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Vega comes to the MacBook Pro: new models with Vega Pro 16 and Vega Pro 20 GPUs now available

Image source: Apple and AMD (w/ edits)
Image source: Apple and AMD (w/ edits)
Apple has released new models of the 15-inch MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro Vega GPUs. The new MacBook Pros can be configured with either a Radeon Pro Vega 16 or Radeon Pro Vega 20. The new GPU option is only available for the most expensive 15-inch Macbook Pro and will start at US $3,049.

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The MacBook Pro got a nice spec bump today with the introduction of models sporting AMD’s new Pro Vega mobile GPUs. In typical Apple fashion, they won’t come cheap.

Apple is now selling MacBook Pro models sporting AMD’s Pro Vega 16 and Pro Vega 20 GPUs which, according to Apple, should offer up to a 60% increase in performance under graphically intensive loads like 3D rendering or video editing. The cards also have 4 GB AMD’s High-Bandwidth Memory 2 (HBM2) tech that AMD claims is faster and more power efficient than the standard GDDR5 VRAM used in most modern GPUs.

There is a caveat. The Pro Vega GPUs are only available on the highest tier 15-inch MacBook Pro. You know, the one that already starts at US $2,800. That variant comes with an 8th-gen hexacore Intel Core i7 clocked at 2.6 GHz (Turbo to 4.3 GHz), 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and a 512 NVMe SSD standard.

The base model uses the older Radeon Pro 560X GPU, but buyers can upgrade this to either the Radeon Pro Vega 16 or Radeon Pro Vega 20 for $250 or $350, respectively. That puts the starting cost for a Pro Vega MacBook Pro at $3,049 ($3,149 for the Pro Vega 20). That also pushes a fully-specced MacBook Pro north of $7,000. That’s a lot to pay for what may amount to a marginally faster laptop, so we suggest waiting until benchmarks for the new machines have been released.

The new MacBook Pros with AMD Radeon Pro Vega GPUs can be purchased at Apple’s website. Again, you might want to wait for reviews to come out to see if the cost is justified.

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2018 11 > Vega comes to the MacBook Pro: new models with Vega Pro 16 and Vega Pro 20 GPUs now available
Sam Medley, 2018-11-14 (Update: 2018-11-15)
Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Review Editor - @samuel_medley
I've been a "tech-head" my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a Systems Analyst for my local school district. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news articles and notebook reviews. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not hunched over an electronic device or writing code for a new database, I'm either outside with my family, playing a decade-old video game, or sitting behind a drum set.