15-inch MacBook Pro Radeon Pro Vega 16 and Vega 20 GPU options now available

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited December 11
Apple has started to offer the 15-inch MacBook Pro to customers with updated graphics options, with configurations of the notebook using AMD's Radeon Pro Vega GPUs now available to purchase from Apple directly.

15-inch MacBook Pro
15-inch MacBook Pro


Quietly revealed during Apple's special event in October alongside other Mac and iPad changes, the upgraded options to add more powerful graphics to the MacBook Pro went live on Wednesday. Under the change, customers can elect to have a Vega 16 or Vega 20 graphics processing unit (GPU) as a discrete graphics alternative to the integrated Intel UHD Graphics 630.

Previously, buyers of the 15-inch MacBook Pro had the option of a Radeon Pro 555X or Radeon Pro 560X GPU, each with 4GB of GDDR5 memory, to be installed in the notebook. Under the new options, users can elect for a Vega 16 or Vega 20, both with 4GB of HBM2 memory.

The Vega 16 and Vega 20 are equipped with what AMD describes as "Vega next-generation compute units," with each having 16 and 20 compute units respectively. The GPU also includes a feature called Rapid Packed Math, that accelerates processing of workloads in realtime and can cut down the resources required for repetitive tasks.

It is claimed opting for the Vega 16 and Vega 20 will offer a 60-percent performance improvement over the Radeon Pro 560X, making it useful for mobile creative professionals working in video editing, 3D design, and graphics-heavy workflows.

The second-generation High Bandwidth Memory offers a number of bonuses over GDDR5 memory, with more memory bandwidth per chip and lower power consumption offered by HBM2. By being located on the GPU package, it can also offer physical space savings within the MacBook Pro, which could allow Apple to further refine the logic board to be smaller.

The new options are available from Apple's online store and through its retail outlets as custom orders only, as well as via Apple Authorized Resellers. To upgrade from the Radeon Pro 560X to the Radeon Pro Vega 16 will cost an extra $250, while jumping to the Vega 20 is a $350 add-on.

While the Vega 16 and 20 will be handy for those on the move, it isn't the only graphical upgrade on offer. Apple also launched the Blackmagic eGPU Pro equipped with a Radeon RX Pro Vega 56 GPU, making it a more powerful add-on option for those who need higher performance and are willing to work from a single location rather than being more mobile.

Apple plans to ship the BlackMagic eGPU Pro in late November, priced at $1,199.

Save $225 on every Vega MacBook Pro

For a limited time, Apple authorized reseller Adorama is taking $225 off every Mid 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro with Vega 16 or Vega 20 graphics for AI readers. This deal, which can be activated with coupon code APINSIDER using the pricing links below and in our Price Guide, delivers the lowest prices anywhere on the newly released configurations.

What's more, Adorama will not collect sales tax on your order if you live outside NY and NJ. For most customers, that incentive combined with our $225 coupon will save you between $470 to $790 on these brawny new machines.

To snap up the discounts, you must shop through the pricing links below or in our Price Guide and enter coupon code APINSIDER during checkout. Need help? Send us a note at deals@appleinsider.com and we will do our best to assist.

2018 15" MacBook Pros with Vega 16 graphics 2018 15" MacBook Pros with Vega 20 graphics

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,641member
    Nice but a processor update would have been nice also.

    AMD's use of HBM2 memory had down wonders for them.   They effectively increase performance and lower power usage going the HBM route.   Given that an 8GB GPU would have been nice.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 20
    Non upgradeable eGPU.  About sums up Apple these days.

    These 'things' are still expensive.  

    When the caddies (well, that's what they are...) are in the £100 range, they'll be 'worth it.'  ...what is it after all?  A pc tower box mini with a power supply and a few ports and 'a fan?'

    GPUs aren't cheap these days.  But Apple didn't see fit to include one with the Mini 'pro' or even the Macbook Pro (at least, not a decent one...) and so they save on that whilst charging you a premium on an eGPU.  I'd call that double dipping.  They pocket the profit from NOT offering a GPU AND they charge on purchasing an external one...or you pay that via a 3rd party and you're out for at least twice the price for a gpu.  Do the math on that one.

    And the eGPU right now over TB3?  Inefficient.  20%.  Run two?  That's 40%.  

    And WHY doesn't the Mini have this Vega graphics (Vega 16 and 20) at least?  Apple's 'Mini' is Maxi priced.

    PC from PC World?  Tower with 6 core AND NV 1060?  £999.  

    PC from PC World?  Tower with 6 core AND NV 1080(!) £1450.  (Sounds tempting?)

    'Same' PC from Amazon?  £1350-ish.

