Nvidia has introduced the GeForce2 MX, its first Mac-friendly graphics chipset.

Like ATI’s Radeon chipset, GeForce MX supports hardware-based 3D effects. It can draw detailed 3D images with performance that does not depend on the host computer’s CPU or bus speed. Nvidia’s Natural Shading Rasterizer (NSR), a per-pixel rendering technology, lets developers create realistic lighting and texture effects.

On board The card also has an integrated High Definition Video Processor, or HDVP, so the chipset can decode DVD images and receive and display high-definition television images. OpenGL 3D-graphics technology is also supported.

Nvidia does not manufacture its own video cards, it works with manufacturing partners who put the company’s chipsets into their own designs. Licensees include Dell and Creative Labs.

Coming soon It’s unclear which manufacturing partner the company will co-operate with to create a Mac-compatible card, but the GeForce2 MX enter production in the next few weeks.

Meanwhile, graphics-accelerator manufacturer 3dfx continues to request that Apple offers a choice of accelerators as a build-to-order option for Mac consumers.