View Full Version : Blind flash Radeon 9800SE to PM G4

Oct 6, 2012, 10:38 AM
I bought (haven't received it yet) Radeon 9800SE card which I would like to flash for my PowerMac G4 FW800, it has 9000 PRO now. However, I don't have any AGP -based PC's or motherboards and I also don't have PCI graphics card. Is it possible to flash blindly using Mac? I read somewhere that atleast in some cases it has been, you have place the flashing program and I guess ROM also in start up items or something. I have OS X 10.4.11 installed.

I have flashed two times before but by using PC. I know about the required tape mod also.

Oct 6, 2012, 04:07 PM
Haven't done it myself but some sources suggest that it can be done with a 2nd Mac and VNC.

The basic idea is that you setup a VNC-connection between the G4 and any other Mac (actually even a phone with a VNC-client should do the trick).
Once you have that sorted out you replace the Mac-GFX-card with the to-be-flashed PC-card and let the G4 boot.

Afterwards you control it from the other computer and execute:

The included ATI-Tools only run on OSX10.3 or smaller (or OS9) so you might want to install someof that onto a separate drive that you can select blindly (FW comes to mind, or simply disconnecting the default drive).

Good luck.

Oct 6, 2012, 05:24 PM
The included ATI-Tools only run on OSX10.3 or smaller (or OS9)

They run on 10.4 and 10.5 too. One of available how-to's: http://www.mactalk.com.au/18/6981-step-step-flashing-9800pro-using-vnc.html

Oct 7, 2012, 03:17 AM
OK, thanks for the tips. By the time I receive the card I should have PowerBook G4 also so maybe that would be my client computer. The seller just said that his card worked fine as 9800 PRO with soft-mod so maybe I could try to flash 9800 PRO -rom, I know that 9800SE is basically same chip but half pixel pipes disabled. I doubt I will see any benefit even in theoretical 3D benchmarks if I flash the card as 9800 PRO since according to benchmarks dual G4's cannot crank enough stuff for 9800 PRO to draw. It will of course be better than 9000 PRO and it will have Core Image support.

Oct 7, 2012, 05:17 AM
SE has different DID than Pro and might not work with Pro ROM due that. I've never flashed SE personally so my answer is purely theoretical. Another thing is that some SE versions are using TSOP RAM chips, all PRO do use BGA ones. Success with flashing one to Pro depends on which one you bought and altering DID in Pro ROM to match SE one. Check on TME for how to do it if you'll be interested.

Oct 7, 2012, 05:44 AM
I bought this one:



It is built on 9700 PRO board and it has 256-bit memory bus. SE rom on that site claims that atleast all ports etc. will be fully functional so unless I cannot flash it as Pro, I should be able to flash it succesfully as 9800SE.

One thing I noticed after I bought it was that I will need power adapter from to molex to that little connector which you usually use with floppy drives, "berg connector" according to Google.

Oct 7, 2012, 06:25 AM
If you don't have a PC, check what EEPROM size this card has before flashing it on a Mac. If you'll be trying to flash 128K ROM on card with 64K EEPROM, you'll end with bricked card which will be unrecoverable on a Mac, only in PC.
On 9700 reference board EEPROM is located here:

Oct 7, 2012, 07:10 AM
OK, the 9800SE rom on Macelite page is 64k so it should not be a problem? There is also reduced rom available for 9800 Non Pro which is 64k, maybe I could try that also?

Oct 7, 2012, 07:18 AM
SE and Pro ROMs are in both sizes. It's always better to use full 128K ROM, you just need to be sure that it will fit on the chip you want to flash. If you're doin' it on a PC there's no big deal if you'll get programming error in the middle of flashing process. On a Mac it's not so simple after that.

Oct 11, 2012, 06:44 AM
Finally got the card but I'm still the floppy power connector/adapter so I haven't even tried flashing yet. It would have been wiser to get a card with standard molex -connector.....but I didn't.

EDIT: I do however have one power supply which is non-standard size so I cannot actually use it in any standard case, it also bit low power, 250 watts or something. I have used for testin motherboards etc. One option I guess would be to steal it's floppy power connector and use one of my many (currently) useless molex cable to create such adapter for the 9800SE ?

Oct 11, 2012, 10:10 AM
Well, flashing failed. I made my own power cable, did the tape mod and established VNC connection. The card was somewhat recognized meaning that there was entry on Graphics. I used Aticcelerator, selected the suggested ROM-file from Macelite. Flashing started but there was some kind of error and now it seems that card is not recognized at all or something.

I guess I need a PC to get the job done.

Oct 29, 2012, 11:50 AM
So, now I have PC parts (mobo etc.) and I am able to restore the functionality in PC but it seems that none of the reduced Mac roms are working for this card.