Vega claims the new MacBook Pro

Subject: General Tech | October 31, 2018 - 04:33 PM |
Tagged: apple, amd, Vega

Among the various Apple announcements this week was a win for AMD, as Apple has renewed their agreement and will be using Radeon Pro Vega GPUs in it's soon to be released MacBook Pros.  We aren't expecting any more big surprises from the release, such as the iPad Pro now sporting USB C, the updated GPU may be the largest change this generation but it will be appreciated by some content creators.  You can read more about the various announcements over at The Inquirer.

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"AMD GPUs are nothing new in Mac machines, given the MacBook Pros have previously rocked the Radeon Pro 560X, but Cupertino is now bringing AMD's Vega-based GPUs to its expensive laptops."

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Source: The Inquirer

October 31, 2018 | 06:45 PM - Posted by YesDiscreteMobileVegaIsHereButNotOutsideOfApplesPricyKit (not verified)

Well what about that external TB3 Box that Apple is also showing off for folks and selling via its online store that is not using any Polaris/Vega discrete mobile graphics. That's going to be the full Vega 56 "Pro" based Blackmagic eGPU to replace the Older Polaris based variant. So that's going to be a Vega "56" based TB3 external Blackmagic eGPU also.

The more interesting development as far as there now being a discrete mobile Vega Graphics SKU for Apple is that the GPU also comes with 4GB of HBM2. So will the Technology "Press" even try and test out Vega's HBCC/HBC IP with the ability to turn the HBM2 into a last level GPU cache(HBC) for a larger pool of Virtual VRAM swapped out to regular system DRAM or even SSD/Hard drive.

So maybe some Blender Rendering Tests where the Textures and mesh models are intentionally made to take up more than the 4GB on Physical VRAM(HBM2) on this discrete mobile Vega Variant to see how that Vega HBCC/HBC performs on discrete mobile Vega GPUs with less than 8GB of HBM2. And I'm talking about Blender Benchmarks that take up at least 16GB in VRAM size textures/mesh models just to stress test the Vega HBCC/HBC IP using only 4GB of HBM2.

The technology Press could not be botherd to try and test that out on Intel's Kaby Lake G processors with the "Vega"(Not really Vega) Graphics just to see if that really worked and was actually enabled on Intel's Kaby Lake G SKUs with "Vega M" graphics.

Whatever the Graphics solution that Apple offers with its hardware you can always bet that such graphics will cost 2 to 3 times what it will cost on any non Apple Branded hardware! So hopefully Vega Discrete Mobile SKUs will arrive on Non Apple Kit also, ASAP AMD! looking at the cost of any AMD's GPU Technology made use of by Apple and they had damn well better be using Apple's spin of AMD's Professional Graphics Drivers for better Pro Graphics usage because Apple is definitely charging Pro/WX Pricing for any AMD GPUs/Graphics.

AMD sure has been dragging its feet getting any Vega Discrete Mobile Graphics out there and the Laptop/Mobile market is larger than the PC market in total unit sales. I guess that Nvidia has that market in its pocket to a similar degree to the way that Intel has the Laptop CPU market and mini desktop CPU market in its pocket. And AMD in spite of its Better Raven Ridge APU/Integrated Vega graphics sill lacks the funds to buy its way into many better featured Laptop and Mini Desktop(none yet) design wins. look at the ZOTAC ZBOX MA551 Mini Desktop with the Raven Ridge APU options that's still MIA and it's dam near 10 months since Zotac announced that at CES 2018.

October 31, 2018 | 08:02 PM - Posted by pdjblum

imagine it takes a shit load of payola to get into the enterprise and laptop markets, and intel has an infinite amount of payola to spread around

October 31, 2018 | 10:04 PM - Posted by FirstGenerationRyzenProAndRyzenRavenRidgeProForYearsToCome (not verified)

Enterprise customers have more choices than OEM PC/Laptop users so Enterprise customers can pick and choose. Enterprise customers are not really interested in integrated graphics on servers and there are also Power9 and ARM based server options also.

So that's mostly Intel and Nvidia buying up the consumer OEM PC and laptop OEMs who do not have many options in that lower margin business. Intel and Nvidia can offer more paid engineering assistance than AMD can curremtly afford to offer. consumer Laptop and PC OEMs are so beholden to both Intel and Nvidia that they would be put out of business in that fickle consumer/gaming market currently without access to Intel and Nvidia products in the consumer PC/Laptop OEM market place.

