lowest you’ll pay for a MacBook Pro with the new GPU options is $3,049 — and that’s with 2.6GHz i7 CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.


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