Apple Has A New Graphic Option For The 16″ MacBook Pro…. Is This A Refresh?

Yesterday, Apple released an new option for buyers of the 16″ MacBook Pro where they are now offering up a Radeon 5600M graphics chip which comes with 8GB of HBM2 memory. This graphic chip promises a roughly 75% speed increase over the base 5500M that the 16″ MacBook Pro comes with. It’s also a graphics option that only a handful of people need. Specifically if you do 3D rendering or edit 4K Red video or 8K video, you are a candidate for this graphics chip. For the other 98% of you, this isn’t for you.

So, this main question is if this is a refresh or not? Many in the tech media are calling it a refresh. But I disagree with that. Here’s why:

  • This iteration of the 16″ MacBook Pro was released 216 days ago as I type this. While that would indicate that a refresh is due as 216 days was last November, Apple has gone much longer without a refresh. Thus I think that this was simply an option that was being added to the lineup rather than being a refresh.
  • This 16″ MacBook Pro is currently using 9th generation Intel processors. The rest of the MacBook lineup uses the 10th generation processors. Thus logic says that 10th generation Intel processors must be coming to the 16″ MacBook Pro…. Assuming that it doesn’t get replaced by an A series processor first. The other possibility is that Apple may not want to pop the 10th generation Intel processors as the ones that would go into this MacBook Pro are 14 nanometer chips. The ones that I suspect that Apple would want to use would be 10 nanometer chips as those would be more power efficient and generate less heat while being powerful. Except that Intel hasn’t delivered those chips. Thus Apple may not think it’s worth their while to make that move.
  • No other options were added to the MacBook Pro. That seems to imply that a larger refresh is still coming as Apple tends to make more significant changes when they do a refresh. Such as replace processors or tweak the amount of storage and RAM that comes with a MacBook.

So in short, I don’t think this is a refresh.

That takes me to the next point, which is should you buy this MacBook Pro or not? I say that unless you need the power provided by the new 5600M graphic chip, or your current MacBook Pro is nearing the end of its life, then I would wait for Apple to actually do a refresh that (hopefully) includes 10th generation Intel processors which may come later this year. If you do need a new 16″ MacBook Pro now, and you don’t need the 5600M, might I suggest that you look at the Apple refurbished website which offers factory refurbished Apple products at a discount with the ability to add AppleCare. That would be a good way to get the computer that you want at a lower cost.

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