nVidia is following up its coup of having its GeForce 2 MX graphics processing unit (GPU) bundled with the top three new PowerPC G4s by making the rest of its consumer and commercial product range Mac-compatible.
nVidia developer relations account manager Jim Black told Macworld that the company is already working on making its 12-strong family of graphics chips Mac-compliant.
He said: "All future chips will be made ready for Apple. We are thrilled to be on the Macintosh and have tremendous resources dedicated to making our chips usuable on the platform.
"We offer the best OpenGL performance going, and consider Apple to be a key strategic partner. The two companies complement one another perfectly."
ATI upgrade The GeForce is bundled with the 533, 667 and 733MHz G4s announced by Steve Jobs in his keynote on Tuesday. ATI representatives told Macworld they believe many users of these machines will look to upgrade to its top-of-the-line Radeon graphics card - a claim that Black dismissed.
He claimed: "ATI's claim that Radeon out-performs the GeForce 2 MX is only true for the very highest screen resolutions. Most gamers, though, only use the lower resolutions because extreme performance is what they are after. At these lower resolutions, the GeForce is the far superior solution."
He added: "Also, the GeForce 2 MX is one of our mid-range chips, where Radeon is ATI's top-end product."
nVidia gave Macworld a demonstration of the GeForce 2 MX's performance in running Quake on a PowerPC 450MHz G4, it achieved up to 100 frames per second with all settings at maximum. The human eye is capable of seeing around 30fps.
Effects processing Brown says that such high-level performance is possible because the chip processes lighting and transform effects itself, rather than relying on the CPU to process the data.
Brown claimed: "This improves graphics performance because the CPU is freed up to do other things."
Asked why the GeForce 2 MX lost out to ATI's Radeon AGP 2X Rage Mobility 128 in Apple's new PowerBook G4, Brown said: "We have a six month product cycle, but in time all our chips will be Mac-ready."
He added: "With our buy-out of 3dfx we inherited a further 300 highly skilled engineers and now, without doubt, have the most talented collection of graphics engineers in the world.
Phil Schiller, Apple's vice president of worldwide product marketing, said: "The combination of fast G4 processors, a new speedier system architecture and blazing nVidia graphics makes for the fastest Mac ever."