New 5K iMac Doubles MacBook Pro GPU Performance

New 5K iMac Doubles MacBook Pro GPU Performance

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Apple has historically been secretive when it comes to sharing the raw computing prowess of its devices. Cupertino will have us know that the latest-and-greatest generation device has 20% more of this and 2.5 times more of that — and we’re seldom if ever able to find the true product specifications online. Not so for the graphics processor (GPU) built-into Apple’s latest line of iMac computers, however, since the chip-maker has apparently divulged a ton of head-to-head comparisons between this- and last-year’s devices, revealing that AMD’s most recent Radeon Pro GPU is its most powerful yet.

That’s even the case in comparison to similar Radeon Pro variants utilized in Apple’s latest MacBook Pro offerings. Both the MacBook Pro and new iMac feature what AMD has dubbed its fourth-generation “Polaris” architecture, featuring the company’s proprietary Graphics Core Next technology. Accordingly, all GPUs utilized in the MacBook Pro and new iMac feature AMD’s “asynchronous compute technology, updated shader engines, enhanced memory compression and new geometry capabilities.”

Whereas Apple’s 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro variants feature AMD’s Radeon Pro 450, 455, 550, 555, or 560 (in the top-tier configuration), the company’s recently unveiled iMac computers — at the least — feature one of AMD’s new Radeon Pro 570, 575, or the top-tier 580 GPU offerings, depending on your configuration. Of course, while the minor number bumps, themselves, don’t appear to suggest that any noteworthy changes in speed have taken place, AMD recently sought to shed some light on their actual, real-world differences.

Performance Comparison Points of Interest:

  1. AMD’s new Radeon Pro 570, 575, and 580 utilized exclusively in the new 21.5- and 27-inch iMacs trump the entire line of GPUs employed in all of Apple’s MacBook Pro models.
  2. Specifically, the AMD Pro 570 more than doubles the performance of the upper-tier Pro 460 and 560, which are used in the most premium, high-end MacBook Pro configurations.
  3. The AMD Pro 580, used exclusively in Apple’s 27-inch 5K iMac, is approximately 2.9 x faster than its predecessor — the top-tier AMD Pro 560.
  4. AMD’s latest Pro 570, 575, and 580 can reach a peak performance of 3.6, 4.5, and 5.5 Teraflops, respectively, in comparison to the previous-generation’s 550, 555, and 560 GPUs — which can achieve just 1.0, 1.3, and 1.9 Teraflops, respectively.

On paper, and even in graphically intense, real-world applications, AMD’s latest family of 570+ GPUs are among the most powerful and capable graphics units Apple has ever offered in an iMac — and they can be yours now, too, if the price is right..

  • Apple’s latest 21.5-inch 4K iMac complete with a 3.0 GHz quad-core i5 CPU, a Radeon Pro 555 GPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 1TB 5400 RPM hard drive can be yours for $1,299. An upgrade to Intel’s 3.4 GHz i5 CPU, 1 TB Fusion Drive, and a Radeon Pro 560 will add an additional $200 to that price.
  • Meanwhile, Apple’s new 27-inch 5K iMac, boasting a 3.4 GHz i5 CPU, 8 GB of RAM, a 1 TB Fusion Drive, and a Radeon Pro 570, costs $1,799.
  • Apple’s creme-de-la-crème, top-shelf iMac, with its dizzying 3.8 GHz Intel i5, 2 TB Fusion Drive, and a Radeon Pro 580 can be scooped up for $2,299 over on Apple’s website.
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