Apple’s most powerful computing product, the Mac Pro, just got a major graphics boost for 2021 thanks to some high-end AMD Radeon Pro GPUs.
Those ready to drop thousands on a Mac Pro can now trick it out with an Apple-exclusive AMD’s Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo or W6900X card.
The successors to the Vega 2 line will offer at least 50% performance per watt improvements. As an example, Apple said rendering in Octane X will be boosted by 84%, with other demanding, high-powered apps experiencing similar boosts.
They will cost from between $2,400 for the W6800X module, while a pair of the W6900X will set users back $11,600 if you add them to the Mac Pro you’re configuring. Here’s how Apple describes the new set-up in its new white paper on the Mac Pro:
“For the maximum workstation-class graphics and demanding pro applications, choose the AMD Radeon Pro W6900X with 32GB of GDDR6 memory delivering up to 512GB/s memory bandwidth. This graphics option features AMD’s RDNA2 architecture, delivering up to 22.2 teraflops of single-precision or 44.4 teraflops of half-precision computing. It supports up to six 4K displays, three 5K displays, or three Pro Display XDRs.
“The full-height MPX Module fills an MPX bay and uses extra power and PCIe bandwidth to deliver four additional Thunderbolt 3 ports and an HDMI 2.0 port on the card. You can install two W6900X MPX Modules in your Mac Pro and connect them using Infinity Fabric Link for enhanced multi-GPU performance in applications like Final Cut Pro. When you select the option with two GPUs, the Infinity Fabric Link connector comes preinstalled.”
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If existing Mac Pro users fancy upgrading their current graphics chips, they will be available on a standalone basis moving forward.
Apple is yet to kit the Mac Pro out with Apple Silicon processors, although rumours suggest that might be in the offing. If you’re in the market for the Mac Pro, which can be configured up to £50,000, we’d suggest hanging fire for just a little while longer to see what (if anything) Apple has in store.