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Apple aims at pro Mac markets with all-new AMD GPU

Apple’s business has grown so extensive that enhancements that might once have been major announcements now arrive in the form of quiet, stealthy product updates that don’t get much attention. Two newly introduced Mac enhancements go a long way to illustrate this point.

Graphics for the few

I was blown away by the speed and performance of the 16-inch MacBook Pro when I took a look at the machine. It delivered more computing performance than a humble scribbler like myself actually needs – and Apple is already improving on it.

With WWDC 2020 just one week away, the company has quietly enhanced the available build-to-order options around these Macs with the addition of a new AMD Radeon Pro 5600M GPU selection. The new configuration is available to purchase now and costs an additional $600.

This is a step above for these Macs, as it means the most demanding Mac professionals can get hold of systems that deliver performance up to 75% faster than the entry-level MacBook Pro 16, and it’s up to 3.5 times faster than a previous generation 15-inch model.

These kinds of performance benefits are great, though not everyone is going to be able to make use of them. Mac users involved in high-end 3D modelling, games development, color grading or video special effects may be interested.

The 7nm AMD graphics processor is very new. AMD says it can deliver up to 5.3 Terraflops of single precision floating point performance. It’s also equipped with 8GB of HBM2 memory, which is capable of handling 394 GBps bandwidth. It’s built using AMD’s RDNA architecture, which basically means kicking out excellent performance without consuming vast chunks of battery life.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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