Apple and AMD have added a new GPU option to the 16-inch MacBook Pro which gives it a major performance boost if you’re willing to pay the high upgrade price.
Until now, the best GPU offered for the 16-inch MacBook Pro was the Radeon Pro 5500M with 8GB of HBM2 memory. However, that changed today with the addition of an optional upgrade on both 16-inch models to the Radeon Pro 5600M with 8GB of HBM2 memory. Although only a small bump in the model number, it’s actually a significant upgrade in performance from the 5500M to the 5600M.
The Radeon Pro 5500M offers 24 compute units, 1,536 stream processors, and up to 4 teraflops of performance over a memory bandwidth of 192GB/s. Compare that to the 5600M, which offers 40 compute units, 2,560 stream processors, 5.3 teraflops of performance, while more than doubling the memory bandwidth to 394GB/s, all while keeping the total graphic power the same (50W).
Opting for the Radeon Pro 5600M certainly isn’t cheap. On the base Core i7 model of the 16-inch MBP, it pushes the price up to $3,199 if you keep the rest of the configuration the same. However, for the Core i9 model, you’ll pay a minimum $3,499 to include the new GPU. Whether it’s worth it depends on what you intend to use the laptop for. AMD says users who perform heavy workloads in the areas of “video editing, color grading, application development, game creation” will all benefit from using the 5600M.
Alongside the GPU upgrade, TechCrunch points out Apple also decided to give Mac Pro owners an easy way to upgrade the existing SSD in their desktop machine. An official upgrade kit offering 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and 8TB storage modules is expected to be made available direct from Apple from today.