By Malcolm Owen
Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 08:07 am PT (11:07 am ET)
Apple began offering the 15-inch MacBook Pro to customers with updated graphics options, with laptop configurations using AMD's Radeon Pro Vega GPUs that are now available to buy directly from Apple.
15-inch MacBook Pro
Revealed quietly during Apple's special event in October along with other Mac and iPad changes, improved options for adding more powerful graphics to the MacBook Pro were launched on Wednesday. According to the change, customers can choose to have a graphics processing unit (GPU) Vega 16 or Vega 20 as an alternative discrete graphics to the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630.
Previously, buyers of the 15-inch MacBook Pro had the option of a Radeon Pro 555X or Radeon Pro 560X GPU, each with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, to be installed on the laptop. Under the new options, users can choose a Vega 16 or Vega 20, both with 4 GB of HBM2 memory.
Vega 16 and Vega 20 are equipped with what AMD describes as "Vega next-generation computing units," each of which has 16 and 20 computing units, respectively. The GPU also includes a feature called Rapid Packed Math, which speeds up the processing of workloads in real time and can reduce the resources needed for repetitive tasks.
It is claimed that opting for the Vega 16 and Vega 20 will offer a performance improvement of 60 percent on the Radeon Pro 560X, which makes it useful for mobile creative professionals working in video editing, 3D design and workflows. with many graphics.
The memory of high bandwidth of the second generation offers a series of bonuses on GDDR5 memory, with more bandwidth per chip and lower power consumption offered by HBM2. By being located in the GPU package, it can also offer physical space savings within the MacBook Pro, which could allow Apple to further refine the logic board to make it smaller.
New options are available at Apple's online store and retail outlets as custom orders only, as well as through authorized Apple resellers. Upgrading from the Radeon Pro 560X to the Radeon Pro Vega 16 will cost an additional $ 250, while jumping to the Vega 20 is a $ 350 add-on.
Although the Vega 16 and 20 will be useful for those who move, it is not the only graphic update that is offered. Apple also launched the Blackmagic eGPU Pro equipped with a Radeon RX Pro Vega 64 GPU, which makes it a more powerful option for those who need greater performance and are willing to work from a single location instead of being more mobile.
Apple plans to ship the BlackMagic eGPU Pro in late November, priced at $ 1,199.
Stay tuned for the latest deals on Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro with Vega graphics by consulting our 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro Pricing Guide.