ATI X1600 Graphics Card in new Intel Macs, X1800 Soon?

MacRumors

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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InsideMacGames spoke with ATI regarding the inclusion of the ATI Radeon X1600 series in the new Intel Macs. The new graphics hardware is a welcome boost to Apple's hardware line.

According to ATI, they've been working closely with Apple to get the ATI hardware working alongside the new Intel Macs.

Close work was done alongside Apple during development, and features such as the color depth display engine and the VIVO technology were greatly influenced by Apple's input. It was also a scramble to make sure that all of Apple's professional applications ran with the new ATI hardware in time for the unveiling at Macworld, with the closed firmware of Apple's latest machines making things more difficult.
Meanwhile a Mac running an X1800 graphics card was reportedly on display at ATI's conference room. This card hasn't been officially released for the Mac.

The new X1600 offers accelerated MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264 decoding.
 

Lord Sandwich

macrumors regular
Apr 29, 2005
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Can't help but feel excited by the prospect of a level playing field for Mac games. Even if I only play a couple new games a year.

Do iMacs have upgradable graphics cards?
 

CalfCanuck

macrumors 6502a
Nov 17, 2003
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Hopefully this card will let Aperture run well on the new Macbook Pro line. That's something that would excite ME.

We'll have to wait until the Universal version of Pro apps come out in March (what an Apple rep in the Pro section of MWSF told me yesterday) to see for sure.
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
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Don't forget that a year ago or so Apple hired people for a team dedicated to improving and accelerating OpenGL and Mac gaming. Not one person--a team. (Sorry I don't have the link--but it was news, not rumor. Probably known from the job postings?) That new commitment from Apple, working together with ATI and nVidia, is bound to deliver some great improvements for developers and gamers. (Will we see the fruits of their labor in Leopard, or before?)
 

pknz

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Mar 22, 2005
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The Intel iMac has a BTO Graphics card either 128Mb or 256Mb X1600 so maybe it can be changed or maybe it is not possible after it has been bought. However at least you have an option now. I wish I could upgrade the graphics card in my iMac, what I need is a external firewire graphics card. Mmmm external firewire duo core:rolleyes:
 

Sharewaredemon

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2004
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Way back when the announcement to switch to Intel, people said that we would be able to use any GPU for macs.

The wording of this post makes it seem like Graphics card makers still have to mack a Mac version of their cards.

Is this so?
 

Lacero

macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
6,639
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Macrumors said:
The new X1600 offers accelerated MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and H.264 decoding.
What we really need is H.264 encoding. My 2-year PB can decode H.264 640x360x24 with a Nvidia 5200 no problem. It's the encoding that hurts.

Here's to the Crazy Ones
 

pknz

macrumors 68020
Mar 22, 2005
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supremedesigner said:
Well let's hope we can install PC games without installing XP Windows.
For a few games you can use the same data files but you still need the app and a few other files. But aside from that :confused: :confused: :confused:
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
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This is great news for both Pro users (i.e. Motion users) and gamers - hopefully this means good things ahead! It would be nice to see something about H.264 encoding though, hopefuly that's something we'll see in the near future as well.
 

MartinAyla

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2006
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I just hope this hardware H.264, WMV9 etc. decoding means smooth HDTV, 1080p playback on the new iMac!
 

badmofo9000

macrumors regular
Feb 14, 2005
122
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Shores of Lake Michigan
Sharewaredemon said:
Way back when the announcement to switch to Intel, people said that we would be able to use any GPU for macs.

The wording of this post makes it seem like Graphics card makers still have to mack a Mac version of their cards.

Is this so?

Well with the inclusion of EFI instead of BIOS I think apple is in the same boat as before. They will need different cards than PCs.
 

jimN

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2005
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This can be nothing but good news. However, it further shows just how much of a knee jerk reaction this january release has been. I can't help feeling that had the low power, faster G4s worked out back at the last update then we wouldn't have a duo right now. As it is apple have tried to give the power laptop user what they want and at the same time created a degree of parity between their mid range desktop line and their pro notebooks.

