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AMD's Radeon Pro 5600M is Impressively Fast in Apple's MacBook Pro, At a Cost

AMD Navi 12 Die
(Image credit: AMD)

Just three days ago the AMD Radeon Pro 5600M debuted in Apple's MacBook Pro, where it will live as an Apple-exclusive part. But, although full specifications were shared, no actual benchmarks were available to compare performance, and with the 5600M featuring HMB2 memory instead of GDDR6, the performance gains were expected to be great, but made it difficult to predict just how great.

Now, Max from Max Tech got his hands on a 16-inch MacBook Pro with the Radeon Pro 5600M inside, and has kindly shared his performance numbers.

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* Benchmark data not confirmed by Tom's Hardware

As you can see, the 5600M offers up impressive performance gains. It outpaces every other MacBook Pro tested in Geekbench 5 by quite a significant margin — Max Tech shows roughly a 50% increase in performance across the board compared to the GDDR6-driven Radeon Pro 5500M.

Performance is also compared to the 5K iMac Pro's, where results are a little less predictable. Compared to the Vega 48 and 56, performance is competitive, nearing, and even surpassing the desktops depending on which test is run.

Of course, we can't give full credit to the HBM2 memory. HBM2 is more about delivering high bandwidth in a smaller space. It takes the memory off-board from the GPU, and embeds it onto an interposer. The 5600M has two stacks of 4GB each, delivering 384 GB/s of bandwidth in a compact space. That's the same bandwidth as six 1GB GDDR6 chips, but with more memory in about one fourth the area. HBM2 also uses less power, which frees up some much-needed thermal room for the GPU to utilize, as most GPUs on the 16-inch MacBook Pro's have TDP's in the realm of 50 watts.

But the real gains in performance come from the GPU itself. The 5500M has 1536 stream processors, and the 5300M only has 1280 stream processors. The 5600M meanwhile gets 2560 stream processors, though at lower clock speeds. If we're talking compute performance, the 5300M can do 3.2 TFLOPS, the 5500M offers 4.0 TFLOPS, and the 5600M delivers up to 5.3 TFLOPS. So, 33% more compute and double the bandwidth gives a typical 50% boost to graphics performance.

This added performance comes at a steep price, of course: $800 to go from the 5300M to the 5600M (or $600 to upgrade from the 5500M 8GB). That brings the total purchase price tag well above $3000. Still, if you care about graphics performance, that's less than 33% (or less) more money for 50% more performance. Considering this HBM2 equipped 5600M appears to be a custom design specifically for Apple, it's no surprise to see the premium memory solution get a price tag to match.

  • nofanneeded
    Still, that's less than 50% more money, for 50% more performance.

    Yea Right , so the GPU price is now ALL the Price of the notebook to say that non proffesional statement.

    the GPU price is only 20% of the Notebook Price and that $800 increase is not acceptable whatsoever as a PRICE DIFFERENCE .. it is 300% the Price of the GPU inside ... and NOT less than 50% for bla bla bla
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    nofanneeded said:
    Yea Right , so the GPU price is now ALL the Price of the notebook to say that non proffesional statement.

    the GPU price is only 20% of the Notebook Price and that $800 increase is not acceptable whatsoever as a PRICE DIFFERENCE .. it is 300% the Price of the GPU inside ... and NOT less than 50% for bla bla bla
    Except there's no way to get the upgrade outside of the MBP, which comes as an entire laptop. Mobile (laptop) GPUs typically increase price a lot as you go up the performance scale, so this is nothing new. Since either way you're buying a complete system, it's fair to look at the total cost vs. total performance.
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    Except there's no way to get the upgrade outside of the MBP, which comes as an entire laptop. Mobile (laptop) GPUs typically increase price a lot as you go up the performance scale, so this is nothing new. Since either way you're buying a complete system, it's fair to look at the total cost vs. total performance.

    I dont care , this is not a gaming machine so you say less than %50 bla bla bla

    because that performance increase is just in 10% of the notebook use ... you are not talking about a console here.

    again not professional .

    More over , for $800 DIFFERENCE you can upgrade notebooks from Dell and HP and Lenovo to QUADRO RTX 4000 with 8GB GDDR6 which makes Apple look like a JOKE ... and If you wish RTX 2080 Upgrade if non profi card.
    Reply
  • Shadowclash10
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    Except there's no way to get the upgrade outside of the MBP, which comes as an entire laptop. Mobile (laptop) GPUs typically increase price a lot as you go up the performance scale, so this is nothing new. Since either way you're buying a complete system, it's fair to look at the total cost vs. total performance.
    Exactly! Laptop upgrades - CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD, have always been very expensive. I mean, most big laptop manufacturers generally charge ~$100 for 8GB of RAM, ~$200-400 per 500gb of SSD storage, etc. Apple always charges a little more for these kind of upgrades than competitors, so the price on this isn't so shocking. Plus, Apple laptops and MacOS are vastly preferred by creative pros. And many people have no idea what specs to look for. So....
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    nofanneeded said:
    I dont care , this is not a gaming machine so you say less than %50 bla bla bla

    because that performance increase is just in 10% of the notebook use ... you are not talking about a console here.

    again not professional .

