Apple's decision to enlist its technologies for the graphics processors in its G5 iMac and G4 eMacs has pleased ATI.

"Having Apple recognize the value of integrating ATI graphics into the iMac is a real testament to our continuing technology leadership in the Apple market," said ATI senior vice president Rick Bergman.

The new iMacs and eMacs use ATI's Radeon 9600 graphics processor. Previously, the iMacs were powered by graphics processors from nVidia, while the eMacs deployed an earlier ATI GPU, the ATI Radeon 9200.

Bergman also observes the way that graphics processors - once traditionally seen as support peripherals for gaming - have moved beyond their initial market.

"Apple continues to blaze a trail in 3D graphics, using the graphics processor for functions well beyond gaming," he said.

Many of OS X's core graphics and video functions are now handled by the graphics card, leaving the Mac processor free to accomplish other tasks, making graphics processors an increasingly integral part of an entire computer system.