Tony at TonyMacx86 wrote in to tell us that Apple has included native graphics acceleration for some AMD/ATI Radeon HD 5xxx and 6xxx cards in the Mac OS X 10.6.7 Update for early 2011 MacBook Pro (Sandy Bridge).

The following graphics cards appear to be natively supported:

ATI Radeon HD 5630 Device ID 0x68D8
ATI Radeon HD 5630 Device ID 0x68D9
ATI Radeon HD 5670 Device ID 0x68D8
ATI Radeon HD 5730 Device ID 0x68D8
ATI Radeon HD 5770 Device ID 0x68B8
ATI Radeon HD 5850 Device ID 0×6899
ATI Radeon HD 5870 Device ID 0×6898

AMD Radeon HD 6850 Device ID 0×6739
AMD Radeon HD 6870 Device ID 0×6738
AMD Radeon HD 6970 Device ID 0×6718

Why is Apple supporting all of these generic/PC graphics cards?  Perhaps some (but certainly not all?) of those video cards above will be included in upcoming iMacs.  But it is likely bigger than that. Tony thinks that Apple may just have started to support native, off the shelf PC video cards.

“This means full QE/CI without Chameleon’s GraphicsEnabler or any enabler kexts such as ATY_init.” Could this mean the end of the Mac-only graphics card? Could Apple be opening up the platform more? What happens to NVIDIA? Why support for cards that aren’t in Macs yet?

This is certainly big news for those in the Hackintosh community.  The 10.6.7 update also introduced a Sandy Bridge Kernel but takes steps to try to confirm that you are on a new MacBook Pro.

Speaking of which, if you are considering putting together a Hackintosh, TonyMacx86 is the beginning middle and end of where you should start.

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