Monthly Archive for August, 2006

Graphics Card

So, some of you may remember an earlier post regarding my purchase of a Radeon 8500 around the same time I upgraded to OS X 10.2 Jaguar. Well, with OS X 10.4 Tiger, Apple introduced a fancy bit of code called CoreImage.

CoreImage is based on the concept of offloading graphically intensive tasks to the chip on the graphics card, rather than bog down the main system processor. The catch is, you need a supported card to get all the goodness. Most machines made in the past two years all shipped with cards that met the minimum requirements.

The Radeon 8500, it turns out, is not fully compatible with CoreImage. The reason I purchased it, was to take advantage of Quartz Extreme in Jaguar.

So, given that I recently purchased some flat screen LCD’s, I thought that now might be a good opportunity to upgrade the graphics card as well.

I found a Radeon 9800 Pro with 256 MB of DDR ram on the card. Pretty exciting by 2004’s standards. Sadly, this is the most advanced card that my machine will accept. Not so sadly, it now fully supports CoreImage, which means I now have access to all kinds of superfluous eye candy.

Dashboard ripple effect? Check.

dual dual dual dual

I’ve used a dual display setup since my earliest days at Educom. I was skeptical at first. But, after a week, I realized that I’d never feel right without two screens.

I used to have matching 19″ Viewsonic A90’s, until about a year ago when one of them died. I replaced it with a 19″ LaCie Electron Blue. This was a rockin’ setup for a while. My only gripe with this configuration was that the Viewsonic had a beige housing, and the LaCie had a black housing. First world problems.

I use a door as my desk. It’s propped up on top of a variety of second-hand furniture, an old tube-frame drafting desk, and a multitude of long-since-unread books to add some stability. Given my penchant for dual screens, my monitors occupied a fairly significant amount of real-estate on the desk. If not for this huge space requirement, the desk/door would really be giant in terms of workspace.

So, lately I started to get the hardware itch. In a moment of inebriation enlightenment, I started researching some new LCD’s. Behold, the fruits of said research:

Dual Hyundai 19″ Widescreen LCD’s; 500:1 contrast ratio (not great, but passable); 8ms response time (again, not great, but passable); and power output of 60W (yep, think “60W light bulb.”)

I’m extremely stoked about configuring these things a little further when I get home tonight. The change in aspect ratio was a little unnerving at first, but I’m confident I can get used to it. And best of all, they match!