AMD Radeon Pro Vega 20 and Radeon Pro Vega 16 Released

In late November, new Apple MacBook Pro laptops will now feature Vega 20 and Vega 16 graphics processors.  AMD states they are designed for exceptional visual immersion by supporting 3D model rendering, fast photo and video editing, and legitimate 1080p gaming performance with today’s AAA titles.

One big difference from Vega to the RX series Radeon cards is memory.  Vega cards have HBM2 (High-Bandwidth Memory) which enables improved power efficiency and better performance when compared to traditional architectures.  Do not expect blazing 8000+ mhz memory speeds, HBM2 doesn’t work that way.  Instead of a small hose with water traveling at a high rate of speed, think of HBM2 as a giant pipe with water moving at a low rate of speed.  Low speed means less power consumption, big pipe means better data bandwidth.  The end result is exceptional performance per watt, especially when dealing with large amounts of textures and high resolutions.

The VEGA 56 and 64 desktop launch did not go well, let’s just be real here.  They were plagued with shortages and high prices (thanks to Vega being insanely good at cryptomining).  Vega 56 wasn’t as bad, but Vega 64 demanded a high price, produced higher temperatures, and performed poorly against the older NVIDIA architecture found on the 1080 and 1080Ti.  Vega 16 and Vega 20 don’t have the same issues.  The smaller versions are much better on power consumption and thermals, which is incredibly important when dealing with mobile computing.  This is a massive improvement over anything Intel has ever produced, and a welcome addition to the MacBook Pro line.  Intel claimed support for 1080p gaming, but anyone who’s tried it before knows performance was terrible.  Vega 16 and 20 gives you legitimate gaming performance on a thin laptop.

Vega also excels at GPU intensive tasks where the parallel processing makes a big impact.  3D modeling, rendering videos, OpenCL compute, and more will all benefit greatly.  AMD also offers the Vulkan API with the Vega line which gives gaming developers more direct access to GPU resources.  All of this in a quest to extract the most performance and efficiency from your GPU.  Although there is no mention of FreeSync being on the Retina display in the new Macbook Pros, it is likely that you can use this technology with an external monitor.

So, with Vega being on new Macbooks just in time for the holidays, it appears that Apple FINALLY has a worthy upgrade when compared to previous generation Macbooks.  Never underestimate the impact that a strong graphics processor can make on you day to day usage.

For more information please visit: Vega Mobile Graphics

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