Apple has quietly added a new build-to-order option for its line of Power Mac G5 desktop computers - the ATI Radeon X850 XT graphics card. The option adds $US400 onto the cost of a Power Mac G5, unless it's the high-end system clocked at 2.7GHz - that system comes equipped with a slightly different graphics card, so it only costs $US350 to upgrade.
ATI sells the Radeon X800 XT Mac Edition card as a retail option for existing Power Mac G5s for a suggested retail price of US$499. The card first came out in early January, 2005 and is available from retailers for less than the suggested price.
This is the first time the X800 series has been available as an OEM option.
Like the retail X800 XT card, the X850 XT features one dual-link Digital Visual Interface (DVI) and one Apple Display Connector (ADC) port. This means the card can drive one new Apple Cinema Display, including the 30-inch Cinema HD Display, and one older one that uses the ADC interface.
The X800 and X850 XT models tout identical feature sets - the same pixel and vertex shading functions, anti-aliasing and anisotropic filtering capabilities. The X850 XT features slightly faster RAM and a slightly faster engine clock, so it yields moderately higher performance than the X800 XT.