Graphic Changes Await Your Mac

When it comes to graphics chips, Apple and ATI have been running mates for some time. Now several companies are trying to usurp ATI's place at Apple's side.

But it's always hard to unseat an incumbent. ATI cards sit in new Macs' only AGP slot; many cards that also use the AGP interface won't work unless users remove the installed ATI card.

ATI (905/882-2600, www.ati.com ) offers the $279 Radeon chip. The AGP version should be out by early October, with a PCI card to follow later in the fall. The Radeon has 32MB of DRAM, carries VGA and DVI connectors, and supports Apple DVD Player.

3dfx (888/367-3339, www.3dfx.com ) has already debuted its dual-chip Voodoo5 5000 and will focus now on delivering its lower-cost, single-chip Voodoo4 4500 to customers. The cards are come only in PCI versions.

Formac (925/251-0100, www.formac.com ) has slated its ProFormance 4 for release later this year. You can configure the card so the two chips work in tandem or split them apart to drive separate displays.

Appian's (800/727-7426, www.appian.com ) $749 Jeronimo 2000 AGP-only graphics card features two VGA ports and 32MB of video RAM, 16MB per display.

Nvidia (408/615-2500, www.nvidia.com ) says it will release a Mac version of its GeForce2 MX AGP card sometime next year.

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