NVIDIA and the Mac: The Real Scoop
10:13 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story
Over the past year, rumors that graphics card maker NVIDIA might enter the Mac market have been whispered around the community, often with a hopeful gleam in the eye. NVIDIA currently produces what are considered the best cards of the PC market. The GeForce (and its variants) has reigned supreme over the benchmark tests for some time now, unrivaled even by 3dfx's latest Voodoo5 5500 in raw rendering speed tests. Mac support for this chipset is hindered by several hardware issues, as well as the fact that only AGP cards with NVIDIA chips are commonly produced. Since only the most recent generations of G4 Macs have AGP slots, this a small segment of the Mac market right now, and perhaps not worth the investment; indeed, 3Dfx has chosen PCI as the configuration for their new Mac cards.
NVIDIA recently released the specs for a smaller, 'lightweight' version of their popular GeForce 2 3D cards, which is known as the GeForce 2MX. The 2MX will be much cheaper (under $150) and features several unique features, such as support for multiple video displays with a single card, making it a great candidate for Mac support. The recent press release for these chips notes the Mac is a designated platform:
"In addition to the mainstream PC market, the GeForce2 MX will also set the stage for our entry into the commercial workstation, Mac, and mobile markets. These markets have been demanding NVIDIA's brand of graphics and multimedia for some time. We are excited to expand the reach of GeForce into these exciting areas."
IMG's Editor-in-Chief, Tuncer Deniz recently visited the NVIDIA headquarters and confirms this good news for the Mac platform. NVIDIA will also be contracting out with a third-party manufacturer specifically for the Mac version of the cards, though we're not allowed to say whom at this point. The plan right now is to have both PCI and AGP versions of the cards available, so those with older systems can also participate in the excitement. While rumors have also noted NVIDIA might have a booth at this years MacWorld New York expo, we can confirm that they will not be exhibiting at the show.
A number of PC hardware sites have taken a close look at the 2MX chip, so check these previews out if you're looking to learn more. It seems this chip is easily able to keep up with 3dfx's latest offerings - and NVIDIA is known for shipping their cards on time. Stay tuned to IMG, as the revelations about NVIDIA's plans for the Mac continue. And be sure to visit our Forums and share your reaction to a future filled with next-generation video hardware finally making it to the Mac platform.
Sharky Extreme Preview
nVidia GeForce 2MX PR
IMG Forums: NVIDIA on Mac
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