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Apple's new 16-inch MacBook Pro GPU option showing big performance leap

2019 16-inch MacBook Pro
2019 16-inch MacBook Pro (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • This week, Apple released a new graphics option for its 16-inch MacBook.
  • You can now add an AMD 5600M GPU with 8GB of RAM for $800.
  • Initial testing shows impressive performance improvements on the lower spec options.

Initial testing of Apple's new AMD 5600M GPU option for the 16-inch MacBook shows impressive performance gains.

A hands-on from Max Tech suggests that the performance of the new GPU option is twice that of the lower-spec versions. From the video description:

Apple has added a new 5600M graphics option to the 16" MacBook Pro just days before WWDC 2020. This new option features 8GB of expensive HBM2 video memory, so it's priced at a massive $800.In this video, we test a bunch of graphics benchmarks like Geekbench 5, GFXBench, Unigine Heaven Gaming benchmark, and a few Final Cut Pro X video editing tests to see how well this 5600M GPU compared to the 5300M and 5500M graphics options, as well as the old Vega 20 GPU.We also compared our scores to the Vega 48 GPU in the 5K iMac and the Vega 56 GPU in the iMac Pro.

When it comes to graphics performance, the new 5600M scored a whopping 43144 in Geekbench 5 Metal tests, more than double the score of base model 5300M, and far higher than the 5500M's 28748.

Similar improvement showed in the Unigine Heaven Gaming Test, where the 5600M scored 75.7 FPS, much higher than both the 5300M (38.4) and the 5500M (51.5). In fact, the new 5600M actually tested better than the AMD Vega offered in Apple's more-powerful desktop machines, namely the Vega 48 and the Vega 56 from the iMac and iMac Pro.

The new upgrade is clearly a huge improvement on the current GPU offerings, but of course, the tradeoff is the $800 price, which is a lot of money on top of an already-expensive machine.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.