Intel’s first chips with AMD graphics mean new hope for MacBook Pro

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Intel AMD chip
Intel forms unlikely friendship with AMD.
Photo: Intel

CES 2018 bugUnlikely duo Intel and AMD have delivered a new generation of Core processors with discrete Radeon RX Vega M graphics.

They are the most powerful processors available for notebooks, Intel says, with each unit packing 4GB of memory dedicated to video. There’s a good chance you’ll see them in a future MacBook Pro.

Intel processors are considered the holy grail for PC builders. They’re pricier than their rivals, but they deliver the best performance. AMD chips have gotten better — its new Ryzen lineup is impressive — but its expertise is in graphics.

That’s why an Intel processor with integrated AMD graphics is a dream that we never thought would become a reality. But it just did in the form of new Core i5 and Core i7 chips unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today.

Intel forms unlikely friendship with AMD

These eighth-generation processors both feature Radeon RX Vega M GPUs with 4GB of HMB2 video memory. Intel says they will save significant space in future laptops while increasing battery life. They’re the most powerful notebook chips to date.

You will see them packed into upcoming gaming laptops, as well as high-end professional machines. And given Apple’s penchant for Intel chips and AMD graphics, it’s likely they will make their way into future MacBook Pro revisions, too.

Apple already uses Radeon Pro Vega 56 graphics in the iMac Pro, and AMD FirePro graphics in the iMac Pro. It previously baked AMD graphics into the MacBook Pro, too — but its latest models all have Intel chips with the company’s own Iris Pro graphics.

This is exciting news for MacBook Pro owners, then. It will likely mean significantly powerful upgrades are in the pipeline (somewhere).

Intel hasn’t yet confirmed when its new Core chips will be available, or which laptops will feature them first. But we’re likely to hear more before CES 2018 is over.