AMD debuts new chipset in new MacBook Pro line

AMD has revealed details of the new Radeon Pro discrete chipsets included in the 15-inch MacBook Pro models.

The Radeon Pro 400 Series Graphics are built on AMD’s Polaris architecture. Made using the 14nm FinFET process, the company says that the cards will high performance without sacrificing power efficiency. They offer memory bandwidth of up to 80GB/s. 

A statement from AMD read: "The Radeon Pro Graphics found in the MacBook Pro feature the latest Polaris architecture with 4th generation Graphics Core Next. Speed through your tasks with up to 16 compute units (1024 stream processors) and 1.86 Teraflops of horsepower.

"Radeon Pro Graphics on the MacBook accelerate workloads normally reserved for the main processor. It features versatile asynchronous compute, updated shader engines, enhanced memory compression and new geometry capabilities in a compact and efficient package."

The Radeon Pro 460 is available as a £180 upgrade in the entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro and as a £90 upgrade in the higher-end 15-inch model. It offers 1.86 Teraflops of horsepower and 16 compute units (1024 stream processors). 

Coming as standard in the 15-inch model, The Radon Pro 455 features 1.3 Teraflops of horsepower and 12 compute units (768 stream processors). The Radeon Pro 450, which is available in the entry-level 15-inch MacBook Pro as the default option, offers 1 Teraflop of power and 10 compute units (640 stream processors). 

According to AMD, the Radeon Pro graphics processors inside the MacBook Pro are thinner than a US penny with a Z-height of 1.5mm. In spite of their minscule size, the chips still contain 3 billion transistors. The Radeon Pro features what AMD calls "advanced power technology" to allow the MacBook Pro to stay cool and quiet even during demanding tasks. 

Apple says the 15-inch MacBook Pro offers up to 130 percent faster graphics performance (with the Radeon 460) and up to 2.5x more computing power per watt compared to the previous-generation 15-inch MacBook Pro which has a peak performance of 806 gigaflops, with the 550 in the higher end configuration coming in at 845 gigaflops. 

The 13-inch MacBook Pro uses integrated graphics instead of discrete graphics, but Apple says the Iris Graphics 550 are up to 103 percent faster than the Iris Graphics 6100 in the previous-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro.

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