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Article: CoreImage Complaints

by on April 13, 2005

Recently, I was browsing a forum on MacRumors, and quite a few members expressed their anger regarding CoreImage, an API from Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger. They, as well as some other Mac users, feel deceived that their minis aren’t supported by CoreImage:

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

The mini’s ATI Radeon 9200 is clearly not supported, but what many fail to remember is that the mini is a budget machine. The mini is not the only Mac in Apple’s lineup not included in the CoreImage party – the iBook and eMac aren’t either.

The same thing happened with Quartz Extreme. I bought my iBook G3 about 5 months before Jaguar was introduced, and it could not take advantage of Quartz Extreme. Although angered at first, I didn’t really miss the added things (like a shadow for my cursor). I’m sure a similar thing will happen for those who can’t take advantage of CoreImage.

Although some are crying foul, others have to realize that there is a reason for the $2000 Power Mac G5s and the $500 mini. Mac minis will still run Tiger with no problems, and will have plenty of graphic effects and the 199 other new features. Those who have the added horsepower will get more. Although blaming Apple is easy, you have to realize that Apple didn’t have to include any graphics effects. It just helps those who did spend a good chunk of their kid’s college fund on a G5 or PowerBook ease the pain.

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