    To get 'the same' specs from Apple, you're adding a couple of hundred on a caddy.  A couple of hundred to £400 on the gpu and spending an extra £600 total to get a machine with a gpu.  

    It would take the base Coffee Lake i5 6 core to about £1700 or more depending on the caddy cost.

    Be nice if Apple supported Nvidia...it's not as if it's the days of ten GPU makers..., is it?

    £799 for a 128 gig SSD (auto-correct wanted to change that to 'sad' strangely enough...)

    What's that drive cost apple?  £40?  £20?  I'm scratching my head at £799 for a crappy i3 and 128 gigs.  That costs the 300 extra over a base £399 mini?  Those specs should be in a base £399 mini.  Its not as if you get a screen, mouse or keyboard.  Apple are saving on all of those.

    And while I'm ranting.  What's with £200 iPad keyboards?  For a sharp edged and RSI keyboard that offers very little flexibility of position.

    Insane is what it is.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 3 of 20
    And you can't upgrade the eGPU?

    Deary me.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 4 of 20
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,374member
    Is there any reason not to announce new imacs now?
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,716administrator
    And you can't upgrade the eGPU?

    Deary me.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
    I'm not sure what you're flipping out about? If you want an upgradeable eGPU, most of them are. If you want to run two eGPUs without the 40% loss, then run them on different buses.
    edited November 14 williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 20
    Non upgradeable eGPU.  About sums up Apple these days.

    These 'things' are still expensive.  

    When the caddies (well, that's what they are...) are in the £100 range, they'll be 'worth it.'  ...what is it after all?  A pc tower box mini with a power supply and a few ports and 'a fan?'

    GPUs aren't cheap these days.  But Apple didn't see fit to include one with the Mini 'pro' or even the Macbook Pro (at least, not a decent one...) and so they save on that whilst charging you a premium on an eGPU.  I'd call that double dipping.  They pocket the profit from NOT offering a GPU AND they charge on purchasing an external one...or you pay that via a 3rd party and you're out for at least twice the price for a gpu.  Do the math on that one.

    And the eGPU right now over TB3?  Inefficient.  20%.  Run two?  That's 40%.  

    And WHY doesn't the Mini have this Vega graphics (Vega 16 and 20) at least?  Apple's 'Mini' is Maxi priced.

    PC from PC World?  Tower with 6 core AND NV 1060?  £999.  

    PC from PC World?  Tower with 6 core AND NV 1080(!) £1450.  (Sounds tempting?)

    'Same' PC from Amazon?  £1350-ish.

    To get 'the same' specs from Apple, you're adding a couple of hundred on a caddy.  A couple of hundred to £400 on the gpu and spending an extra £600 total to get a machine with a gpu.  

    It would take the base Coffee Lake i5 6 core to about £1700 or more depending on the caddy cost.

    Be nice if Apple supported Nvidia...it's not as if it's the days of ten GPU makers..., is it?

    £799 for a 128 gig SSD (auto-correct wanted to change that to 'sad' strangely enough...)

    What's that drive cost apple?  £40?  £20?  I'm scratching my head at £799 for a crappy i3 and 128 gigs.  That costs the 300 extra over a base £399 mini?  Those specs should be in a base £399 mini.  Its not as if you get a screen, mouse or keyboard.  Apple are saving on all of those.

    And while I'm ranting.  What's with £200 iPad keyboards?  For a sharp edged and RSI keyboard that offers very little flexibility of position.

    Insane is what it is.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
    Blackmagic makes the eGPU, not Apple. You can buy any other eGPU box on the market if you don’t want theirs.
    williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 20
    thttht Posts: 2,975member
    entropys said:
    Is there any reason not to announce new imacs now?
    Rhetorical question?

    There are lots of reasons. I’m hoping that they will have new form factors and getting a new form factor out takes time, like new components to source (different displays, new assembly line, new components, etc).

    If it is the same form factor with the same display, they’ll be moving to T2 based boards, or they decided to wait for early 2019 when a T3 could be available. They are waiting for NAND to be more affordable as switching to SSD only systems will increase the price. They are waiting on specific Intel processors to be shipped in enough volume, like the Core i9 8-core processors. They are waiting on a Vega GPU that they are working with AMD on. 
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 20
    This is great, and I’ll go for the Vega 20, even though that pushes my config towards $5K. Eek. I can deal with it as I retire my nearly 8 yo MBP, My only gripe is the 4TB option is soooo expensive, and I can’t live with less than 2TB. Glad I waited though. I do feel for those who jumped on a loaded 15” when they came out and would’ve waited had Apple announced at the time that Vega would be available later in the year, but maybe there was no guarantee they’d be out this month? Regardless I think we’re all better off with Apple providing these BTO options for pro users mid-cycle as components become available as opposed to sitting on them for a year. Thanks, Apple! (Now bring the storage prices down please :)
    edited November 14 entropyswilliamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 20
    entropysentropys Posts: 1,374member
    tht said:
    entropys said:
    Is there any reason not to announce new imacs now?
    Rhetorical question?

