Mac OS X: Requirements for Quartz Extreme and Core Image graphics

Learn what the video requirements are for Quartz Extreme and Core Image in Mac OS X v10.4 and later.

If you use Mac OS X v10.6, your Mac already meets the requirements for Quartz Extreme and Core Image graphics.

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About Quartz Extreme and Core Image

Some appealing graphics effects, such as the "rotating cube" effect you see when using Fast User Switching to switch users, are powered by Quartz Extreme. Quartz Extreme uses OpenGL and a supported graphics card to reduce the number of onscreen calculations that are performed by the CPU.

Other graphics effects and optimizations in Mac OS X v10.4 and later, such as the ripple effect that appears when you place a widget on Dashboard, are driven by Core Image.

Verifying compatibility with System Profiler

This section applies to Mac OS X v10.5 or earlier; as mentioned above, if you use Mac OS X v10.6 or later your Mac is already using Quartz Extreme and Core Image.

You can use System Profiler to make sure your Mac's graphics card supports Quartz Extreme or Core Image in Mac OS X v10.5 or earlier.

  1. Open System Profiler (in /Applications/Utilities).
  2. Click "Graphics/Displays" under Contents.
  3. In the right pane under "Display," look for the Quartz Extreme and Core Image lines; next to each, you will see either "Supported" or "Not Supported."

System Profiler showing if it is supported or not

Note: If your Intel-based Mac has more than one Graphics Processing Unit (that is, you can select Higher Performance or Better Battery Life in Energy Saver preferences), System Profiler will show Core image and Quartz extreme compatibility information for the active GPU only.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
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