AMD mostly is forced to go the semi-custom route and take it or leave it consumer OEM Laptop low end design market where Intel's and Nvidia's Influnce is so large that the best designs do not have any AMD options.

Now for Business Branded OEM PC's AMD can get more design wins becaues gaming performance is not an issue on Work PCs and even work laptops that the Laptop OEMs brand differently than consumer laptop SKUs. Those low cost thin client and business PC small profile desktop offerings and AMD's Ryzen/Raven Ridge Pro APU and Ryzen Pro CPU Only SKUs can still be sold using first generation Zen CPU-Only and Raven Ridge Pro APU Branded SKUs at an even lower cost and most business customers would happily settle for just the basic busines use model anyways.

AMD's Ryzen Pro Branded SKUs will still be in guaranteed production with guaranteed SKU availability for years to come as AMD does advertise that extended Product Availability standard with its Ryzen Pro branding. GlobalFoundries will still be producing Epyc/Naples SKUs for the next 5 years so that's going to mean pleny of first generation Zen/Zeppelin Die Binns that will provide long term Ryzen Pro availability also as a result of any Zen/Zeppelin Epyc/Naples production. GF's going to have sufficient AMD business at 14nm/12nm for years to come and Business PCs will continue being produced using first generation Ryzen Pro and Ryzen Raven Ridge Pro branded parts.

Business PC OEMs sell by the thousands to enterproses that look at the cost/benifit and TCO over periods of 5+ years, includig extended support and CPU product availability, and First generation Ryzen/Ryzen Raven Ridge Pro is plenty for most business usage where gaming performance does not matter in the least. If there are any 8 core Ryzen 7 1700 Pro branded SKUs selling at lower trey cost than Intel's quad core i5 single threaded SKUs then they will be popular, and even more popular than Intel's quad core 8 thread i7 SKUs in Business grade PCs where the enterprise customers will make good use of any Ryzen 7 Pro 8 cores 16 thread SKUs.

Ryzen 5, 6 core 12 thread SKUs will probably be able to price match any Intel core i3 offerings that only offer
2 cores and 4 threads so AMD will still have a market for first generation SKUs in the business PC market for years to come.

AMD will still have a willing Market within the Busuness Grade PC/laptop OEM markets with AMD'a ability to price match Intel's quad cores with AMD's First generation Pro branded 8 core 16 thread SKUs and even AMD's 6 core 12 thread Pro branded SKUs will compete in price with Intel's Core i3 SKUs. First generation Ryzen Raven Ridge Pro will have a longe life also on even lower cost Business Pro SKUs long after 2nd Generation Ryzen/Raven Ridge APUs Have taken over in the consumer market segement. Business could care less about gaming FPS/latency issues.

November 2, 2018 | 01:29 AM - Posted by James

I am still somewhat annoyed with apple hardware. I waited for quite after my iPhone 5 screen broke to get a iPhone 7 due to the lack of analog audio port. It still is a continuing annoyance. I don’t like how they build the new laptops either. My acient MacBook Pro was actually thin enough for it’s size, in my opinion. It doesn’t really change anything to make it thinner. Lighter is appreciated though. I don’t like everything to be soldered on the main board. That is a big win for apple, but not really for customers. Using that design, they can just pick and place all of the components on the board without needing any employees do much assembly. They just make the board, glue it in the case, and pretty much done. Using replaceable components requires a lot of hand assembly. It probably is a bit more reliable for a mobile devices, but if anything goes wrong, just about the whole thing needs replaced. For something like the Mac mini, there is probably little difference in reliability, since most people probably don’t drop their desktop machines as much as their mobile devices. For a laptop, I generally want at least an easily removable battery. I don’t know what I will get as an upgrade for the current (ancient) MacBook Pro that I use. Probably some machine with just linux on it.

I am kind of hoping that Apple goes AMD for the actual Mac Pro. Not because I would buy one, I would just like to see AMD get the buisiness. A 7 nm Epyc based system with up to 128 cores / 256 threads would be great for content creators. They could also support a massive number of video cards. They could always offer a 2 or even 4 socket Intel system to compete with the number of cores offered by Epyc, but that doesn’t look as attractive to me.

November 6, 2018 | 01:52 AM - Posted by hanselltc

I wonder how well these performs. Thermal issue is a problem, but Vega had hardware based features that aren't widely used, and I wonder if Apple can utilize them.

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