I think that we'll see a re-designed ibook (macbook, whatever it's only a name) at the end of the first quarter when the single cores come out, which is probably when they were aiming for first roll out anyway - fitting with early rumours regarding the consumer range going first. Hopefully the arrival of merom at the end of the year will herald a new powerbook (macbook pro) case design but in the meantime enjoy the current model, to my mind it's the best looking laptop available.
 

jimN

macrumors 6502a
Jun 23, 2005
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Sharewaredemon said:
Way back when the announcement to switch to Intel, people said that we would be able to use any GPU for macs.
Before macworld people said they would be releasing a mac powered plasma TV. Just goes to show unless that person is wearing a blackshirt and jeans and carrying his little blue clicker I wouldn't believe a word they say - and if he is you still need to take his claims about speed with a large pinch of salt!
 

snowmoon

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2005
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Albany, NY
MartinAyla said:
I just hope this hardware H.264, WMV9 etc. decoding means smooth HDTV, 1080p playback on the new iMac!
Rumor is that the 20' can play back 3 1080p h.264 streams without a hickup... I can't wait to try that in my local Apple store later this week once they have unpacked and setup the new iMacs.
 

MartinAyla

macrumors regular
Jan 10, 2006
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snowmoon said:
Rumor is that the 20' can play back 3 1080p h.264 streams without a hickup... I can't wait to try that in my local Apple store later this week once they have unpacked and setup the new iMacs.
Sounds great!

Where have you read this, do you have a link or some more info?

Thanks
 

iEdd

macrumors 68000
Aug 8, 2005
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I ordered my iMac, which I'm very excited about :) I don't really mind if it sees a graphics card update. I would've gotten 20" with the 256, but it was too much. Instead I ordered: 17"/Core Duo 1.83/160GB/1GB/128MB. Anyway... What is the benefit of a graphics card with encoding capabilities as well? (Sorry for a n00b question). I would assume for writing it's own files to a certain video format quickly and smoothly?
 

snowmoon

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2005
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Albany, NY
MartinAyla said:
Sounds great!

Where have you read this, do you have a link or some more info?

Thanks
It was around here somewhere.... I'm sure it will be settled in a few days once the intels get unpacked and setup. But we are all glutten for punishment and that's why we are here.
 

srobert

macrumors 68020
Jan 7, 2002
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snowmoon said:
Rumor is that the 20' can play back 3 1080p h.264 streams without a hickup... I can't wait to try that in my local Apple store later this week once they have unpacked and setup the new iMacs.
Too bad a single 1080p movie won't fit on the iMac's 20" display ^_^ Or does it?
 

andiwm2003

macrumors 601
Mar 29, 2004
4,325
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Boston, MA
supremedesigner said:
Well let's hope we can install PC games without installing XP Windows.

as long as apple is using their own firmware on the gpu's you can forget about that.:( maybe you can get better ported versions of PC games. and if the market share of mac's goes up you might even get games optimized for mac's (maybe).

i'm thrilled about the h.264 acceleration. also screen spanning is not crippled anymore. in theory you should be able to watch a HD-Movie on you external 23" cinema display and do internet surfing and iphoto on the 20" imac screen.:D can't wait for the first user reports on the i'mac.:)
 

danielwsmithee

macrumors 65816
Mar 12, 2005
1,117
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Drivers

Sharewaredemon said:
Way back when the announcement to switch to Intel, people said that we would be able to use any GPU for macs.

The wording of this post makes it seem like Graphics card makers still have to mack a Mac version of their cards.

Is this so?
No but they need to be involved in the driver development. OS X and each of the pro application make specific calls to the new graphics chipsets API's. When a new graphics chip comes out the driver code needs to be updated to take advantage of this new functionality. One example is the added support of accelarated hardware decoding of H.264 mentioned above. The software would have to be modified to take advantage of this.
 

skunkworks

macrumors member
Jan 11, 2006
49
0
ATI has some good acceleration

Just ordered the 20" with 256megs, mainly for the accelerated encoding and decoding it will have in the future. I am scheduled to recieve on the 20th, if anyone has anything they would like to benchmark, let me know, I'd be happy. Obviously it might not have the speed jobs is claiming but it will eventually gain it over time as apps are recompiled. Anyways, hats off ati for making it all work.