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NVIDIA GeForce3 Now Available As US$350 Apple Store BTO Option (Updated)

MW Tokyo - NVIDIA GeForce3 Now Available As US$350 Apple Store BTO Option (Updated)

by , 7:00 AM EST, February 22nd, 2001

Another highlight to come from yesterday's MACWORLD Tokyo keynote speech is that NVIDIA's next generation graphics card, the GeForce3, is coming to the Macintosh...first. That's right, the GeForce3 will be available for the Mac as a BTO option before it is available to the Wintel world.

The NVIDIA GeForce3 card is listed as a BTO option for PowerMac G4's at the Apple Store for US$350 when ordering a high-end machine, and interestingly enough, for US$450 when ordering the low-end G4/466. According to Apple:

The nVidia GeForce3 graphics chip is the personal computer industry's most advanced graphics processing unit ever. With more than 57 million transistors it's able to perform 800 million operations per second including 76 billion floating point operations per second (GigaFLOPS). Powered by the new nVidia nfiniteFX engine and the LightSpeed Memory Architecture, the GeForce3 GPU enables the user to experience a much richer 3D graphics environment than they ever have before. Featuring a large 64MB DDR SDRAM frame buffer it can handle a new generation of games and professional applications that use large texture maps. Naturally the GeForce3 supports very high resolutions with full color support (up to 2048 x 1536 at 32 bits per pixel).

The above from Apple is a rehash of the information Jobs presented during the keynote. The specifications, however, are frighteningly impressive. Shipping with 64MB or RAM, the new card will be able to handle 76 Gigaflops of performance, making it far and away the most powerful graphics processor ever to land in a consumer machine.

Users that have been longing for high-powered graphic performance before ordering a new machine need not wait any longer. You can see for yourself at the Apple Store online, and find more information about the GeForce line of products at the NVIDIA Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

Apple is listing the GeForce3 cards at BTO options now for all PowerMac G4's, and that is indeed good news. The GeForce3 card, as a Mac first product, is a true victory for Apple. With NVIDA's commitment to OS X, and an industry leading driver development team, the future of graphics on the Mac has never looked better.

One thing that strikes us as very odd is the difference in price for the same card across different configurations. As one reader commented on below, the likely explanation for the price difference across models is the card that users would be upgrading from. The low-end G4 comes standard with a Rage 128, while the other models include an NVIDIA GeForce2 MX card. That reasoning sounds good to us.

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