Apple’s latest iMacs are interesting in their own right, but what had me most intrigued about them is the fact that AMD once again managed to be the exclusive provider (aside from Intel IGP in the bottom models) of graphics cards. Standard iMacs, which begin at $1,099 USD for a 21.5″ configuration, include models from the Radeon Pro series, whereas the forthcoming iMac Pro will include a Vega variant.
This launch comes just a week after AMD announced brand-new low-end Radeon Pro cards for regular desktops: WX 3100 and WX 2100. Tying into that, if you’re already familiar with the Radeon Pro WX series, then you’re pretty much up to speed on this Mac-focused Radeon Pro 500 series.
Both the Radeon Pro WX and Radeon Pro 500 series are based on AMD’s Polaris architecture and offer similar specs across their respective ranges. At this point, it’s not clear if the Radeon Pro 500 series cards are of a standard form-factor, custom, or an MXM design. I have reached out to Apple about this, and still await its response.
|Radeon Pro 580||5.5 TFLOPS||2304||8192 MB||217 GB/s|
|Radeon Pro 575||4.5 TFLOPS||2048||8192 MB||217 GB/s|
|Radeon Pro 570||3.6 TFLOPS||1792||8192 MB||217 GB/s|
|Radeon Pro 560||1.9 TFLOPS||1024||4096 MB||81 GB/s|
|Radeon Pro 555||1.3 TFLOPS||768||4096 MB||81 GB/s|
At the top-end, the Radeon RX Pro 580 peaks at 5.5 TFLOPS, which is 210 GFLOPS below the WX 7100 (priced at around $620). Given that the core counts between the cards are the same, that decrease is sure to be due to lowered clocks that batter complement a tight all-in-one enclosure. There is no WX model with 2048 cores, so the Pro 575 is unique among the entire Radeon Pro line, delivering 600 GFLOPS more single-precision performance over the WX 5100 (priced at around $370).
Another thing to note is that the Radeon Pro 580 doesn’t quite match the WX 7100 with regards to memory bandwidth, with the latter leading by 39GB/s (+18%). On the NVIDIA side, the 5.3 TFLOPS Quadro P4000 hits 243GB/s memory bandwidth, with it only going up from there on higher-end models (peaking at 432GB/s for the Quadro P6000 – a card which costs the same as the starter iMac Pro).
Ultimately, this Radeon Pro lineup isn’t too interesting outside of the fact that Polaris is available in these new iMacs (since we’ve seen cards similar to these before). What’s going to be hugely interesting, though, is Vega, which hits the iMac Pro later this year. I’ve been nothing but impressed with Radeon Pro WX, so I salivate at the thought of what Vega-based RPros will bring to the table.