Graphics card and chip maker
ATI Technologies Inc.
said that its Radeon Mac Edition graphics card provides “the best performing graphics solution” available for Mac OS X.
The company said that it’s been working closely with Apple to make sure that the Radeon Mac Edition is optimized for Mac OS X. The Radeon Mac Edition is a graphics card featuring the company’s vaunted Radeon graphics processor and 32MB of double data rate (DDR) RAM.
ATI Mac product manager Stephanie Castura said ATI has a large team of dedicated Mac engineers working on the card and drivers. The team has 125 years of combined development experience, said Castura, and they’re working with Apple to “further enhance” Radeon’s capabilities for OpenGL and the Mac.
It’ll be interesting to see how ATI’s claims fare once cards based on Nvidia’s GeForce3 are in ready supply on the Mac. ATI spokesperson Derek Baker admitted to MacCentral that ATI’s claims of fastest performance were garnered by comparing Radeon Mac Edition’s performance to that of cards equipped with Nvidia’s GeForce2 MX chip, not the speedier GeForce3.
“The GeForce3 has been delayed and thus a comparison was not done,” said Baker.
MacCentral is awaiting further information from ATI to determine what criteria were used to benchmark the Radeon Mac Edition’s performance.
Radeon was first announced last year. It’s the first graphics processor introduced by ATI to feature hardware transform and lighting abilities, which enable the graphics chip to process calculations that would otherwise need to be handled by the CPU — thus yielding better performance in software applications that make use of this capability. Game developers and 3D graphics application developers are growing more and more dependent on hardware T&L to provide realistic 3D graphics and animation in their products.
ATI first introduced an AGP-based Radeon Mac Edition retail graphics card to Mac users this past autumn. The PCI-based version followed several months later. Both cards are distributed and sold through retail and e-tail channels. ATI also provides Radeon-based cards to Apple, as a build-to-order option for the Power Mac G4 and also as an accessory available to purchase for existing Power Mac G4 and G4 Cube owners.
Although ATI competitor Nvidia has made inroads to the Mac market as an OEM provider of graphics chips used in cards that ship with most Power Mac G4 configurations, ATI still maintains dominance in the Mac marketplace — its RAGE 128 chips are used in most Mac systems, including the iMac, iBook, PowerBook G4, and most configurations of the Power Mac G4 Cube.