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Wednesday, July 12, 2000
ATI OEM Rebuttal
10:29 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Recently rumors have surfaced alleging that NVIDIA might bump ATI out of the Apple OEM supplier position. ATI was quick to dismiss such rumors, and plans to make a big splash at MWNY with their new Radeon card.

However, the Mac market has recently been salivating over NVIDIA's GeForce MX2 chipset, which has the potential to be a low-cost chip for future Macs. In support of that possibility, CNET's Investor site is quoting analysts who claim the idea is very realistic. Here's a clip:

An Nvidia contract with Apple would be "small but significant, and Nvidia is looking for markets it can break into easily," said David Hodgson, an analyst at Dundee Securities Corp. in Toronto. He covers ATI and Nvidia.

Analysts expect Nvidia could supply Apple with chips for both notebook and desktop PCs. The loss of Apple contracts would extend a year-long slide in market share for ATI, the No. 1 supplier of graphics chips for PC's.

In a complete contradiction to these articles, ATI has released a press statement disputing the idea. Though there is no mention of a continuing OEM deal, they do note their continued support via the RADEON retail cards:
In reference to an article published in a prominent online journal yesterday, ATI stated that it is Apple's largest graphics product supplier. In addition, ATI is firmly committed to supporting the further development of the Apple platform. ATI's latest product, RADEON, will be the highest-performance graphics available for the Mac, and will further extend ATI's graphics and multimedia leadership for the Apple platform. ATI also announced that it will continue to innovate on the Mac platform, and will announce a RADEON-based retail sales add-in graphics board for the Apple platform at MacWorld in New York City, July 18-21, 2000.

While none of this is completely convincing, in either direction, it is interesting to see the various ideas slung back and forth. Either way, we get an extremely powerful graphics card for our Macs from a market leader - a luxurious position to be in. When was the last time three graphics card/chip makers fought over the Mac platform?

In somewhat-related news, VoodooExtreme caught sight of a preorder for ATI's PC RADEON cards at EBWorld starting in August.

Pre-Order, coming on 8/1/2000
Price: $279.99

Pre-Order, coming on 8/1/2000
Price: $349.99

We will be on the lookout for an ATI announcment at Macworld. With ATI and NVIDIA duking it out with 3dfx for an OEM , we have all kinds of competition coming to the Mac market. And competition is a good thing!

ATI Press Release
CNET Investor on ATI

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