Navi 12-based AMD Radeon Pro 5600M with 40 CUs and 8 GB HBM2 VRAM will be available in the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch for a US$700 upcharge
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Prospective Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch buyers now have a more powerful GPU option to choose from. AMD has introduced the Navi 12-based Radeon Pro 5600M with 8 GB HBM2 video memory that should offer quite a significant performance uplift from the Navi 14-based Radeon Pro 5500M, which is part of the standard MacBook Pro configuration.
The AMD Radeon Pro 5600M looks to be a super-binned Apple-exclusive GPU for now. It is being fabbed on the TSMC 7nm process in a multi-chip module design with the GPU die in the center flanked by a 16-bit 4 GB HBM2 VRAM chip on either side. According to AMD, the Radeon Pro 5600M has a boost clock of 1,035 MHz and features 40 Compute Units (CUs), 2,560 Stream Processors (SPs), 2,048-bit 8 GB HBM2 VRAM with 394 GB/s bandwidth, and can deliver up to 5.3 TFLOPs of FP32 performance.
The use of HBM2 memory is the biggest surprise with the 5600M. In terms of CU and SP count, the Radeon Pro 5600M is similar to the desktop Radeon RX 5700 XT. However, the latter is clocked higher (1,905 MHz) and has a higher memory bandwidth (448 GB/s) that enables the 5700 XT to offer up to 9.8 TFLOPs of peak FP32 performance.
All this power is offered in a 50 W total graphics power (TGP) envelope — same as that of the Radeon Pro 5500M and the Radeon Pro 5300M. This makes the Radeon Pro 5600M an incredibly powerful GPU option for the Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch.
Buyers can now configure the MacBook Pro 16-inch with the Radeon Pro 5600M for a US$700 mark-up. It is not cheap, but those who may need such raw GPU power to accelerate their workflows may find benefit. The standard Radeon Pro 5300M and Radeon Pro 5500M with 4 GB and 8 GB GDDR6 options continue to be available as well.
It remains to be seen how would the real-world performance of the Radeon Pro 5600M be under load given the chassis and thermal constraints. There is a possibility that AMD may have other Apple-exclusive GPUs with HBM2 memory for the iMac refreshes that are likely to be announced at WWDC 2020.