The Radeon 7 is in many ways the current top dog of graphics cards for the Mac Pro 5,1. You can run the GPU in the Mojave and its plug-and-play with no drivers required. The perfect for the masses recipe upgrade. However, now that we’re past the gift-giving season and Mac Pro users have got back to tinkering with their machines and supply of the Radeon 7 has all but dried up.
With the release of the Mac Pro 2019 in December and it’s Apple tax upgrades the community naturally began sourcing third-party components to save themselves a few hundred pounds. It’s not a surprise. You can purchase yourself a baseline Mac Pro 2019, configure it with your desired processor then head onto the internet and procure your RAM for half the price and double down on graphics performance with two Radeon 7s. A single Radeon 7 is very close in performance to the VEGA II but with half the VRAM.
But now we have a problem. Available stock levels have dropped off a cliff. We reached out to several popular retailers in the UK; some have removed the listings for the Radeon 7 and not displaying an out of stock item, others have inflated their price by several hundreds to get the most out of their depleting stock. We were able to find some used cards on Amazon with a delivery date of a month which is essentially code for: we haven’t got any.
Diving further into the predicament, why isn’t AMD doing something to fulfil the demand? Rumour has it that the Radeon 7 production cost with its use of HBM2 memory makes the bill of materials very high and the required price point to be competitive is to low. From a commercial standpoint, you cannot blame AMD’s decision not to continue production. Source online estimate the BOM is around $650 with the card sold officially for $699.
As it stands if you specifically want a Radeon 7 you’ll have to head onto online marketplaces and wait for PC users to upgrade and to flog their cards. It’s that, or you’ll have to pay way over it’s worth for the card. If you’re open to other options and need equal or better performance, you’ll need to look enterprise. The Radeon Pro WX9100 is the professional counterpart, but you’ll need big pockets. Unfortunately, the 5700XT isn’t an option as it requires Catalina. If none of that is suitable for you, then we recommend sitting tight. Cards should be available in the coming months.