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MacRumors
Oct 2, 2003, 02:59 PM
AppleInsider reports (http://www.appleinsider.com/news.php?id=210) that 3dlabs is in talks with Apple about brining their graphics cards to the Mac platform.



3G4N
Oct 2, 2003, 03:03 PM
this is what I've been waiting for, although I'd rather have an nVidia Quadro FX card.

NicoMan
Oct 2, 2003, 03:12 PM
It's gotta be good for professional apps, right? As far as Joe Public is concerned (a.k.a. me), it doesn't make much difference.

restiffbard
Oct 2, 2003, 04:01 PM
This could really be nifty. With Pixar porting Renderman to the Mac at last and now 3dLabs putting their cards into Macs it could up Apple's prestige in certain circles.

macMaestro
Oct 2, 2003, 04:09 PM
This is definitly a good thing. Now I just have to figure out where to get enough spare $$$ to buy one... :rolleyes:

dave@utpb
Oct 2, 2003, 04:29 PM
I had a chance to talk with several company reps from both ATI and NVidia at the SIGGRAPH conference this summer. Both companies were considering making their pro graphics chip sets available to the Mac and were using opportunities like SIGGRAPH to judge interest. Neither at the time was considering making complete boards themselves, but agreed that the chip sets were either already compatable with Macs or could have Mac capability included relatively easily, as well as providing driver and board development assistance.

Dr. No
Oct 2, 2003, 05:22 PM
I posted about this before, but I don't think anyone saw it.

A few years ago Formac sold video cards for Mac. I believe they had 3Dlabs chips, indicating that 3Dlabs did at one time support Mac OS.

Plus I found this:

http://www-cgi.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/11/07/formac.video.devices.idg/

Anyone know anything else about this?
I can't find any info on Formac's web site.

Makosuke
Oct 2, 2003, 05:57 PM
Originally posted by Dr. No
A few years ago Formac sold video cards for Mac. I believe they had 3Dlabs chips, indicating that 3Dlabs did at one time support Mac OS. The Proformance 4 never shipped, but I don't know exactly why.

The older Proformance 3 cards used 3Dlabs chips, though, and offered the speediest 2D acceleration available on the Mac at the time.

That old-time 3Dlabs support doesn't mean much now, but it'd be cool to see some high-end iron on the Mac now. Go pro graphics!

Mac Kiwi
Oct 2, 2003, 08:43 PM
3D labs cards rock guys :)



As for Quadros and Fire GLs,we are getting them its just when thats the thing.



I mailed 3D labs a while back to ask about cards for the 5 and I was told they could only just justify releasing their drivers for Linux at the time,so this is a big step forward for Macs if it turns into something :)



Thing is we cant call the 5 a pro platform until it accepts a workstation card we can buy off the shelf etc.A lot of people are waiting for a workstation card before checking out the 5s for themselves.



We also need to get into the position where when a high end PC card is released so is the Mac version at the same time.

cb911
Oct 2, 2003, 09:35 PM
a good selection of Pro Cards would be a killer combination with the new G5's. that would really help Apple make inroads into the highend market, mostly because only 'highend' types will be able to afford them. :p

Mac Kiwi
Oct 2, 2003, 10:08 PM
Ya well my point being ATI just released the 9800 XT or something like that,but its not listed in the Mac area :rolleyes:

NicoMan
Oct 3, 2003, 04:06 AM
Originally posted by Dr. No
I posted about this before, but I don't think anyone saw it.

A few years ago Formac sold video cards for Mac. I believe they had 3Dlabs chips, indicating that 3Dlabs did at one time support Mac OS.

Plus I found this:

http://www-cgi.cnn.com/2000/TECH/computing/11/07/formac.video.devices.idg/

Anyone know anything else about this?
I can't find any info on Formac's web site.
At one point, Formac was making all the graphics cards (for Pcs and Macs) to power those SGI 1600SW monitors with proprietary connectors , using 3dLabs chips for GPU. But that was some time ago. In terms of graphics cards, 3 years ago is like the bronze age... In 2001 (I think), Formac stopped making graphics cards altogether.

