Apple announces AMD Vega graphics options for MacBook Pro

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

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.


I just bought the pro with touch bar in August. I’ll pass.

Thanks, we were wondering what you were going to do

I was on the edge of my seat all press conference, they really need to announce XM92’s next move during the event I just can’t live through this anymore.

the comment section never ever let me down

I spent weeks agonizing over what XM92 would do. Thinking, "omg is he actually gonna make the plunge or not?! What’s with his silence on this extremely important issue." I can rest easy now.

Speak for yourself. I’ve always thought XM92 was overrated. That thing he pulled with the pro touch bar? Such an attention whore.

guess it’s time to sell off my AAPL stocks before word hits the street that XM92 is passing.

You sure? I’ll take that crummy ancient system off your hands for tree fiddy, because I’m a nice guy.

Well that’s a cool option, especially for after effects and fcp-x peeps like me. I’ll grab one

What Vega GPU for laptops that is not the Kaby Lake-G CPU?

Oh, cool.

I had felt so sure that Kaby Lake G was partly an Apple push for future products, but never materialized in any of them.

The power consumption was pretty bad on those. Also, only quad core.

agh that’s annoying after just buying a new one.

Sounds like AMD is finally releasing Vega Mobile as a stand alone product instead of just being an integrated graphics solution.

Desktop vega was a step back in perf/watt, so I wonder if it waited till that was under control. Not 7nm though I don’t think.

Remove that touchbar then I’ll probably buy one.

Until Apple goes back to Nvidia GPUs, the machine can’t be used for GPU rendering with Redshift which sucks. Guess I’ll stick with my Mid 2015.

Yeahhhhh! Its a shame they don’t even officially support them with GPU’s

Yeah, I pretty much only boot into Windows at home because the monitor is connected to an eGPU w/ a GTX 1080 and Mojave still doesn’t have web drivers for it. Apparently, Nvidia needs Apple in the process to get drivers going.

That came out of nowhere, but great! Seems they’re going to update things more frequently now than the dark days, I hope they keep it up.

Would have loved Nvidia options, but them’s the breaks, 60% improvement is nothing to sneeze at.

Of course the laptop will handle the heat from the dedicated GPU and CPU, no throttling at all…..

Depending on the pricing/performance of these cards, it might have just moved the MBP back to the top of my new laptop list. 560X is basically the same card as it what was launched in 2016 so this could be a huge performance boost for the machines

why? vega has already proven to somewhat suck in its mobile implementation, the 8 and 10 dont even manage to perform as well as the MX150 and even the expensive and rare M GL isnt up to par with the likes of the 1050ti not to mention the fact that the AMD platforms suck more battery. im sure its down to some agreement between AMD and apple but it still seems like a poor choice to me (not that itll ever be a problem to me as itll 6 feet under before i buy a mac)

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