Supercharge Your Mac Pro with Three New Graphics Cards from AMD

Mac Pro Has Three New Graphics Cards
Credit: Apple
Apple just juiced up its Mac Pro line with some new AMD graphics cards, slowly carving away at the long list of GPU-dependent creatives who switched over to PC.

Remember the Mac Pro glory days? The old cheese grater Mac Pro days?

There was a long period when most people who did any sort of high-end creative work in terms of video, CG, or motion graphics would pine over the Mac Pro with adoration (I made monthly payments on one for over four years when I was in college).

Then came the trash can style Mac Pro, and then many years passed where there was almost no recognition of professional creatives whatsoever from Apple. Around this period, GPU based rendering (Octane, Redshift, etc.) rose, and the majority of CG professionals jumped ship to go over to PC, along with most video editors who went over to Resolve.

Well, when the newest iteration of the Mac Pro came out, I started considering giving my relationship with Apple another try. Especially with some of the stuff I've been hearing about the M1 macs. Now, the Mac Pro looks even more enticing with a few new graphics cards that claim some pretty impressive speed boosts, even without the M1 chip. With each new update to the Mac Pro line, I wonder more and more if the Mac Pro glory days are returning.

New AMD Graphics Cards For Mac Pro:

  • Radeon Pro W6800X MPX Module w/32GB of GDDR6 memory: $2,400
  • Radeon Pro W6800X Duo MPX Module w/64GB of GDDR6 memory: $4,600
  • Radeon Pro W6900X MPX Module w/32GB of GDDR6 memory: $5,600

Jake Krol on Twitter states that these cards give significant boosts in some popular GPU heavy software, stating that Resolve is up to 84% faster, and Octane X is up to 24% faster, which I'm sure means other GPU-dependent software also sees increases (Final Cut, etc.).

The new cards will be available for individual purchase on the Apple store, so existing Mac Pro owners can go ahead and give their machine that little boost that it needs.     

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Your Comment

4 Comments

“23% faster performance in DaVinci Resolve and 84% faster in Octane X“, not the other way around.

August 6, 2021 at 8:52AM, Edited August 6, 8:52AM

1
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Willem Van den Broeck
Sound Engineer
107

I've been a Mac guy since System 6 so this isn't me throwing rocks, but this still ends up being; "Wow, that's really fast for a Mac!".

The Xeon 28c gets roasted by Threadrippers and the Radeon Pro W6900X MPX still lags behind the GTX 3080/90's. Half the power at twice the price will be a difficult sell to woo back old users. Current M model Apple chips lack support for non integrated graphics, so I'm guessing a solution for a new Mac Pro is a ways out? They took so long bringing the last one to market, they ended up with a $20k solution that fails to answer a $10k question.

Though if someone gave me one...I wouldn't kick it off my desk!

August 6, 2021 at 10:28AM, Edited August 6, 10:28AM

0
Reply

Why is anything Mac so expensive? You can build a pretty nice PC for what the entry level Radeon costs. I'd rather spend the savings on glass.

August 6, 2021 at 10:59AM, Edited August 6, 10:59AM

6
Reply
Dave Palmer
Retired Electrical Engineer
227

Does anyone know if these cards will work on older Mac Book Pros, say mid 2012?

August 9, 2021 at 2:10PM, Edited August 9, 2:10PM

0
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Vincent V. Miller
Filmmaker; Writer, Director
72