Gears & Gadgets

Apple throws in another Mac Pro GPU configuration: The AMD Radeon Pro W5500X

Apple has added a new GPU configuration option for its Mac Pro desktop tower: AMD’s Radeon Pro 5500X. It’s a mid-range pick amid the other configurations available on this machine.

The W5500X adds $ 200 over the base config (which has the Radeon Pro 580X, the same found in some high-end iMacs) and comes with 8GB of GDDR6 memory. Other options include the Radeon Pro W5700X ($ 600 more than the base config), the Radeon Pro Vega II ($ 2,400), and the Radeon Pro Vega II Duo ($ 5,200), as well as dual-GPU variants of the W5700X, Radeon Pro Vega II, and Radeon Pro Vega II Duo configurations.

This is the copy Apple provides to explain the W5500X to potential buyers:

The AMD Radeon Pro W5500X with 8GB of GDDR6 memory is based on AMD’s RDNA architecture, featuring up to 5.6 teraflops of single-precision performance or 11.2 teraflops of half-precision computing. It supports up to four 4K displays, one 5K display, or one Pro Display XDR. The half-height MPX Module design fits in either MPX bay and enables an additional PCIe slot for additional expansion. And up to two Radeon Pro W5500X MPX Modules can be installed in Mac Pro, one in each MPX bay.

The W5500X is a lower-cost alternative to the W5700X, which itself was only recently added as an option—just this April, in fact. A key difference between the two is memory bandwidth: the 8GB W5500X offers 224GB/s whereas the 16GB W5700X offers 448GB/s. Additionally, the W5500X has 24 compute units and 1,536 stream processors, while the W5700X offers much more bang at 40 CUs and 2,560 stream processors. It’s a big difference in performance and a modest difference in price.

Here are the specs Apple lists for the W5500X:

  • 24 compute units, 1,536 stream processors
  • 8GB of GDDR6 memory with 224GB/s memory bandwidth
  • Up to 5.6 teraflops single precision or 11.2 teraflops half precision
  • Two HDMI 2.0 ports on card
  • Two DisplayPort connections routed to system to support internal Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Support for up to four 4K displays, one 5K display, or one Pro Display XDR
  • Half-height MPX Module fills an MPX bay and uses extra power and PCIe bandwidth

The W5500X is also available as an MPX module for $ 600, so users who already have a Mac Pro can add this GPU that way.

Listing image by Samuel Axon

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Tech – Ars Technica

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