Even though Apple is taking matters into its own hands by designing proprietary processors and GPUs, the company is still keeping its partnerships with Intel and AMD when it comes to its Mac Pro workstation desktop systems. It probably will not be long until Apple produces something that can match and even beat Intel’s server-grade CPUs and AMD’s professional GPUs, but, according to new Geekbench database entries, the 2021 Mac Pro workstations still appear to feature Intel and AMD hardware. While the CPU side is not exclusive to Apple, the professional GPUs coming from AMD can only be found in Apples’s workstations, and, for 2021, it looks like AMD is supplying new Pro models based on the Navi 21 gaming variants.
Support for AMD’s RDNA2 GPUs was recently added to Apple’s macOS Big Sur 11.4 Beta, although the update notes only mention compatibility for the high-end RX 6800/XT and 6900 XT gaming GPUs. The professional GPU spotted in the Geekbench tests is identified as the Radeon Pro W6900X and is most likely derived from the existing RX 6900 XT gaming model. There are no GPU specs reported in the tests, but, from previous iterations, we know that the clocks on the professional cards are lower, which also allows for more compact cooling solutions. The leaked picture showing an alleged Pro GPU exclusive to Apple that appeared on the ChipHell forums earlier this week stands to prove that the professional cards only need a blower style cooler.
Now, for system specs, Geekbench is reporting that the Mac Pro 7.1 integrates a Cascade Lake-X platform with a 12-core Intel i9-10920X CPU coupled with an impressive 192 GB of DDR4-2933 RAM. According to Videocardz, the overall Geekbench results for the GPU side situates the professional model between an RX 6800 XT and an RX 6900 XT. However, for the Metal API tests, the Pro W6900X GPU was able to score 171,448 points, which is noticeably higher than the 164,294 score managed by the RX 6900 XT. This could hint at a larger amount of VRAM for the Pro version, possibly around the 32 GB mark.
Apple is expected to soon launch these new Mac Pro systems with Cascade Lake-X processors and high-end AMD professional GPUs for $50,000 and up.