Although today’s event was mostly focused on Apple’s new MacBook Air, Apple also quietly announced an update to its MacBook Pro lineup, which will receive AMD’s Radeon Pro Vega graphics chips for the first time next month. Apple claims that these new graphics chips will result in an up to 60 percent boost to performance over the Radeon Pro 560X (the best GPU you could previously get in a MacBook Pro), across video editing, 3D design, and rendering tasks.
AMD’s Vega graphics cards were first released for desktops last year and have already been included as an option in Apple’s iMac Pros, but this is the first time they’ve found their way into laptops. AMD says the new Radeon Pro Vega 20 and Pro Vega 16 will offer “cool and quiet operation,” which hopefully means they won’t use too much of your charge; the desktop Vega chips had a bit of a power-hungry reputation. If you don’t want to buy one of the new MacBooks equipped with internal Vega graphics, you can also use an external GPU enclosure to connect a desktop AMD graphics card to your existing laptop. Apple has a list of external GPU-compatible cards on its site, and it includes Vega models.
You’ll be able to grab a 15-inch MacBook Pro featuring either the Radeon Pro Vega 20 or Radeon Pro Vega 16 starting on November 14th at a price that’s yet to be announced.