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Apple brings the AMD Radeon Pro W5500X to the Mac Pro

The Mac Pro just got a new graphics card configuration. (Image source: Apple)
The Mac Pro just got a new graphics card configuration. (Image source: Apple)
Apple has quietly released a new graphics card option for the Mac Pro, effectively bringing down the cost of equipping the workstation with GDDR6 VRAM. Called the Radeon Pro W5500X, the half-height MPX module is based on AMD's RDNA architecture and has a memory bandwidth of 224 GB/s.

Apple refreshed the Mac Pro last year, with numerous memes spawning on account of its design and the price of its optional wheels. The Mac Pro is highly customisable and comes with an AMD Radeon Pro 580X by default, along with an 8-core Intel Xeon W processor, 32 GB of quad-channel RAM and a 256 GB SSD. The Radeon Pro 580X has GDDDR5 VRAM, and Apple originally charged US$600 if you wanted a GPU with GDDR6 instead.

However, the company has now quietly rolled out the Radeon Pro W5500X for the Mac Pro, a US$200 upgrade over the Radeon Pro 580X. The Radeon Pro W5500X has 8 GB of GDDR6 VRAM and is based on AMD's RDNA architecture. According to Apple, the Radeon Pro W5500X supports up to 5.6 TFLOPs of single-precision performance or 11.2 TFLOPs of half-precision computing. The GPU also has a memory bandwidth of 224 GB/s. The Radeon Pro W5500X is a half-height MPX Module, which means that the Mac Pro can have two of them running simultaneously in one bay.

Apple does not offer the option of configuring the Mac Pro with two Radeon Pro W5500X GPUs, at the time of writing. However, the company sells the MPX Module separately for US$600. Each MPX Module has two HDMI 2.0 ports, for reference.

(Image source: Apple)
(Image source: Apple)


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Alex Alderson, 2020-07- 3 (Update: 2020-07- 3)