Mac Kiwi
Oct 3, 2003, 05:39 AM
Wow I didnt know that about Formac :( ,thats a bummer they dont still make them.Maybe because of Formacs involvement then 3D labs could do a port to the G5 without to much hassle :)

primalman
Oct 3, 2003, 09:38 AM
Originally posted by Mac Kiwi
Thing is we cant call the 5 a pro platform until it accepts a workstation card we can buy off the shelf etc.A lot of people are waiting for a workstation card before checking out the 5s for themselves.

Of course, plenty of PRO designers and artists and photographers and musicians and editors and engineers and scientists and etc. use Macs and G5s to do PRO work ervery freaking day.

Hmmmm, I think I just hit in the PRO definition. Just because a few workstation guys need graphics cards that are a more robust than what is offered in box does not render the box non-pro.

I use Macs every freaking day of my professional life as a designer and illustrator. I know for a fact that I am a PRO. I would love to have a higher end card that can render color more acurately to the high-end displays I use, but that does not mean I am using an eMac to make a living. PRO is not defined by one segment.

<dismounting soapbox>

ffakr
Oct 3, 2003, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by Mac Kiwi
Ya well my point being ATI just released the 9800 XT or something like that,but its not listed in the Mac area :rolleyes:
The 9800 XT isn't a new chip. It's a slightly faster version of the 9800 cards.

This is a matter of marketshare and chip availability... ATI will release the 9800 XT for the mac when the PC channels are well supplied, and only if there is sufficient demand to warrant making an XT version of the card.

With so few new/modern games for the mac, you'd have to wonder where the incentive is in offering a 9800 and a 9800xt model for the Mac, especially with Apple moving ADC power tab so that ATI had to remove ADC support from the cards.

fraeone
Oct 3, 2003, 03:31 PM
With so few new/modern games for the mac, you'd have to wonder where the incentive is in offering a 9800 and a 9800xt model for the Mac

Yeah I couldn't agree more. Until the market can support it, there are going to be less options for Mac. I'm running a Radeon 9700 Pro for my PC, but they never had that for the Mac either, so a minor revision to a current product line that is available seems pretty far fetched.

fraeone

Puppies
Oct 3, 2003, 04:33 PM
Aren't the "pro" cards from ATi and Nvidia basically the exact same as the regular cards only with a few features enabled, and certified drivers? And aren't ATi and Nvidia's cards basically just as good anymore as so-called "high-end" cards? Kinda like how you can most any work with a "PC" now that might have years ago needed a fancy dedicated system of some sort?

Dr. No
Oct 3, 2003, 08:02 PM
3Dlabs says their cards have the highest quality and most precision:

http://www.3dlabs.com/product/technology/wildcat_quality.htm


Does anyone really know about these cards?? What is the difference between the Wildcat 4 and the Wildcat VP?

mark_wilkins
Oct 3, 2003, 09:49 PM
Originally posted by Puppies
Aren't the "pro" cards from ATi and Nvidia basically the exact same as the regular cards only with a few features enabled, and certified drivers?

Yeah, a few important features that make it possible to do things like full-quality hardware rendering in Maya, which is not possible with the current cards.

The latest generation of workstation graphics cards do have hardware features that are not on the low-end cards at all, like hardware overlay plane acceleration (used by Maya for Paint Effects, among other things. Works on the Mac, just not fast and it leaves random images of your brush lying around as you paint.)

-- Mark

Mac Kiwi
Oct 4, 2003, 12:21 AM
Originally posted by primalman
Of course, plenty of PRO designers and artists and photographers and musicians and editors and engineers and scientists and etc. use Macs and G5s to do PRO work ervery freaking day.

Hmmmm, I think I just hit in the PRO definition. Just because a few workstation guys need graphics cards that are a more robust than what is offered in box does not render the box non-pro.

