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Apple ships Quads with Nvidia 7800 graphics card

Apple Computer last week began shipping the first of its new high-end Power Mac G5 Quad systems that include Nvidia's GeForce 7800 GT graphics card.

Several customers were surprised when they received Apple store shipping notifications on their orders in middle of last week because previous shipping estimates suggested the 256MB Nvidia GeForce 7800 GT card would not be ready until the last week of December.

According to reports, the release of the 7800 had been held up due to a stringent set of Apple acoustic guidelines which the graphics cards had to meet before they could be included inside the new Power Macs.

With the 7800 packing its own fan, sources said Apple wanted to be sure the cards did not contribute significantly to the noise already produced by the Power Mac's own cooling system.

One of the first customers to receive a Power Mac G5 Quad with the GeForce 7800 GT said the systems "do not appear to produce any more noise than the standard configuration."

Once Apple has caught up with the backlog of orders for the 7800, source say the company will begin selling at its retail stores a "Power Mac G5 Quad Ultimate" configuration, which will retail for around (US)$4000 and include the 7800, 1GB of DDR2 RAM and other component upgrades.

The Apple online store now lists the availability of the Nvidia GeForce 7800 GT at 2 to 4 days in Power Mac G5 Dual configurations and 5 to 7 days in the Power Mac G5 Quad.