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Old Feb 1, 2011, 03:57 PM   #1
gokarter14
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Power Mac G5 Graphics Card Upgrade. HELP!

Hello all,

I recently bought a Power Mac G5 Dual 1.8GHz (June 2004 Model) to sell my MacBook Pro before the new ones come out and save some more for a higher end iMac. I bought it so I could still have a Mac in the meantime.

I want to upgrade certain things on it. I wan't to upgrade the RAM to 4GB (From 2GB), Put in 2X2TB hard drives, USB PCI card, eSATA PCI card, and the graphics card. I've got everything covered mostly. Found some RAM and hard drives. I'm still looking for the PCI and graphics cards. When it comes to graphics cards i'm quite a n00b. I'm reading about the stock cards and aftermarket cards available but i'm not sure what to get. I will be using it as my main computer running a 20" display at 1680X1050 and a 15" Apple Cinema Display at 1024X768. I will be using it as a server when i'm done with it. I would like to be able to use the ACD but if not I can live without it and keep it around. If you guys can recommend some good cards at a reasonable price i'll take it into great consideration. If anyone knows where to get some USB and eSATA PCI cards from that'd be great. Sorry about all the reading.

Thanks everyone
GK14

Last edited by gokarter14; Feb 2, 2011 at 06:48 AM.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 05:53 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by gokarter14 View Post
Hello all,

I recently bought a Power Mac G5 Dual 1.8GHz (June 2004 Model) to sell my MacBook Pro before the new ones come out and save some more for a higher end iMac. I bought it so I could still have a Mac in the meantime.

I want to upgrade certain things on it. I wan't to upgrade the RAM to 4GB (From 2GB), Put in 2X2TB hard drives, USB PCI card, eSATA PCI card, and the graphics card. I've got everything covered mostly. Found some RAM and hard drives. I'm still looking for the PCI and graphics cards. When it comes to graphics cards i'm quite a n00b. I'm reading about the stock cards and aftermarket cards available but i'm not sure what to get. I will be using it as my main computer running a 20" display at 1680X1050 and a 17" Apple Cinema Display at 1024X768. I will be using it as a server when i'm done with it. I would like to be able to use the ACD but if not I can live without it and keep it around. If you guys can recommend some good cards at a reasonable price i'll take it into great consideration. If anyone knows where to get some USB and eSATA PCI cards from that'd be great. Sorry about all the reading.

Thanks everyone
GK14
Even the base graphics card that came with the G5 should be able to handle that (My G4 MDDs card, which is stock, can handle a 23" 1920*1200 and a 19" 1440*900 at the same time)
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 06:00 PM   #3
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The frame rate on it drops as soon as I load a video. I was thinking of picking up this card (http://www.amazon.com/Brand-RADEON-9.../ref=pd_cp_e_1) and keeping the 17" Cinema Display around for another Mac. If I go with the Mac editiong of it with the ADC it runs for about $250 which I'm not to excited about seeing I can just get one without ADC for only like $40.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 06:01 PM   #4
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The frame rate on it drops as soon as I load a video. I was thinking of picking up this card (http://www.amazon.com/Brand-RADEON-9.../ref=pd_cp_e_1) and keeping the 17" Cinema Display around for another Mac. If I go with the Mac editiong of it with the ADC it runs for about $250 which I'm not to excited about seeing I can just get one without ADC for only like $40.
Yes, but you have to make sure the $40 one is flashable to a Mac ROM (significantly different from the PC ROM, so needs to be flashed) - there are some reduced ROMs floating around, because the Mac cards tend to have larger ROM files.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 06:09 PM   #5
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That's where I get lost about the whole flashing thing. I just want a good card that's inexpensive and works with it.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 06:29 PM   #6
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That's where I get lost about the whole flashing thing. I just want a good card that's inexpensive and works with it.
Well all Mac cards cost a lot, the cheapest cards are the ones it shipped with which can be had for $20 - $60. If you dont want to flash the cards your stuck between a rock and a hard place (noone makes cheap OS X graphics cards for your G5)
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 06:38 PM   #7
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What about this card? http://www.dvwarehouse.com/Video-Car...r-p-33183.html Seems good. I just don't wan't to dump to much into this Power Mac.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 06:39 PM   #8
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What about this card? http://www.dvwarehouse.com/Video-Car...r-p-33183.html Seems good. I just don't wan't to dump to much into this Power Mac.
That oughta work, and should give you a nice boost in terms of graphics performance.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 09:52 PM   #9
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What about this card? http://www.dvwarehouse.com/Video-Car...r-p-33183.html Seems good. I just don't wan't to dump to much into this Power Mac.
That's still a $20 PC 9800 Pro. Why pay a $130 premium for someone else to flash it for you? Flashing those ATI cards are a cinch, should take less than 5 minutes. Check out TheMacElite.

