- Architosh Staff ([email protected])
- 14 Sep 2001
Pro 3D Mac Hardware Survey - Preliminary results tell interesting yet predictable story
Architosh is currently running two key survey-petitions related to Pro 3D on the Macintosh platform. One is regarding porting RenderMan to Mac OS X and the other a Macintosh hardware survey for 3D pros.
While we deal here with the hardware survey, we will deal with the RenderMan surveywhich has received a large responsenext week and provide more follow-up on both surveys in the near future.
Graphic Cards and Key Software Remain Biggest Obstacles
According to the preliminary results, the two biggest deterrents from making the Macintosh a household name in the high-end 3D market are the lack of graphic cards and software items dedicated to this market. (see chart below)
The Megahertz Myth, which Apple has begun to address recently in light of Intel's and AMD's progress in high clock frequency, showed up as a minor deterrent. However, according to the same amount of pro readers, the actual G4 processor performance is apparently lagging Intel with many key high-end 3D applications.
What the preliminary data is showing is that both perception and reality are currently deterrents in deploying more Macintosh units in high-end 3D.
What Can Apple Do
First off it should be stated that nobody believes Apple's brand has anything to do with adversely affecting deployment of the Macintosh platform in high-end 3D. Apple's brand remains, therefore, strong...and at the very least, a neutral criterion in the decision making processes behind platform deployments in 3D environments.
What Apple can do however is work to address the lack of 3D graphics cards for the high-end markets. According to survey data, the number one card requested, with almost half of the votes, is 3DLabs' Wildcat 5110 card, an expensive ($1500US est.) card with 128 MB of RAM dedicated to onboard duties for framebuffer and texture memories.
However many readers felt that nVidia should be Apple's high-end 3D partner (perhaps because Mac users are starting to take to nVidia as a Macintosh player) and voted for the nVidia Quadro2 Pro card, a workstation card as opposed to the advanced gamer cards currently being offered to Mac users.
Both cards are strong, with perhaps the Wildcat card being the industry leader at the moment. However, for Apple to make an engineering commitment with nVidia or any other third-party card maker, they would need to demonstrate market demand and be certain that there would be adequate return on investment.
That's why this survey is important. It gives us a clue about what demand might be out there. And allows all in the market to review the results we share.
To Take The Pro 3D Mac Hardware Request Survey
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