    There are lots of reasons. I’m hoping that they will have new form factors and getting a new form factor out takes time, like new components to source (different displays, new assembly line, new components, etc).

    If it is the same form factor with the same display, they’ll be moving to T2 based boards, or they decided to wait for early 2019 when a T3 could be available. They are waiting for NAND to be more affordable as switching to SSD only systems will increase the price. They are waiting on specific Intel processors to be shipped in enough volume, like the Core i9 8-core processors. They are waiting on a Vega GPU that they are working with AMD on. 
    Those are all good reasons, although design would have been sorted quite some time ago I suspect. It is almost 18 months since the last update after all. 

    My fear is they will downspec the next iMac both to encourage people to buy an iMac pro, and ream buyers on BTO.  
    williamlondon
  • Reply 10 of 20
    And you can't upgrade the eGPU?

    Deary me.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
    I'm not sure what you're flipping out about? If you want an upgradeable eGPU, most of them are. If you want to run two eGPUs without the 40% loss, then run them on different buses.
    Will you guys do a test to see how the new system performs?

    I’m thinking if they are adopting Vega with HBM to replace GDDRs, the logic board will be different, which could possibly mean different cooling system.
    edited November 14 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 20
    entropys said:
    tht said:
    entropys said:
    Is there any reason not to announce new imacs now?
    Rhetorical question?

    There are lots of reasons. I’m hoping that they will have new form factors and getting a new form factor out takes time, like new components to source (different displays, new assembly line, new components, etc).

    If it is the same form factor with the same display, they’ll be moving to T2 based boards, or they decided to wait for early 2019 when a T3 could be available. They are waiting for NAND to be more affordable as switching to SSD only systems will increase the price. They are waiting on specific Intel processors to be shipped in enough volume, like the Core i9 8-core processors. They are waiting on a Vega GPU that they are working with AMD on. 
    Those are all good reasons, although design would have been sorted quite some time ago I suspect. It is almost 18 months since the last update after all. 

    My fear is they will downspec the next iMac both to encourage people to buy an iMac pro, and ream buyers on BTO.  
    ream buyers on BTO” I don’t know what that means but man that sounds painful. 
    williamlondonentropyswatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 20
    Non upgradeable eGPU.  About sums up Apple these days.

    These 'things' are still expensive.  

    When the caddies (well, that's what they are...) are in the £100 range, they'll be 'worth it.'  ...what is it after all?  A pc tower box mini with a power supply and a few ports and 'a fan?'

    GPUs aren't cheap these days.  But Apple didn't see fit to include one with the Mini 'pro' or even the Macbook Pro (at least, not a decent one...) and so they save on that whilst charging you a premium on an eGPU.  I'd call that double dipping.  They pocket the profit from NOT offering a GPU AND they charge on purchasing an external one...or you pay that via a 3rd party and you're out for at least twice the price for a gpu.  Do the math on that one.

    And the eGPU right now over TB3?  Inefficient.  20%.  Run two?  That's 40%.  

    And WHY doesn't the Mini have this Vega graphics (Vega 16 and 20) at least?  Apple's 'Mini' is Maxi priced.

    PC from PC World?  Tower with 6 core AND NV 1060?  £999.  

    PC from PC World?  Tower with 6 core AND NV 1080(!) £1450.  (Sounds tempting?)

    'Same' PC from Amazon?  £1350-ish.

    To get 'the same' specs from Apple, you're adding a couple of hundred on a caddy.  A couple of hundred to £400 on the gpu and spending an extra £600 total to get a machine with a gpu.  

    It would take the base Coffee Lake i5 6 core to about £1700 or more depending on the caddy cost.

    Be nice if Apple supported Nvidia...it's not as if it's the days of ten GPU makers..., is it?

    £799 for a 128 gig SSD (auto-correct wanted to change that to 'sad' strangely enough...)

    What's that drive cost apple?  £40?  £20?  I'm scratching my head at £799 for a crappy i3 and 128 gigs.  That costs the 300 extra over a base £399 mini?  Those specs should be in a base £399 mini.  Its not as if you get a screen, mouse or keyboard.  Apple are saving on all of those.

    And while I'm ranting.  What's with £200 iPad keyboards?  For a sharp edged and RSI keyboard that offers very little flexibility of position.

    Insane is what it is.

