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Quartz Extreme capable?

 
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itsupikiookami
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:22 am    Post subject: Quartz Extreme capable? Reply with quote

(My apologies if this should have gone in a different area.)

According to Apple: "Quartz Extreme functionality is supported by the following video GPUs: NVIDIA GeForce2 MX and later, or any AGP-based ATI RADEON GPU. A minimum of 16MB VRAM is required." (Tiger)

I'm just curious as to whether the mini will run Quartz Extreme... I mean, according to that particular wording, technically speaking the mini should be able to handle QE, right? AGP Radeon and minimum 16MB VRAM is all it needs? The mini is powered by an AGP 4x Radeon 9200 with 32MB VRAM, so it should run QE by default right?

Cheers!
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leftplay
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately there's a lot of conflicting information on this one. There's no doubt that Quartz Extreme works on the Mini, however the question is does Core Image work. And I think, regardless of what the spec sheets say (it's also changed from GeForce w/64MB to no minimum) Core Image does not work with the Mini. You don't need spec sheet confirmation just use your Mini and you'll see wave effects that work on other Macs running Tiger don't appear with the Mini. Along with the use of a 2.5-inch HD I think the GPU choice is the 2 major flaws with the current Mini design. I hope with the Intel Mini design they put in a regular desktop HD as well as GPU that supports Core Image.
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itsupikiookami
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2005 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

leftplay wrote:
Unfortunately there's a lot of conflicting information on this one. There's no doubt that Quartz Extreme works on the Mini, however the question is does Core Image work. And I think, regardless of what the spec sheets say (it's also changed from GeForce w/64MB to no minimum) Core Image does not work with the Mini. You don't need spec sheet confirmation just use your Mini and you'll see wave effects that work on other Macs running Tiger don't appear with the Mini. Along with the use of a 2.5-inch HD I think the GPU choice is the 2 major flaws with the current Mini design. I hope with the Intel Mini design they put in a regular desktop HD as well as GPU that supports Core Image.


That's what I needed to know. I have no doubts that Core Image won't work, and that doesn't really matter a whole lot to me, but a GPU accelerated GUI is very important. This coming from someone who's used to an ATI Rage M3 with 8MB VRAM and absolutely no hardware acceleration whatsoever.

And I don't have a mini, yet, which is why I was asking. My iBook came out in a limbo period (just after Jaguar was released) with specs just short of running QE...

I do have to agree with you on one point though, and that's the choice of GPU Apple used. I do appreciate it that they didn't use something too old (like Rage or worse), but understand their decision to go with only 32 meg VRAM (cost vs. performance). As for the hard drive, well, they would have had to increase the size of the mini and make it not so mini to fit a standard 3.5" drive (which can also generate a lot more heat).

Thanks!
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slickrick
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Neither the Mac mini or iBook will handle Core Image / Quartz Extreme 2D features. I hope Apple gets a ATI 9600 in both of them soon.
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leftplay
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

slickrick wrote:
Neither the Mac mini or iBook will handle Core Image / Quartz Extreme 2D features. I hope Apple gets a ATI 9600 in both of them soon.


The last part of your comment is false. Quartz Extreme does work on a Mini and indeed the iBook as well. If you look at Apple's website http://www.apple.com/macosx/features/quartzextreme/
and look at "Quartz Extreme" requirements you'll see that it needs "GeForce2 MX or later, or any AGP Radeon GPU with min. 16MB VRAM". Both the Mini and iBooks fulfill those requirements.

Unfortunately, I think a 9600 GPU in the Mini will not be possible with the Mini's current design due to thermal problems. We maybe stuck with it until the switch over to an Intel design, then we might end up with on board graphics (hopefully not) or the same 9200.
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sincil
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leftplay wrote:
slickrick wrote:
Neither the Mac mini or iBook will handle Core Image / Quartz Extreme 2D features. I hope Apple gets a ATI 9600 in both of them soon.


Unfortunately, I think a 9600 GPU in the Mini will not be possible with the Mini's current design due to thermal problems. We maybe stuck with it until the switch over to an Intel design, then we might end up with on board graphics (hopefully not) or the same 9200.


But then aren't the current Minis gfx 'on board', so to speak? Wink
I just hope in the Intel Mini they stick with ATI or Nvidia, and don't go with Intel onboard. Even if they did go with Intel onboard GFX, I think they would suffice for the Minis intended marketplace. And I don't think Apple would underspec the gfx so much on a new Mini as they have with the current model - even just 64MB gfx would have been great instead of what we've got.

Also, I should think that games (and other software of course) will be a lot easier to port to Mac when they are Intel based. So therefore, if I do get an Intel Mac, I'll probably get the higher end workstation model - equiv to the G5s now.

That will allow me to ditch my PC, which I use to play the current games Smile
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slickrick
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry! Looks like I was wrong about Quartz Extreme 2D. Embarassed

"Unfortunately, I think a 9600 GPU in the Mini will not be possible with the Mini's current design due to thermal problems."

Is there a knowm thermal issue with the 9600 or is this personal opinion?
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leftplay
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not saying there are thermal issues with the 9600 other than it's a more wattage intensive GPU than the 9200. Now, with that said the 9600 isn't a wattage eater like GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL but it does produce more heat than the 9200. Look at any third party graphics card with a 9600 engine and you'll see the difference in heat sink size compared with one that has a 9200 engine. Apple engineers had to lower that core voltage with the 9200 in the Mini to allow it to work with a crappy thermal pad and bottom casing as the GPU's only thermal relief. I just don't think it would be possible with the Mini's current design to just swap chips to anything other than the 9200. Of course the crafty SOBs at apple might just surprise us all. Laughing
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billabong
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2005 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure how much heat it throws out, but the Nvidia GeForce FX 5200 might be another option. Even though its a crappy chip it will do Core Image. For some reason I keep thinking about the new AOpen Pandora mini PC and what hints it will give us about the Mac mini's future.
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