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ATI to launch Mac Radeon 8500 next month

Macworld Expo show guide reveals all

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ATI will unveil Mac versions of its Radeon 8500 and 7000 graphics cards at Macworld Expo San Francisco next January, according to the graphics company's show guide blurb.

The Radeon 8500 is based on ATI's second-generation Radeon chip, codenamed R200. The 7000, however, is based on the original Radeon technology that power ATI's current Radeon Mac Edition board.

The 8500 runs at 250MHz and supports 64MB of DDR SDRAM buffer memory clocked at 275MHz. By contrast the current Radeon Mac Edition is clocked at 166MHz (core) and 166MHz (memory), respectively. The 8500 is capable of handling 2.4 billion texels per second; the 7000 can chuck out 1.6 billion texels per second.

The 8500 offers digital LCD, video output and dual-monitor support alongside DVD playback. Full-colour 3D resolutions of up to 2048x1536 are supported.

The 7000 can also support 32-bit colour 3D graphics at up to 2048x1536 resolution. It too offers DVD playback, but ships with just 32MB of DDR SDRAM.

The PC versions of both boards only support AGP 2x and 4x systems. Since the 7000 is essentially the PC equivalent of the Radeon Mac Edition with a new name, it's hard to see the current Radeon Mac Edition not being replaced by the 7000, it looks like ATI will be dropping PCI support, leaving owners of older, PCI-only Macs unable to upgrade to the latest ATI graphics technology.

Both boards support OpenGL - the 8500 supports OpenGL 1.3.

Macworld Expo will be held at San Francisco's Moscone Center between 8 and 11 January. ®

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Macworld Expo: ATI exhibit info

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