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Formac Delays ProFormance 4 Release
Graphics accelerator due out 'early 2001'

by David Nagel
Executive Producer
[email protected]

Formac has set back the release date of the ProFormance 4 graphics accelerator card. The Proformance 4 is a graphics card that uses GLINT Gamma G2 (geometry processor) and dual 128-bit GLINT R3 processors from 3D Labs. The 256-bit card will have 64 MB of onboard memory and will be able to power two monitors from a single AGP port. The card accelerates 100 percent of OpenGL geometry and lighting in hardware. This will be the first card on the Mac to offer this feature.

Formac did not respond to a request for information about the delay.

In single-screen mode both processors are focused into one frame buffer for maximum rasterization performance. In dual-screen mode, the ProFormance 4 can directly drive two independent displays, each with a dedicated rasterizer, acting as two 32 MB graphics boards. In addition to hardware OpenGL acceleration, the board provides MPEG-2 motion compensation and YUV to RGB conversion in hardware. The ProFormance 4 also provides full connectivity for LVDS, DVI and VGA standards, according to Formac, with two exchangeable modules and a connector for Formac's ProCyber 3D virtual reality glasses. Other features include:

  • 300 MHz RAMDAC;
  • 256-bit Memory Bus Architecture;
  • Quicktime/QuickDraw/OpenGL 3D acceleration;
  • Supports QuickDraw, QuickDraw 3D, QuickTime, 100 percent OpenGL hardware acceleration for transforming and lightning, MPEG-2 motion compensation, Dual Texture Unit, YUV to RGB conversion, Trilinear Filtering, Mip Mapping;
  • FontCache;
  • Hardware Pan and Zoom;
  • Gamma corrections;
  • Support for Apple's new monitors through a modular connection architecture;
  • Maximum true resolution of 2,000 x 2,000.

The ProFormance 4 is was previously set to debut in the in early September. Pricing is not yet available, but the card is geared toward the professional 3D market, and Formac CEO Oliver Bergmann told Creative Mac earlier this year the company will not attempt to compete in price with consumer-level cards, such as 3dfx's new Voodoo5 line. Bergmann said Formac is looking into future collaborations with 3Dlabs for graphics hardware but that the ProFormance 4 will remain the company's flagship Mac card for at least six to 12 months. For more information, visit http://www.formac.com or http://www.3dlabs.com.

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