This morning, Apple quietly added a third discrete GPU configuration option to the 16-inch MacBook Pro available in its store: the new AMD Radeon Pro 5600M. It’s a pricy upgrade, but Apple and GPU-maker AMD claim it offers substantially improved performance over the existing options.
The 7nm GPU is designed for video editing, color grading, and game and app development, according to Apple and AMD. Apple claims this 5600M GPU will deliver up to 75-percent faster performance than the Radeon Pro 5500M with 4GB of GDDR6. (There is also a 5500M configuration with 8GB of memory.)
Upgrading to the Radeon Pro 5600M adds $700 to the 16-inch MacBook Pro’s purchase price over the default 5500M configuration with 4GB of memory, or $800 more than the lower-end 5300M. It’s $600 more than the 5500M with 8GB. That means the bare minimum to purchase a MacBook Pro with this GPU is about $3,200.
The Radeon Pro 5600M has 8GB of HBM2 video memory with 394 GB/s bandwidth and 40 compute units (CUs). AMD says it offers 5.3 teraflops (TFLOPs) of single-precision (FP32) floating point performance.
Below: Our graphics benchmarks for the 16-inch MacBook Pro with an 8GB 5500M GPU. Apple says this new 5600M is up to 75-percent faster.
Also today, Apple introduced a new SSD upgrade kit for its latest Mac Pro desktops. The kit allows users to upgrade internal storage and includes two SSD modules for switching out to 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB storage capacity. Apple will offer installation instructions in its online documentation for Mac Pro users. We’re not yet sure about pricing or availability.
The Mac Pro is something of a middle ground between a fully customizable traditional desktop tower and the typical Apple experience of minimal customization or upgrade options. The Mac Pro’s parts are interchangeable but sometimes involve swapping in or out components made specifically for the Mac Pro by Apple and its partners rather than installing whatever hardware you can buy off the Internet.
Listing image by Samuel Axon