As promised, Apple has updated its MacBook Pro configurations with new options for AMD Radeon Pro Vega graphics cards, specifically the all-new Pro Vega 16 and Pro Vega 20 options. Apple first announced these new component choices as part of its fall Mac hardware event, where it announced a new MacBook Air and Mac mini.
The options are now available on Apple’s online store for the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar. It’s only available on the laptop’s highest-end configuration. You’ll be paying an extra $250 for the Pro Vega 16, and an extra $350 for the Pro Vega 20. That’s on top of the laptop’s $2,799 base cost. The laptop’s base GPU remains the AMD Radeon Pro 560X, while the 2.2Ghz i7 15-inch model comes standard with the 555X and the option to upgrade to the 560X for an additional $100. (The 2.2GHz model has no available option to upgrade to the Vega cards.)
Apple said last month that the new cards would provide up to a 60 percent faster graphics performance for GPU-heavy tasks like video editing and 3D rendering. Additionally, AMD claims its second-generation high bandwidth memory technology for the cards is superior to standard GDDR5, with the added bonus of more power efficiency.
Right now, you can already buy the new iMac Pro with an AMD Vega card, albeit with the Vega Pro 56 or the $600 more expensive Vega Pro 64, both of which sport much more power than what it seems like we’re getting with the Vega 16 and 20. Still, AMD has custom produced these card configurations specifically for the MacBook Pro, so it’s likely they’ll offer a considerable performance boost.
Correction: A previous version of this article said that the base model 2.2Ghz i7 15-inch MacBook Pro now came with the AMD Radeon Pro 560X, a bump from the 555X. That is incorrect; the pricier configuration has always shipped with the Pro 560X.