Graphics card and chip maker
ATI Technologies Inc. is one of dozens of vendors exhibiting at the Digital Life expo happening in New York City this week, and the company has quietly unveiled a new Mac-compatible graphics card that can drive Apple’s 30-inch Cinema Display. Although ATI has not formally announced the card, it is being shown on a Power Mac G5 equipped with both a 30-inch display and an older 23-inch Cinema Display. This is the first card ATI has produced that can drive the massive 30-inch display, which up to now has depended on Nvidia’s GeForce 6800 Ultra card — available only as a build-to-order option with Power Mac G5s.
Sources at ATI confirmed with MacCentral that the card is based on ATI’s Radeon X800 graphics chip — the company’s current high-end graphics hardware that has, to this point, not been available on the Macintosh. The card is equipped 256MB of VRAM, and features one dual-link Digital Visual Interface (DVI) connection capable of driving the 30-inch Cinema Display. An Apple Display Connector (ADC) interface is also provided. The system was shown running an older 23-inch Cinema HD Display side-by-side with the 30-inch model.
Details remain scant on the card’s planned availability or price, but a placard above the display in ATI’s booth describe it as “Next generation technology for Apple’s Power Mac G5,” and confirm that it has native support for the 30-inch display. What’s more, the card occupies a single slot — Nvidia’s GeForce 6800 Ultra card occupies two slots because of its large cooling assembly.