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It Is Official: nVIDIA Comes To The Mac (Updated)

MWSF - It Is Official: nVIDIA Comes To The Mac (Updated)

by , 10:00 AM EST, January 10th, 2001

After months of speculation, Steve Jobs made it official at yesterday's MACWORLD keynote that new Mac's will feature nVIDIA graphics products. The three higher end G4's, announced yesterday, will come standard with the nVIDIA GeForce2 MX. The GeForce2 MX includes 32MB of onboard RAM, and is the first AGP 4x card for the Mac. As well as supporting Apple's ADC technology for Apple branded monitors, the card also supports standard VGA connectivity. According to nVIDIA:

NVIDIA Corporation today announced its initial entry into the Macintosh market with itsGeForce2 MX graphics processing unit (GPU). NVIDIA's award-winning GeForce2MX is included in Apple's new line of Power Mac G4 computers unveiled today.The combination of blazingly fast graphics processing and powerful features,such as sophisticated transform and lighting and the NVIDIA ShadingRasterizer (NSR) for per-pixel shading capabilities, provides unprecedentedinteractive realism to the Macintosh platform.

"The new Power Mac G4 is a real powerhouse for our pro customers," saidPhilip Schiller, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Thecombination of fast G4 processors, a new speedier system architecture, andblazing NVIDIA GeForce2 graphics makes for the fastest Macintosh ever made."

Based on the award-winning GeForce2 architecture, the GeForce2 MX GPU powersrazor-sharp, crystal-clear 2D graphics, even at extreme resolutions as highas 2048 x 1536, in 32-bit color on a primary display screen. The GeForce2 MXGPU also offers advanced 3D performance by delivering over 25 millionsustained triangles per second and 800 million texels per second.

The GeForce2 MX GPU is delivered on a graphics card that supports the newAGP 4X slot in the Power Mac G4 line and includes a large 32MB SDRAM framebuffer to store large textures in games or professional applications. Thecard supports both the Apple Display Connector (ADC) for easy connection toApple's award winning line of monitors as well as the VGA connector forbroad compatibility.

There is no word yet as to whether or not the nVIDIA card will be available as a retail product, but only the most recently announced Mac's support 4x AGP, rendering the point, for now, moot. You can find more information about the GeForce2 product line at the nVIDIA web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

While the inclusion of nVIDIA cards to the Mac product line is good news for Mac users, one has to wonder where ATI is left in all of this. The Radeon was supposed to be their trump card, and as of now it is only a BTO option for Mac users. The new laptops do use the Rage Mobility card, but one is left to wonder if the rumors about the GeForce2 Go running hot with high power consumption might be more a reason than Apple's desire to use ATI cards. Given ATI's recent history with Apple, especially their MWNY blunder, is it possible that Jobs is looking to cut them out of the picture completely?

That would be unfortunate, as ATI has long been a supplier of Mac products, and their Rage 128 was a card ahead of its time when Apple first started shipping the Blue & White G3's. The Radeon, however, is an unproven product on any platform to this point, and the nVIDIA cards are highly regarded on the PC side of things.

nVIDIA products are the clear winner in both framerate and graphic clarity in the PC market, and we can only hope that type of performance carries over to their Mac products.

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