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With this week's refresh of the iMac and Mac Pro line, Apple chose ATI graphics cards, no longer offering even an option of NVIDIA graphic chips. There's a lot of rumors as to why Apple made the switch to ATI-exclusive graphics, but new speculation leads us to believe that Apple was able to achieve a larger graphics performance boost from the ATI cards instead of NVIDIA cards.
According to AppleInsider, who actually got in touch with ATI for comment, Apple placed a ATI Radeon HD 5770, with 1GB of GDDR5 memory card as the default option for the Mac Pro. This is a huge performance boost as Apple normally places a lower-end card in the base models of Mac Pros.
"This round they actually moved that up (and chose the 5770), so the default is actually a very, very capable product on its own," said David Baumann, product manager for AMD's graphics division.
The ATI 5770 is the equivalent to the previous years' high-end model graphics card.
On the iMac side of things, the default card is the ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256MB of GDDR3 SDRAM. This means that all of the iMacs now have discrete graphics, instead of an integrated solution.
Icrontic doesn't believe that NVIDIA cards are gone forever, though. They believe that we could see the cards reappear in the default configurations in 2012, when it is time for product refreshes again.
Follow this article's author, Cory Bohon on Twitter.