Yesterday, Apple announced its brand-new Mac Pro, which was a long-awaited redesign of its aging and trash can-esque predecessor. While the professional rig is no doubt beastly with up to a 28-core Intel Xeon processor and 1.5TB of system RAM, equally as impressive is its graphics subsystem which comes courtesy of AMD.
Base systems ($5,999) come with a Radeon Pro 580X, which doesn't exactly get our hearts racing at this point. But the real magic happens when you step up to one of two Vega 20-based GPUs. The first is the Radeon Pro Vega II, which is a beefier version of the 7nm Radeon VII that was released earlier this year for enthusiasts. Whereas the Radeon VII has a total of 60 compute units, the Radeon Pro Vega II uncorks a full 64 CUs.
Although Apple and AMD didn't come right out and say it, the 14.1 TFLOPS FP32 compute puts the boost GPU clock at just over 1.7GHz. The GPU comes packaged with 32GB HBM2 running on a 4096-bit memory bus.
If that isn't enough graphics horsepower for you, there's the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo, which doubles up everything. You get two Vega 20 GPUs with 128 total CUDA cores delivering 28.2 TFLOPS and 64GB of HMB2. The Radeon Pro Vega II Duo employs AMD's Infinity Fabric between the two GPUs which can transmit data at 84GB/sec.
But things don't stop there; professionals that need the absolute best with regards to the graphics subsystem -- and don't mind dropping what will likely be thousands of dollars for the option -- is the ability to add twoRadeon Pro Vega II Duo cards. That means you'll have a total of 4 total Vega 20 GPUs rocking 56.8 TFLOPS FP32 compute and a total of 128GB HBM2.
What's interesting is that AMD and Apple put their heads together to add a second all-new PCIe connector to the cards. The standard PCIe x16 connector delivers up to 75 watts of power, while the second connector delivers up to a whopping 475 watts to feed the beast. The additional PCIe lanes also help drive Thunderbolt 3 ports that are integrated into the card's I/O plate. Now you can understand why the new Mac Pro comes with a 1.4kW power supply.
AMD looks like it has delivered a winner here, and it is hoping that its partnership with Apple will help empower content creators as they edit compute-intensive 8K video streams. The Mac Pro equipped with Radeon Pro Vega II and Radeon Pro Vega II Duo graphics cards will ship this fall.