AMD unveils Radeon 7 graphics card likely to appear in future pro Macs

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 9
AMD on Wednesday announced its next flagship graphics card, the Radeon 7, which it touted as the world's first 7-nanometer gaming GPU.




The card is claimed to offer 25 percent faster performance than earlier Vega cards, such as those used for the iMac Pro, AMD said during a CES keynote. To demonstrate, the company showed a preview of Capcom's upcoming action game "Devil May Cry 5," which ran in 4K resolution with framerates over 100 frames per second. Current games like "Battlefield V" are said to run at 60fps or more with maximum settings.

AMD is using 16 gigabytes of memory, offering bandwidth up to 1 terabyte per second. Processing happens on 60 compute units clocked at up to 1.8 gigahertz.

The Radeon 7 should ship Feb. 7 for $699.

Apple, a regular AMD customer, will presumably want to use some version of the card in future iMac Pro configurations, as well as its still secretive successor to the 2013 Mac Pro. The latter will be Apple's first modular computer in many years, finally letting hobbyists and professionals upgrade Macs gradually instead of having to wait for complete redesigns. Barring delays it's due to ship sometime in 2019.

The cost and size of the new Radeon will presumably keep it out of standard iMacs, where a sleek design is valued over performance.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    I really want to see the return of Nvidia Macs.  Tim Cook ... make this happen.
    MacPro
  • Reply 2 of 22
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,973member
    Please no.  At least give a BTO option for either one or a pair of high-end Nvidia cards in a next-generation MacPro.
    KITA
  • Reply 3 of 22
    I really want to see the return of Nvidia Macs.  Tim Cook ... make this happen.
    Nvidea seeks too much control. No way.
  • Reply 4 of 22
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,211member
    The MI60 custom OEM ASIC will be in the Mac Pro. These are MI60 cut downs by 4 Computational Units (CU). They are a direct equivalent sans the professional drivers and focus being on Machine Learning.

    Apple will never use Nvidia as Apple's focus runs in-line with AMD and its hardware. Apple develops the entire driver stack for AMD's cards. Dual 16GB HBM2 Vega 20s will be a beast, and at a far lower price point.

    The RTX 2080 is slower than Vega II and over $100 more.

    Google Stream is using the Vega II for its streaming data centers along with EPYC 2. It's a value proposition combo that Nvidia/Intel can't touch.
    edited January 9 hodard_2baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 22
    hodarhodar Posts: 258member
    I foresee another NVIDIA Driver release, which will "magically" close the gap with the competition.  This is a tried and true tactic, that NVIDIA has been doing for decades.  When they release a chip-set, there are features that are intentionally disabled, so that he competition can try to catch up, or beat them - only to be defeated by the "features" that the new driver enables.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 22
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,794member
    I really want to see the return of Nvidia Macs.  Tim Cook ... make this happen.
    If Apple are making their own custom processors as rumors allude to then chances are the next big shift in GPUs for Macs will be a custom Apple GPU, not Nvidia
    cornchipbaconstangpropodwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,806member
    In 2019, better CPU/GPU coming along for MACs especially Intel's Sunny Cove 10nm processors for MAC Laptops. It iwll be interesting if Apple jump on to GPU bandwagon for MACs.
    fastasleepwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 22
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,794member
    wood1208 said:
    In 2019, better CPU/GPU coming along for MACs especially Intel's Sunny Cove 10nm processors for MAC Laptops. It iwll be interesting if Apple jump on to GPU bandwagon for MACs.
    Sunny Cove will not coming out until Fall 2019 and the first Sunny Cove processors will be based on Intel's mobile 15W U-series processors.  So chances are you won't see much in the way of new Macs using this processor other than maybe the MBA / 13" MBP.  And by the time Intel transitions Sunny Cove to cover all use cases, Apple will probably begin the transition to ARM Macs
    edited January 9 watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 22
    It’s not a “Pro” device unless you can pick/replace your video card.  With laptops they get away with just one brand, but workstations are different...

    The choice between Nvidia and AMD depends on the application.

    The Vega has been a “good” chip, but that doesn’t mean it’s the “right” chip.
    KITAbaconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,757member
    I really want to see the return of Nvidia Macs.  Tim Cook ... make this happen.
    For what? Gaming? NVIDIA screwed up and hasn't been back with Apple since. And, I could be wrong but I don't think they want to support Metal either and if they don't want to support Metal then there's no way in hell NVIDIA is ever coming back to the Mac. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,757member

    It’s not a “Pro” device unless you can pick/replace your video card.  With laptops they get away with just one brand, but workstations are different...

