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MACWORLD Radeon: accelerator of the future (maybe)

MACWORLD Radeon: accelerator of the future (maybe)

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New York I'm not sure of the good times for ATI neither from the economic point of view (after the losses of the last fiscal quarter) nor from the Apple side, according to the latest rumors. What for years now seemed like an indissoluble relationship for the OEM supply of video chips, seems to be running out. As reported by Macity yesterday, an enraged Steve Jobs seems to have slammed the door in the face of ATI's latest product, the new Radeon acceleration card, perhaps the Canadian company's trump card to shorten or even erase the gap performance towards 3DFx and nVidia (on the site of which – for the record – continue a page with reserved access exists at the address http://www.nvidia.com/apple). But we try to summarize the features of this new product that , although it may never appear as a build-to-order option on the Apple Store, it will be sold as a stand-alone product. The board, which is based on the new chip (or to be more precise GPU – Graphical Processor Unit) Radeon, in fact, was born with 32MB of DDR (Double Data Ram, a new type of memory much more perforamed than the SGRAM used up to now on the ATI Rage 128 GL and Pro) and boasts some technological technological "goodies". Among these is the Charisma Engine, a unit which is entrusted with the application of lights and transformations (TCL – Transformation Clipping & Lightening) and Pixel Tapestry Architecture, the first and unique architecture, according to ATI, which includes 3 texturing units independent for each pipeline rendering. We also mention Superscalar Rendering, Bilinear and Trilinear Filtering, full-screen Anti-aliasing, Z-Buffering and Double Buffering. A noteworthy interesting feature of this new board is that it can also be installed in slots PCI at 66Mhz occupied by the Rage 128 GL inside the G3 Yosemite Blu and Bianchi and by the Rage 128 Pro inside the G4 Yikes, thus taking advantage of greater speed (which for normal PCI slots is 33Mhz). also mention the presence of a digital DVI-I output to drive flat-panel monitors (such as those at Apple), TV-Out for connection to screens and televisions and support for Quicktime, Quickd accelerations raw, Quickdraw 3D RAVE and Open GL.We will see ATI Radeon on the shelves in September first in the AGP version (for the G4 Sawtooth) and a little later in the PCI version for all the other Macs (also for those with 7 ? slots such as the Performa or the PowerMac 6400/6500), but the question that perhaps we must ask ourselves is another: in the future we will continue to see ATI cards inside the Macs? And above all, until the OEM relationship with Apple lasts? (By Enrico Querci)

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