I use Macs every freaking day of my professional life as a designer and illustrator. I know for a fact that I am a PRO. I would love to have a higher end card that can render color more acurately to the high-end displays I use, but that does not mean I am using an eMac to make a living. PRO is not defined by one segment.

<dismounting soapbox>



Ya point taken fair enough,excuse my terminology :) 3D labs basically make cards for 3D and CAD {I believe},I meant Pro as in 3D or high end card in that field only.I should have said within the 3D market.I did not mean to imply the G5 is not a Pro tool used by professionals already,just that potential customers who are looking for a 3D rig pass over the G5 dual often because they cant buy a workstation card for it.

Mac Kiwi
Oct 4, 2003, 12:32 AM
Originally posted by Dr. No
3Dlabs says their cards have the highest quality and most precision:

http://www.3dlabs.com/product/technology/wildcat_quality.htm


Does anyone really know about these cards?? What is the difference between the Wildcat 4 and the Wildcat VP?



The VPs are newer cards basically and I believe maybe minus some goodies {dont quote me on that though} and the Wildcat 4 are the full on deal like say ILM might use.Wildcat 4s are very expensive last time I looked,in fact if I remember rightly one of them is actually more expensive then a G5 dual.But the VP cards are definitley not to be sneezed at by any stretch of the imagination,and anyone who can afford to spend the same amount on a card as a G5 dual will not be short of cash.

Ge4-ce
Oct 5, 2003, 05:09 PM
There is basically another big advantage with this Pro-cards.. => SPEED! I don't know exactely how they do it, and with what technologie, but there is a big difference between the normal cards and the pro-cards.

I saw a demo once with the Quadro FX, the highest model money could buy, together with Lightwave, nr 2 software in 3D animation and modeling (or nr 3 don't know) and it was quite a difference!! Heavy polygon models as trees with 790 000 polygons were turned around and handeled like it was a cube with only 4 polygons! Animations with normal characters were played realtime in wireframe mode!! wich is very helpfull for a perfect timing!

I myself am waiting for such a card before I buy a new Mac! I hope that when the new models are announced in January, (dual 2.5 or something) they also announce pro-cards as well!! Then count me in for 1 piece!!!

Mac Kiwi
Oct 6, 2003, 06:10 AM
790 000 polys :eek: ...thats really impressive,and very drool worthy :)

PyroTurtle
Oct 6, 2003, 09:04 AM
hmmm, the thought of maya, renderman, and AutoCAD running well on a dual G5 tower ::drool::

yamabushi
Oct 6, 2003, 09:48 AM
I think pro means that it draws extra power from the AGP slot and so such a slot should also be able to supply the extra power.

3DLabs chipsets tend to be very good at OpenGL. Very nice. Any extra hardware available is good news.

More choices->more appeal->more users->more developers->more choices.

Sort of a chicken and egg problem.

audio_inside
Oct 7, 2003, 01:30 PM
3DLabs is now owned by Singapore-based Creative Technology, and Creative's upper management have a long-running hate-affair with the Mac, confirmed by their failure to support the Mac version of their SBLive soundcard and their conviction that the Mac's "niche market" isn't large enough to make it worth the cost of development and support.

The bad blood between Creative and Apple received an extra transfusion in 2000 by a rancorous personal meeting with Steve Jobs, ostensibly to discuss possible Mac motherboard design-ins of their sound chips. Creative execs came away from the meeting with the distinct impression of having been dissed by The Steve for their cheesy commodity-quality manufacturing and shoddy software.

This deal will never happen.

Puppies
Oct 7, 2003, 03:19 PM
Regarding that Sound Blaster Live! for the Mac...man am I glad I didn't buy it. I was going to, but decided to hold out on the off chance they wouldn't provide OS X drivers. Still waiting on those... :D

EDIT: And regarding the "pro" versions of ATi/Nvidia chips, I'm sure I've read that it's usually an issue of intentionally disabling stuff that isn't used anyway on the "consumer" cards so that they can charge multiple price points. There's no magic difference between a "Quadro" or whatever Equivalent "Geforce" from the same generation.