    The choice between Nvidia and AMD depends on the application.

    The Vega has been a “good” chip, but that doesn’t mean it’s the “right” chip.
    Oh here we go with the its not a "Pro" unless you can change XYZ part out....such BS! Name me any significant "Pro" who regularly changes out their video card, RAM, CPU, etc, etc. I work in IT for a the Creative Department for a certain Theme Park in Florida...guess what, once the computer is deployed, we NEVER change any hardware unless of course if something failed. They use it until the 3yrs are up, then we provide them with a new computer. We don't touch the RAM, HD, Video Card, etc, etc. And these are up to $6,000-7,000 high-end workstations (Mac and PC)

    You buy all you can afford, use it until its no longer useful to you and then get something different. That's how it works....not buy something and then turn around and try to upgrade it yourself. That's very unproductive...wasting time screwing around with upgrades instead of just doing work. 
    edited January 9 cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    KITAKITA Posts: 160member
    macxpress said:
    I really want to see the return of Nvidia Macs.  Tim Cook ... make this happen.
    For what? Gaming? NVIDIA screwed up and hasn't been back with Apple since. And, I could be wrong but I don't think they want to support Metal either and if they don't want to support Metal then there's no way in hell NVIDIA is ever coming back to the Mac. 
    CUDA, Tensor and ray tracing are some very compelling reasons.
    baconstangPylons
  • Reply 13 of 22
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,757member
    KITA said:
    macxpress said:
    I really want to see the return of Nvidia Macs.  Tim Cook ... make this happen.
    For what? Gaming? NVIDIA screwed up and hasn't been back with Apple since. And, I could be wrong but I don't think they want to support Metal either and if they don't want to support Metal then there's no way in hell NVIDIA is ever coming back to the Mac. 
    CUDA, Tensor and ray tracing are some very compelling reasons.
    All of which are coming to AMD except obviously CUDA. 
    edited January 9
  • Reply 14 of 22
    MacProMacPro Posts: 17,973member
    macxpress said:

    It’s not a “Pro” device unless you can pick/replace your video card.  With laptops they get away with just one brand, but workstations are different...

    The choice between Nvidia and AMD depends on the application.

    The Vega has been a “good” chip, but that doesn’t mean it’s the “right” chip.
    Oh here we go with the its not a "Pro" unless you can change XYZ part out....such BS! Name me any significant "Pro" who regularly changes out their video card, RAM, CPU, etc, etc. I work in IT for a the Creative Department for a certain Theme Park in Florida...guess what, once the computer is deployed, we NEVER change any hardware unless of course if something failed. They use it until the 3yrs are up, then we provide them with a new computer. We don't touch the RAM, HD, Video Card, etc, etc. And these are up to $6,000-7,000 high-end workstations (Mac and PC)

    You buy all you can afford, use it until its no longer useful to you and then get something different. That's how it works....not buy something and then turn around and try to upgrade it yourself. That's very unproductive...wasting time screwing around with upgrades instead of just doing work. 
    I think the point is we pros would like to choose from the get-go, not necessarily change, but if need be changeability could be good.  I define pro here as one who depends on Macs for a living as I have since the early 80's.
    edited January 9 baconstangwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    PROs keep asking for Nvidia cards, Apple responds with AMD. Apple never listens to pros.
  • Reply 16 of 22
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,015member
    Hoping for an iMac refresh soon with this (Nvidia 2000 series would be better, but we're beyond hope of that now). And hope the non-pro gets the dual blower from the Pro. 
    edited January 10
  • Reply 17 of 22
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,015member
    macxpress said:
    KITA said:
    macxpress said:
    I really want to see the return of Nvidia Macs.  Tim Cook ... make this happen.
    For what? Gaming? NVIDIA screwed up and hasn't been back with Apple since. And, I could be wrong but I don't think they want to support Metal either and if they don't want to support Metal then there's no way in hell NVIDIA is ever coming back to the Mac. 
    CUDA, Tensor and ray tracing are some very compelling reasons.
    All of which are coming to AMD except obviously CUDA. 

