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Nvidia 'pro' graphics hook up with Apple Mac Pro

The chipmaker is aiming its high-end professional graphics card--the Quadro FX 4800, packing 192 processing cores--for scientific and engineering markets at the Mac Pro.

Nvidia aims to fortify the Mac Pro moniker with its own "Pro" graphics.

Currently, Nvida GeForce GT 120 and ATI Radeon HD 4870 are offered as standard graphics chips on Mac Pro
Currently, ATI Radeon HD 4870 (L) and Nvida GeForce GT 120 are offered as standard graphics chips on Mac Pro Apple

The Quadro FX 4800, packing 192 processing cores, targets professional graphics customers, including scientists, engineers, and designers.

The Mac card features a standard 3-pin stereo connector for 3D stereoscopic imaging, critical to many core professional Mac applications, Nvidia said.

The 4800 also features a large 1.5GB frame buffer (used to refresh the on-screen image) and memory bandwidth up to 76.8 gigabytes per second. By comparison, the Nvidia GeForce GT 120, which is currently offered by Apple as a standard graphics card on the Mac Pro, has memory bandwidth of 25.6GB/s.

The card also integrates two Dual Link DVI Connectors and Boot Camp Support for access to native Quadro GPU accelerated professional 3D graphics on Windows.

The Nvidia Quadro FX 4800 GPU for Mac lists for $1,799 and will be available in May 2009 through, and select Apple resellers and workstation integrators. The card will also be available from PNY Technologies, Leadteck, and Elsa (Japan).