Apple has added a trio of new AMD graphics cards to configurable options for its flagship desktop computer, the Mac Pro. The new modules are based on AMD’s next-generation GPU, the Radeon Pro W6000-series.
The new chips are the Radeon Pro W6800X MPX, Radeon Pro W6800X Duo MPX and Radeon Pro W6900X MPX. The Radeon Pro W6800X has 32GB of GDDR6 memory, as does the more powerful W6900X. The Radeon Pro W6800X Duo has 64GB of GDDR6 memory, which makes sense given that it’s a pair of W6800X cards.
As is the case with the Mac Pro itself, power doesn’t come cheap. The single Radeon Pro W6800X adds $2,400 to the Mac Pro’s $5,999 base price. A second one brings the total add-on cost to $5,200. If you want the W6900X, that’s $5,600 for one GPU and $11,600 for a pair. Rounding out the new options is the Radeon Pro W6800X Duo, which is $4,600 for a single card and $9,600 for two.
The base model of the Mac Pro comes with an older Radeon Pro 580X with 8GB of GDDR5 memory. Upgrading to a Radeon Pro W5500X with 8GB of GDDR6 memory costs $200. Next up is the Radeon Pro W5700X with 16GB of GDDR6 memory for $600. You can get two W5700X graphics cards for $1,600. The next most expensive upgrade is the new Radeon Pro W6800X with 32GB of GDDR6 memory. This is the cheapest way to get 32GB of GDDR6 VRAM.
|The new Mac Pro graphics configuration options|
Improved graphics cards with more and faster memory will primarily help with graphics-intensive applications, like video editing apps such as Final Cut Pro. The W6800X Duo configuration delivers a whopping 60 teraflops of graphics performance and 128GB of memory for those demanding the absolute in performance. As pointed out by PetaPixel, the AMD modules may include AMD’s Infinity Fabric Link technology, which provides a ‘high-bandwidth, low latency direct connection between the local AMD GPUs’ that is up to five times faster than PCIe.
The new GPUs do more than add graphics power to the Mac Pro. They also each include four Thunderbolt 3 ports and an HDMI 2.0 port, expanding the computer’s input options.
There are rumors that Apple is working on a new Mac Pro model with its own silicon. Current Mac Pro models come with Intel Xeon W CPUs with 8, 12, 16, 24 and 28-core CPU options. Rumors also suggest that Apple is preparing a new Intel-based Mac Pro for next year. As always, rumors are only rumors until they’re not. If you need Apple’s most powerful computer now, you have more GPU options than before, and they promise to pack a punch.