Interested in one of
retail graphics cards for the Mac? ATI today announced a trade-up program primarily focused on its PC customers, but it offers Mac users a deal too. If you buy the AGP-based Radeon 8500 Mac Edition or the PCI-based Radeon 7000 Mac Edition, ATI will cut you a check.
Customers in the United States and Canada can, for a limited time, purchase a new ATI retail graphics card for their Mac, and receive either US$30 or $20 back after mailing in their old graphics card. ATI said the program is open to anyone who has an older ATI or non-ATI graphics card they’d like to replace with one of the new models.
As part of the program, you’re buying your new Radeon 8500 or 7000 Mac Edition board directly from ATI (for $280 or $130 respectively), and then you are required to return your old video card to ATI once the new one is installed and working. The new cards are full retail versions shipped with rebate coupons on the outside of the box. Fill out the coupon, send it in, and you’ll get your check. Customers are responsible for the freight charges in getting the cards back to ATI, but you are covered by a return policy if you get the card then decide you don’t really want it.
The Radeon 8500 Mac Edition is an AGP graphics card equipped with 64MB of DDR-RAM dedicated to video. The card is ATI’s new flagship offering to Mac users, and just recently began shipping. It sports all the latest technology ATI has to offer, including TruForm, a polygonal smoothing technology that provides more realistic, organically shaped graphics; SmartShader, the company’s programmable vertex and pixel shading technology; and SmoothVision, ATI’s real-time anti-aliasing technology. It’s equipped with DVI, VGA and S-Video outputs.
The Radeon 7000 Mac Edition is a PCI-based card aimed at entry-level users looking for a modest boost to older hardware. Although it’s not compatible with beige Power Mac G3s running Mac OS X, it gives such systems working in Mac OS 9 or newer Macs in either 9 or X the ability to drive two monitors from the single card, but it lacks the overall horsepower of the speedier Radeon 8500.