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Apple to drop ATI for Nvidia

By the end of the year, at any rate

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Mac Rumour Roundup Within the next 12 months, Apple will be buying all its graphics components from Nvidia, AppleInsider's souces have claimed.

Certainly it's a plausible allegation. Apple now has Nvidia-derived boards in its top three Power Macs. One Power Mac ships with ATI Rage 128 Pro parts, it's true, but that may well be Apple's way of eliminating components it's already purchased. The Cube also ships with the Rage 128 Pro, though the top-end model comes with a Radeon board.

But the Power Mac is a special case in that its graphics are add-ins, so Apple can pretty much bundle whatever board takes its fancy. That's a less straightforward process for all its other machines, all of which have graphics on the motherboard.

Major upgrades to the iMac and iBook lines are expected soon, but with the PowerBook G4 still sporting ATI Rage 128 Mobility graphics, it's hard to see these consumer machines kicking off with superior graphics technology.

Central to getting Nvidia GeForce-equipped notebooks - and to an extent iMacs too - out of the door will be the GeForce 2 Go, Nvidia's mobile-oriented graphics part. This handily supports the AGP 2x bus of current UMA mobos, but we image Apple will want to get UMA up to AGP 4x first.

Indeed, "Apple has been working on the new PowerBook logic-board for some time now," according to an AppleInsider source. "The board is said to support 4x AGP and will be capable of taking full advantage of Nvidia's mobile graphics cards." ®

Related Link

AppleInsider: Nvidia to take ATI's seat as Apple's graphics chip supplier

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