Amidst the iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini announcements yesterday, Apple also quietly updated its MacBook Pro lineup with more graphics power. Apple will offer new versions of the MacBook Pro with AMD Radeon Pro Vega graphics chips, marking the first time Vega GPUs have been used in Apple’s premium laptops.
Apple claims the new GPUs will provide up to 60 percent better graphical performance than the existing offerings. Currently, the best GPU available in a MacBook Pro is the Radeon Pro 560X.
Vega 56 and 64 graphics cards are already available in Apple’s iMac Pro, a machine designed for creative professionals and power users. Offering Vega graphics cards (like the Vega 16 and 20 CPUs) in the MacBook Pros brings more consistency to the high-end Mac lineup, as well as the graphics power some users need to complete complex and creative projects.
Apple hasn’t announced pricing for the new MacBook Pro models yet, but they will be available to order in November. Apple also announced another GPU-boosting option for new Mac owners—the new Blackmagic eGPU Pro. This external GPU enclosure should dramatically increase overall performance and graphics power for Macs that have a Thunderbolt 3 port.
The Blackmagic eGPU Pro will be equipped with a Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics processor and 8GB of HBM2 memory. It looks identical to the existing Blackmagic eGPU, which Apple still offers for $699 and comes with a Radeon Pro 580 GPU.
Included with the Blackmagic eGPU Pro are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, and DisplayPort 1.4 port. The device will also provide 85W of power so users can charge MacBook Pros while connected.
The Blackmagic eGPU Pro will cost $1,199 and it will be available in late November.