Apple adds new SKUs to MacBook Pro, Mac Pro a week ahead of WWDC
Apple's 16-inch MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro are more customisable now.
Apple and AMD have added a new GPU option to the 16-inch MacBook Pro today that gives the laptop a serious performance boost, assuming you are willing to pay that much.
With just a week to go for Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), it’s interesting that Apple would decide to make both the MacBook Pro and the Mac Pro more customisable - this makes us wonder about what’s really in store.
So far, the best GPU you could get your 16-inch MacBook Pro suited with was the Radeon Pro 5500M along with 8GB of HBM2 memory. Starting today, you can bump that up to the Radeon Pro 5600M with 8GB of HBM2 memory.
The difference between the Radeon 5500M and the 5600M may not seem significant, numerically, but it is a significant upgrade in performance.
The Radeon Pro 5500 had 24 compute units, 1,536 stream processors and up to 4 teraflops over a memory bandwidth of 192GB/s. In comparison, the Radeon 5600M comes with 40 compute units, 2,650 stream processors, 5.3 teraflops of performance and 394Gb/s memory bandwidth. Despite all this leveling up, 5600M keeps the total graphic power to 50W.
Picking the Radeon Pro 5600M is not going to be cheap though. On the Core i7 model of the 16-inch MacBook Pro you will end up paying around $3,199 if all the other configurations are kept as it is. On the Core i9 model, you will end up paying at least $3,499 to get the Radeon 5600M. You can check out more details here.
Now, whether it makes sense to configure it thus depends entirely on what kind of work you intend to use your laptop for. According to AMD, it makes sense for those users who work extensively with video editing, colour grading, application development, game creation etc, they are the ones who will really benefit from the 5600M.
Besides this, Apple is also giving Mac Pro owners an easy way to upgrade the SSD on their desktop machines. There are official upgrade kits now that offer 1TB, 2TB, 4TB and 8TB storage modules. These can be bought directly from Apple.