Amidst all the hype this week surrounding Apple’s new 14″ and 16″ Macbook Pro models, APple has also made new Mac Pro GPU configurations available via its online store. The AMD Vega II and Vega II Duo graphics card options have now been replaced by the RDNA 2-based Radeon Pro W6800X, W6800X Duo, and W6900X. This is a substantial update for Mac Pro users, promising a 50 percent performance increase per watt compared to the previous GPU options. According to Apple, this means a considerable hike in the processing speed of applicable software.
The AMD W6000X series, now available as a Mac Pro GPU
Apple claims this update will allow an 84 percent boost when rendering with Octane X, while apps such as Cinema 4D and DaVinci Resolve are provided increases of 26 and 23 percent respectively. While these numbers might be inconclusive, they are certainly impressive to users seeking to upgrade their Mac Pro GPU or configure a new workstation. Although the Radeon RX 6800 and 6900 are technically consumer series AMD cards, it’s refreshing to note that Apple still has professionals in mind with its specifications. Each of the newly available GPUs features one HDMI 2 and four Thunderbolt 3 ports, along with Infinity Fabric Link capability. This allows communication between up to 4 GPUs at a speed five times faster than what is possible with PCIe cards. Each single graphics module provides 32GB of GDDR6 memory and the W6800X Duo offers 64GB.
As mentioned, these are pro-market upgrades and they certainly have the price tag to go with them. The W6800X, W6800X Duo, and W6900X are available at $2,400, $4,600, and $5,600 respectively. While two W6800X Duo graphics modules will set you back $9,600 and dual W6900X setup costs you $11,600. Not cheap by any stretch of the imagination, but as a Mac Pro user, you’ll be very much accustomed to the accompanying expense. These Mac Pro GPU updates should be the only ones this year, with rumors surrounding a new Mac Pro spec launch in 2022. Will Apple continue with Intel for a final update with the Ice Lake Xeon processor or are we going to see the unveiling of Apple’s reported 40-core CPU?