    API level ray tracing support is different than what Nvidia is doing. They're taking that and applying their large neural engine to it for inferencing, filling in the gap of where ray tracing performance is now. In other words API extensions like Vulkan and DXR are just subsets of what RTX is doing. 

    Image result for nvidia rtx directx
  • Reply 18 of 22
    macxpress said:

    It’s not a “Pro” device unless you can pick/replace your video card.  With laptops they get away with just one brand, but workstations are different...

    The choice between Nvidia and AMD depends on the application.

    The Vega has been a “good” chip, but that doesn’t mean it’s the “right” chip.
    Oh here we go with the its not a "Pro" unless you can change XYZ part out....such BS! Name me any significant "Pro" who regularly changes out their video card, RAM, CPU, etc, etc. I work in IT for a the Creative Department for a certain Theme Park in Florida...guess what, once the computer is deployed, we NEVER change any hardware unless of course if something failed. They use it until the 3yrs are up, then we provide them with a new computer. We don't touch the RAM, HD, Video Card, etc, etc. And these are up to $6,000-7,000 high-end workstations (Mac and PC)

    You buy all you can afford, use it until its no longer useful to you and then get something different. That's how it works....not buy something and then turn around and try to upgrade it yourself. That's very unproductive...wasting time screwing around with upgrades instead of just doing work. 
    Fair enough.
    I think it's more the subject of 'repairability'.
    The current iMacs are a disaster for creative companies. I agree you are right when it comes to machines not being replaced once bought, but it's a company risk to have to go to an Apple Store to replace a hard drive, or having to deal with a computer stuck to a monitor. Companies have budgets and procedures for repair, replacement, and there is really no Mac right now that fits that need. 
  • Reply 19 of 22
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,015member
    So maybe a touch faster than 2080 performance for about the same 700 dollars, but having to get there by being a fabrication node down and without any of the silicon Nvidia is spending on RTX, and all 5 months later, is I guess an ok slightly better value play, but not exactly awe inspiring, even a little worrying.

     The benchmarks are no doubt picked to be favorable, so the primary draw would seem to be the extra HBM2 memory, might be an interesting card for researchers but few titles are hurting on 8GB for gamers yet. Seems like the Frontier again, or what some Titans have been.

    Then again this is only die shrunk Vega, Navi will be the interesting one to see as the new architecture. Needless to say I'd prefer the RTX 2000 series in a new iMac and other Mac models, but still, Vega on 7nm will be a decent jump, hopefully soon.
    edited January 10 cgWerks
  • Reply 20 of 22
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 1,945member
    macxpress said:
    I really want to see the return of Nvidia Macs.  Tim Cook ... make this happen.
    For what? Gaming? NVIDIA screwed up and hasn't been back with Apple since. And, I could be wrong but I don't think they want to support Metal either and if they don't want to support Metal then there's no way in hell NVIDIA is ever coming back to the Mac. 
    CUDA
    I don't personally care much, but a heck of a lot of pros do.
    Check near the bottom of this article to see what CUDA brings to these apps: https://create.pro/blog/opencl-vs-cuda/
    Or, take a look here: http://barefeats.com/egpu_titan_xp_imac_pro.html

    macxpress said:
    Oh here we go with the its not a "Pro" unless you can change XYZ part out....such BS! Name me any significant "Pro" who regularly changes out their video card, RAM, CPU, etc, etc. I work in IT for a the Creative Department for a certain Theme Park in Florida...guess what, once the computer is deployed, we NEVER change any hardware unless of course if something failed. They use it until the 3yrs are up, then we provide them with a new computer. We don't touch the RAM, HD, Video Card, etc, etc. And these are up to $6,000-7,000 high-end workstations (Mac and PC)
    Well, a lot changes in the GPU world in 3 years. I think it depends on the scale of the organization, and what they are doing with the machine. If you can increase your output, say 20%+ a year later with a new GPU, for sure you're going to bother doing it.

    That is, unless you're in a big organization where they just buy you the new machine the next year and pass your's down the line.

    MacPro said:
    I define pro here as one who depends on Macs for a living as I have since the early 80's.
    Pro machine, or pro user? If a pro user, that could mean just about anything. As I've said in the past, does a lawyer using a Chromebook make it a pro device?
    If it is a quality of the machine, then it means some things in particular, not just that it can be used to make a living. (ie: faster, tougher, more stable, higher duty-cycle, etc.)
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