    More over , for $800 DIFFERENCE you can upgrade notebooks from Dell and HP and Lenovo to QUADRO RTX 4000 with 8GB GDDR6 which makes Apple look like a JOKE ... and If you wish RTX 2080 Upgrade if non profi card.
    You keep throwing out terms like "not professional" as though it has any meaning. Clearly the article isn't praising Apple for pricing -- that's what "at a cost" in the headline means. As in, wow, that's an expensive upgrade! But if you want more GPU performance, in an Apple MacBook Pro, you have exactly ZERO other options.

    I don't know if you're upset that Apple MBP isn't really a 'professional' laptop, or you're upset that 'professionals' are willing to pay $3000+ for a laptop like this, or what. The cost of Windows laptops with Quadro RTX 4000 cards isn't exactly a bargain. Apple MBP16 with 32GB, 1TB SSD, 5600M, fastest 9th Gen CPU, and a very nice 3072x1920 display will cost you $4100. Dell Precision 7550 15.6-inch with 8-core 10th Gen, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Quadro RTX 4000, and 4K display will set you back $4525 (after a current $1939 discount).

    Will the Dell be faster? Sure, for some tasks quite a bit so. But it will also weigh over six pounds and get crappy battery life thanks to the Quadro RTX 4000. The MBP16 weighs 4.3 pounds and gets 11 hours battery life.

    Apples and oranges, basically -- they're not the same class of laptop. Many professionals love Macs, and that's their prerogative. Would I buy one? Nope, not a chance, but others are free to do so.
    Reply
  • King_V
    nofanneeded said:
    I dont care

    That really says it all about the purpose of your rant, doesn't it?
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    You keep throwing out terms like "not professional" as though it has any meaning. Clearly the article isn't praising Apple for pricing -- that's what "at a cost" in the headline means. As in, wow, that's an expensive upgrade! But if you want more GPU performance, in an Apple MacBook Pro, you have exactly ZERO other options.

    I don't know if you're upset that Apple MBP isn't really a 'professional' laptop, or you're upset that 'professionals' are willing to pay $3000+ for a laptop like this, or what. The cost of Windows laptops with Quadro RTX 4000 cards isn't exactly a bargain. Apple MBP16 with 32GB, 1TB SSD, 5600M, fastest 9th Gen CPU, and a very nice 3072x1920 display will cost you $4100. Dell Precision 7550 15.6-inch with 8-core 10th Gen, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, Quadro RTX 4000, and 4K display will set you back $4525 (after a current $1939 discount).

    Will the Dell be faster? Sure, for some tasks quite a bit so. But it will also weigh over six pounds and get crappy battery life thanks to the Quadro RTX 4000. The MBP16 weighs 4.3 pounds and gets 11 hours battery life.

    Apples and oranges, basically -- they're not the same class of laptop. Many professionals love Macs, and that's their prerogative. Would I buy one? Nope, not a chance, but others are free to do so.

    yes you are not profi ,

    you say ,

    it's fair to look at the total cost vs. total performance.


    Where is the TOTAL performance ?

    Does the machine render 50% faster ? NO

    Does the machine runs Desktop










    Reply
  • Kamen Rider Blade
    I just wish this would be a option for PC gamers if they're willing to pony up the $$$
    Reply
  • JarredWaltonGPU
    nofanneeded said:
    yes you are not profi ,

    Where is the TOTAL performance ?

    Does the machine render 50% faster ? NO

    Does the machine runs Desktop









    So you're saying we're not professionals, not that this isn't a laptop for professionals? Because all your ranting is basically just your opinion with caps thrown in as though that somehow makes you right. You might want to look at our etiquette policies, where insulting others is frowned upon. What you're saying right now can be summed up as: "You made a comparison I didn't like, so you're not professionals!"

    It's obvious the performance comparison given is about graphics performance. If you want a faster GPU in a MacBook Pro, the 5600M is (about) 50% faster than the 5500M. That's not too surprising, really, since the desktop 5600 XT is 50% faster than the desktop 5500 XT 8GB. $600 extra for such an upgrade would be ridiculous on a desktop, but on a laptop? It may feel like extortion, but that's sadly the way of things, particularly with Apple.

    It's also worth noting that this 5600M with 8GB HBM2 memory appears to be made specifically for Apple. As in, it's a custom chip (Navi 12), which means it's more expensive to produce than just reusing some existing design. Not $800 expensive, obviously, but Apple has to keep those profit margins high. (That's sarcasm -- Apple charges a premium and everyone knows this.) As the saying goes, if your Apple product ever has issues, just take it to the store and they'll replace it -- since you already paid for two.

