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Nvidia Intros Mac Pro GPU

The Quadro FX 4800 boasts performance features geared toward creative professionals producing digital video, animation, and photography.

Nvidia has introduced a graphics card built for the Apple Mac Pro.

The Quadro FX 4800 uses a standard three-pin stereo connector for 3-D stereoscopic imaging, a key feature for professional applications that run on Apple's high-performance desktop. In addition, the graphics processing unit allocates compute, geometry, shading, and pixel processing power on an as-needed basis.

Other performance features geared toward creative professionals include a 1.5-GB frame buffer and memory bandwidth up to 76.8 GB per second to deliver high throughput for interactive visualization of large models, faster processing of large textures and frames, and higher resolution with full-scene anti-aliasing.

The FX 4800 includes Nvidia's CUDA parallel computing architecture, which can handle computational workloads in applications related to production work or editing video, animation, and photography. Other pro features include a three-pin min-din connector for stereo glasses support and up to two dual-link DVI connectors to drive high-resolution displays. DVI, or digital visual interface, is a standard designed to maximize visual quality of digital displays, such as flat-panel LCDs.

For creative professionals running Windows on Apple's Boot Camp software, the FX 4800 offers native support for the operating system for professional-level 3-D graphics performance on Windows.

The Quadro FX 4800 for the Mac is scheduled to be available starting in May through Apple's online store and Apple resellers and workstation integrators. The graphics card also will be available through Nvidia channel partners. The manufacturer's suggested retail price is $1,799.

Apple refreshed the Mac Pro last month, adding more powerful Intel quad-core Xeon processors. In addition, the computer maker lowered the starting price by $300 to $2,499. The workstation comes standard with an Nvidia GeForce GT 120 graphics card with 512 MB of GDDR3 memory.

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