|Manufacturer: Dr. Bott|
|Min OS X: Any Version|
While the Apple Display Connector may make life slightly easier for Mac users – for the few minutes it takes to set up a Mac – it introduces many frustrating limitations for gamers in particular. Once you go ADC you are stuck with the video card your Mac shipped with, unless you buy your next card from Apple. And what if you have an ADC monitor and want to add a second identical screen to your system, or want to add an ADC display as your second monitor? Again, you are out of luck.
This is where the DVIator comes in. Made by the oddly-named Dr. Bott LLC, this nifty little device has one purpose – to allow you to run an ADC monitor on a DVI-equipped video card. The video card must have a DVI (digital) interface, as you might guess by the name, but other than that there are no limitations; you can even use the device to add an Apple monitor to a PC, if you are feeling perverse.
Why is this a gaming device? Of course it is not strictly for gaming, but it does come in handy if you want to use an alternate video card with your ADC monitor, or if you love Apple’s snazzy new monitors but can’t afford to upgrade your tower system. With ATI's Radeon 8500 (and possibly the 7500) on the horizon, and the fact that certain PC NVIDIA GeForce 2 MX and GeForce 3 cards can be “flashed” to work in a Mac, that Rage 128 Pro or Radeon your ADC system shipped with might be getting pretty stale. While ADC versions of all of the above are most likely going to be available from Apple, you will pay a heavy premium for grabbing them from the Apple store – often $150 or more over the common street price of the card. And you will have to pay this premium every time you upgrade your video card, something most serious gamers doas often as twice a year.
The DVIator solves this problem in the simplest of ways, without any software. It just mimics the ADC hardware built-in to the Mac, but provides a DVI interface for the video card. It comes in three parts – a power brick the size of a thesaurus, a power cable and a “Y” adapter that hooks to the DVI interface and a USB port. Everything is done in an “ice” color scheme that precisely matches the latest Apple hardware.
In my humble opinion, the DVIator itself displays some excessive overdesign, and could actually be even simpler. There’s no need for the two-part power cord, nor the odd four-prong connector that goes between them – I don’t have a degree in electrical engineering, but I think it is pretty common knowledge that you only need two prongs to carry an electrical current. The power brick also seems a little large, and does get fairly warm – I do not recommend resting it on a carpeted floor; put a piece of wood or a book underneath it to make sure it isn’t buried in the rug.