    Clearly English isn't your first language, so again let me explain that "at a cost" is actually a negative expression. As in, "Sure, it's faster, but the price is arguably too high for what you get." Calling it "impressive" is probably further than I'd take it, but it's the author's right to express that aspect of performance. It is, after all, a 50% upgrade in graphics performance.

    What about CPU performance? Well, you'd need to compare it against something. If you just upgrade the GPU, it's 0% faster on the CPU. If you upgrade from a 6-core CPU to an 8-core CPU, it will in some cases be 33% (give or take) faster. That's a $300 upgrade from Apple ... with a 0% improvement in GPU performance. And let me also correct things by noting that it's a $600 upgrade from 5500M to 5600M -- it's $800 from 5300M to 5600M, which is a slightly bigger than 50% improvement in GPU performance. (I've tweaked the text in the article to clarify things.)
    Reply
  • nofanneeded
    JarredWaltonGPU said:
    So you're saying we're not professionals, not that this isn't a laptop for professionals? Because all your ranting is basically just your opinion with caps thrown in as though that somehow makes you right. You might want to look at our etiquette policies, where insulting others is frowned upon. What you're saying right now can be summed up as: "You made a comparison I didn't like, so you're not professionals!"

    It's obvious the performance comparison given is about graphics performance. If you want a faster GPU in a MacBook Pro, the 5600M is (about) 50% faster than the 5500M. That's not too surprising, really, since the desktop 5600 XT is 50% faster than the desktop 5500 XT 8GB. $600 extra for such an upgrade would be ridiculous on a desktop, but on a laptop? It may feel like extortion, but that's sadly the way of things, particularly with Apple.

    It's also worth noting that this 5600M with 8GB HBM2 memory appears to be made specifically for Apple. As in, it's a custom chip (Navi 12), which means it's more expensive to produce than just reusing some existing design. Not $800 expensive, obviously, but Apple has to keep those profit margins high. (That's sarcasm -- Apple charges a premium and everyone knows this.) As the saying goes, if your Apple product ever has issues, just take it to the store and they'll replace it -- since you already paid for two.

    Clearly English isn't your first language, so again let me explain that "at a cost" is actually a negative expression. As in, "Sure, it's faster, but the price is arguably too high for what you get." Calling it "impressive" is probably further than I'd take it, but it's the author's right to express that aspect of performance. It is, after all, a 50% upgrade in graphics performance.

    What about CPU performance? Well, you'd need to compare it against something. If you just upgrade the GPU, it's 0% faster on the CPU. If you upgrade from a 6-core CPU to an 8-core CPU, it will in some cases be 33% (give or take) faster. That's a $300 upgrade from Apple ... with a 0% improvement in GPU performance. And let me also correct things by noting that it's a $600 upgrade from 5500M to 5600M -- it's $800 from 5300M to 5600M, which is a slightly bigger than 50% improvement in GPU performance. (I've tweaked the text in the article to clarify things.)

    stop writing long replies to divert attention from the main reason behind my post.

    your post about the pricing and 50% is wrong altogether.

    $800 Upgrade over the 5300M is in the range of Quadro RTX 4000 UPGRADE ...

    Apple is not justified what so ever and you should write this in your article to make Apple or force them to lower their prices for hardware upgrades. not to say something that justifies it.

    You seem out of the picture in the Profi GPU prices, Apple is asking triple the prices for their GPU upgrade and you should mention that, the same they ask triple the price for NVME upgrade ...

    NO profi should ignore to say that when talking about Apple pricing. because they Already ask for a high price for the base model for good build quality and good screen and good speasker OKAY we understand that. but the Electronics Upgrade ? over the already expensive base ? why asking triple for that ?

    as for the Dell bla bla discount ,, did not you get it yet ? these discounts are the real price ... no one buys outside the discount prices and if you monitor their fake discount over the year you will discover this is not a real discount this is the true price , and if you work in a company and know the price list they send to companies (like I do) you will know that these are fake bluffs .. they just attract you with the discounts every fixed date each month a discount pops up , well this is the true price really and I know it from companies price lists.
    father day; mother day , labor day president day bla bla day ... yea RIGHT ...

    Apple is good in this particular thing they dont fool people about fake discounts to attract them to buy.

    no back to the pricing , RTX 4000 Quadro is the $800 upgrade (I know from price lists )

    and since it is confidential and I cant source I will give you a hint about prices ..

    look at the specs and price of this unit on b&h with RTX 5000 (NOT 4000!!!) Quadro 16GB , 2 TB Nvme , 48 GB DDR4 and 4k 100% colors monitor and a workstation unit , $3999

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1528017-REG/asus_w500g5t_xs77_ic_i7_9750h_48gb_rtx5000_1tb_w10_15_6.html
    This is the most expensive line from ASUS ... and a workstation high end class ...

    try to get price lists for "upgrades" from Dell and HP and others you will be shocked. or try to customize and see the price difference with discounts not regular price. add a $350 for the base 5300M to know the price from no Dis.GPU .. that is 800+350 = $1150

    have a nice day and thanks
    Reply