    Lemon Bon Bon.
    Blackmagic makes the eGPU, not Apple. You can buy any other eGPU box on the market if you don’t want theirs.
    He just wants to bitch about something. Otherwise, he never chimes in. 
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 20
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,002member
    Should’ve used this opportunity to push their own GPU, the A12X matches the 555X in compute and bears the 560X in frame-rates.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 20
    It's good to see the upgrade. Hopefully they will replace the 555X and 560X in the next upgrade cycle(base becomes Vega 16). I know it's also a bit hopeful, but since they now go up to 4TB(16* the current base storage), the base storage becoming 512 GB next generation would be nice too.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 20
    Ale9191Ale9191 Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    Hello I'm new. Can you help me? I would like to ask you If it's worth to buy the Vegas 16 or I can use without problem the "old" Radeon Pro 560. I'm a fashion photographer that do main retouching work with many layers in PS. I work with RAW file about 35 mpx. Is the 560 already good, or do you suggest me to buy the new version with the Vega 16? I'm not interested in video editing or 3d rendering. I'm not a tech expert so I don't know if I really need a powerful GPU or is the CPU the most important hardware for PS.
    Thankyou so much.
  • Reply 16 of 20
    killermike2178killermike2178 Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    entropys said:
    Is there any reason not to announce new imacs now?
    Don't you understand how staggered releases work? The Xeon Ws and GPUs in the iMac Pro need a refresh before they even talk about updating the standard iMacs to avoid the risk of cannibalizing sales of the lower spec iMac Pros (8/10-core, Vega 56, 1/2 TB, 32/64 GB RAM). Apple likes to have leverage over the consumers, and they lose that leverage if there's a $4500 iMac with an 8 core i9-9900K, Vega 56 or even a Vega 64 (8 GB), user-accessible SO-DIMM slots that can take up to 64 GB RAM, and 1 or 2 TB of NVMe SSD on the shelves at the same time that the absolute base-tier iMac Pro costs $5000, which doesn't even have (easily) user-accessible/upgradeable memory, ECC be damned. I don't even think we'll see a refresh of the iMac Pro until after the 2019 Mac Pro hits shelves next year. Maybe the Mac Pro will go back to a large tower design, and will use that 28-core Xeon W-3175X that was announced early last month, along with dual GPUs and up to 512 GB of ECC RAM.

    fastasleepwilliamlondon
  • Reply 17 of 20
    Ale9191 said:
    Hello I'm new. Can you help me? I would like to ask you If it's worth to buy the Vegas 16 or I can use without problem the "old" Radeon Pro 560. I'm a fashion photographer that do main retouching work with many layers in PS. I work with RAW file about 35 mpx. Is the 560 already good, or do you suggest me to buy the new version with the Vega 16? I'm not interested in video editing or 3d rendering. I'm not a tech expert so I don't know if I really need a powerful GPU or is the CPU the most important hardware for PS.
    Thankyou so much.
    I don't think you need one of the Vega options for Photoshop work. This is aimed at people working in 3D/vfx/video editing & rendering. I'm buying an i9/Vega 20 because I'll be deep into After Effects/Cinema 4D/Fusion/DaVinci Resolve/Clarisse etc but I think this will be overkill for Photoshop still image editing, regardless of how many layers you have. Might offer a bump in batch processing, but you didn't specify that as a need.
    williamlondonAle9191richarddobell
  • Reply 18 of 20
    Ale9191Ale9191 Posts: 2unconfirmed, member
    Ale9191 said:
    Hello I'm new. Can you help me? I would like to ask you If it's worth to buy the Vegas 16 or I can use without problem the "old" Radeon Pro 560. I'm a fashion photographer that do main retouching work with many layers in PS. I work with RAW file about 35 mpx. Is the 560 already good, or do you suggest me to buy the new version with the Vega 16? I'm not interested in video editing or 3d rendering. I'm not a tech expert so I don't know if I really need a powerful GPU or is the CPU the most important hardware for PS.
    Thankyou so much.
    I don't think you need one of the Vega options for Photoshop work. This is aimed at people working in 3D/vfx/video editing & rendering. I'm buying an i9/Vega 20 because I'll be deep into After Effects/Cinema 4D/Fusion/DaVinci Resolve/Clarisse etc but I think this will be overkill for Photoshop still image editing, regardless of how many layers you have. Might offer a bump in batch processing, but you didn't specify that as a need.
    Thankyou so much Fastasleep. No I usually don't do batch processing, so I think I'll stay with the 560. Even 'cause I found  it new for 2700 euro more or less (512gb SSD) in Italy.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 19 of 20
    I think it is good to see Apple updating Macs . . . 
  • Reply 20 of 20
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wYN4HYLhHpg

    a pretty great review with lots of deets
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