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Do you have an older Mac in need of a faster video card? Or maybe you'd like to add an extra monitor to expand your Mac's desktop. If gaming performance is not a priority, the 32MB ATI Radeon 7000 Mac edition is otherwise a solid upgrade choice, especially for owners of pre-AGP-slot Power Macs. Do you have an older Mac in need of a faster video card? Or maybe you'd like to add an extra monitor to expand your Mac's desktop. If gaming performance is not a priority, the 32MB ATI Radeon 7000 Mac edition is otherwise a solid upgrade choice, especially for owners of pre-AGP-slot Power Macs.
The ATI Radeon 7000's $129 price buys a lot of graphics versatility. The card's PCI interface means it can fit in older Macs that lack AGP slots. Its dual-display support lets you mix and match CRTs, LCDs, and even TVs. The Radeon 7000 features a DVI connector for a digital LCD, a regular VGA connector for an analog CRT or LCD, and an S-Video port for TV output.
Just about everything you need is already in the box, including S-Video and composite cables, plus a pair of monitor adapters. One adapter lets you connect an older Mac display to the Radeon 7000; the other lets you hook up a monitor with a regular VGA cable to the DVI port. The only connection missing is one that lets you attach Apple's current generation of LCD displays, which use the company's proprietary ADC connector. For that, you'll have to shell out an extra $150 for an ADC-to-DVI adapter module.
Though the Radeon is aimed at older Macs, it requires Mac OS 9 or OS X, so you may have to upgrade your system just to use it. Actual installation and setup for the card is pretty easy. If you need assistance, a nicely illustrated, printed manual will guide you through all the steps, including troubleshooting. The driver installation includes the ATI Displays utility for both OS 9 and OS X. This application lets you tweak the card's performance, but the card also works just fine at the default settings. The Radeon 7000 can support resolutions up to 2,048x1,536 with a 60Hz refresh rate, but your eyes will be happier if you lower the resolution and up the refresh rate to a flicker-free 75Hz or higher.