Also that has DVI/VGA. You need the Mac version of the 9800 which comes with DVI and ADC so you can run your Cinema Display. The Mac version has a blue PCB board. PC versions come with the red PCB board.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 10:18 PM   #10
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I understand that I will need the Mac version to run the Cinema Display but I figured I'd rather save $50 and just put it in the closet. I don't feel comfortable with flashing cards yet but if they're only $20 I'll at least give it a try and if I mess it up, oh well it's only $20. If I can find a cheap 256MB card I'd try it.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 10:28 PM   #11
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There's really no noticeable difference between the 128mb and 256mb versions. Do you have another Mac? It will make flashing it a piece of cake as you can control the flashing software via VNC/screen sharing on the other mac.

There's many helpful people on this site if you need any assistance.
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Old Feb 1, 2011, 10:38 PM   #12
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So you can flash a card just by software? I'm reading on that site that you have to do it by taping or soldering and that's the part that scares me. I can always use my Dad's iMac in the house to control my computer if I can flash it through software. That'd be great!
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Old Feb 2, 2011, 06:51 AM   #13
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Also where were you finding that $20 PC Radeon 9800 Pro? I've been looking everywhere and cannot find it.
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Old Feb 2, 2011, 11:09 AM   #14
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You can find them on eBay. Or look locally on craigslist. Using the iMac would be perfect. If it has Leopard on it, you won't need to download any other software, I don't think Tiger came with built in screen sharing/vnc. But if you do need to download software, chicken of the vnc is my recommendation and it's free. Just enable screen sharing on the g5 and set a password.
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Old Feb 4, 2011, 02:24 PM   #15
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If you are too nervous about flashing it yourself (and you should be because it doesn't always go smooth and then you are left with a dead card and have to eat the expense) then you can try ebay. There have been plenty of people who have sold flashed cards. If you go that way make sure you go with someone with a good rep tho.

I previously had a flashed NVIDIA 6800GT in my powermac G4, it was a taped card, but I found that the tape would wear out and I had to re-tape it twice to keep it working. Finally the card just bit the dust, only lasted me about a year. Right now I have a flashed Radeon 9800 that I got off ebay which has lasted me about 4-5 years so far.
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Old Feb 13, 2011, 03:28 PM   #16
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ATI Radeon 9600

I've been using this card for a few years now and it has been pretty good. I have a 1.6 Power Mac. It has 256mb ram. Here are my system specs:

ATI Radeon 9600:

Chipset Model: ATY,RV351
Type: Display
Bus: AGP
Slot: SLOT-1
VRAM (Total): 256 MB
Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
Device ID: 0x4150
Revision ID: 0x0000
ROM Revision: 113-A73503-202
Displays:
LaCie 324:
Resolution: 1920 x 1200 @ 60 Hz
Depth: 32-Bit Color
Core Image: Hardware Accelerated
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Quartz Extreme: Supported
Television: Yes
Display Connector:
Status: No Display Connected
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