Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Tiger 10.4 released, Core Image GPU requirements

In case you haven't heard yet, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger was formally announced today, and accompanying this is a nice black motif on the front page of Apple.com.

I'll let everyone else expouse the virtues of the various new features in Tiger, but I just want to make a comment about Core Image in Tiger. Many people seem worried that certain recent GPUs are not listed as fully supported on Apple's site:

When a programmable GPU is present, Core Image utilizes the graphics card for image processing operations, freeing the CPU for other tasks. And if you have a high-performance card with increased video memory (VRAM), you'll find real-time responsiveness across a wide variety of operations.

Core Image-capable graphics cards include:
* ATI Mobility Radeon 9700
* ATI Radeon 9600 XT, 9800 XT, X800 XT
* nVidia GeForce FX Go 5200
* nVidia GeForce FX 5200 Ultra
* nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL, 6800 GT DDL

Because of this, people are worried their PowerBooks from last year with the Mobility Radeon 9600 for example do not fully support Core Image.

Two things:

1) Core Image supports Altivec fallback, so if the GPU is not fully supported, any G4 or G5 will be able to take over this functionality.

2) The Mobility Radeon 9600 is indeed Shader 2.0 compliant, and will support Core Image GPU acceleration fully. It seems Apple is simply not listing ALL GPUs with this functionality. They are only listing currently shipping GPUs. The Mobility Radeon 9600, the Radeon 9600 Pro, and the Radeon 9800 Pro are all not listed, because no current Macs ship with them. However, all three cards support the required feature set and are actually faster at this than the listed GeForce 5200 series cards.

I look forward to the 29th of April, for Tiger's arrival. :)

1 comment:

styrofoamtuna said...

If this is true, then many of us who own last year's powerbooks will be very happily relieved. Yeah for Tiger!