Mac Rumour Roundup PowerBook G4 goes Nvidia

Next-gen pro laptop to sport GeForce 2 graphics

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Apple's next PowerBook release, codenamed Mercury, will ship with an Nvidia graphics system and not a part from the company's long-time graphics partner, ATI.

That at least is what Apple sources have told Go2Mac.com.

Nvidia first touted Mac compatibility when it announced its GeForce 2 MX processor last summer. Nvidia's VP of strategic marketing, Oliver Baltuch, said work had been done to "make that market [ie. the Mac] available to us".

And one of Baltuch's colleagues, when pushed about potential partners - since Nvidia only supplies chips to board vendors and PC makers - let slip: "Apple of course." When asked for more details, we were told to await "a future announcement".

Then ATI made the unfortunate mistake of pre-announcing Apple's Power Mac Cube weeks before its official launch, allegedly provoking CEO Steve Jobs' wrath. That may well have tempted Jobs to seek out an alternative graphics chip supplier, but more likely it's the GeForce 2's superior performance that prompted the change.

Whatever, Mercury - the first PowerBook to contain the PowerPC 7400 processor, aka G4 - is set to include a GeForce 2, most likely the mobile-oriented GeForce 2 Go. Go2Mac's source notes that the final spec. has yet to be set, tough 16MB of VRAM looks a likely possibility.

The GeForce 2 Go can churn out 17 million polygons per second and 286 million pixels per second. It also supports DVD decoding and playback, AGP 4x fast write mode, and Nvidia's multi-screen TwinView display mechanism, allowing, say, a notebook to use its own display and drive an OHP screen or a regular CRT monitor. ®

Related Link

Go2Mac.com's story

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