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Old Feb 24, 2008, 05:03 PM   #1
blairwillis
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Best video card upgrade for PowerMac G5 Dual 2.0GHz (June 2004)

I need some sage advice here if you have a moment. Your experience and input is appreciated, and if you have a card(s) to offer FS, that's great, too!

I have a G5 Dual 2.0 GHz (June 2004) and wish to upgrade the graphics card, and in fact would like to run multiple graphics cards, or at least multiple outputs with better performance.

It came with the stock AGP 8x nVidia GeForce FX5200 Ultra with 64 MB vRAM. I've just switched that out for an AGP ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 64 MB that I picked up cheap, but I NEED MORE POWER.

I don't have a clue when it comes to ATI v. nVidia and all the different lines, and a browsing of data on such still has me puzzled. Frankly, I don't really need to know more about it, just a "here's the best option" answer would be great!

Plain and simple, I want to replace/add-to my current capabilities and use this to run multiprojection video. I'd probably prefer to add two PCI video cards (it has "PCI-X" slots?) and retain a third card in the AGP slot, unless you'd advise otherwise. My thoughts are to use the AGP card for primary monitor viewing at the workstation, and up to two PCI cards for the projector outputs. I'd prefer using two identical cards for output so that all projection is "equal". Dual DVI outputs on a single card would be nice, but not necessary. Single or Dual s-video outputs on the card might be nice, too, but also not necessary. My current video/vj software is Modul8 and I'll probably stick with that. It offers flexible output size and uses Core video processing extensively.

Budget is $200 per card MAX and I'd love to spend just half that if possible, but "best" performance is priority. If there are $250+ options out there I might consider, especially with two DVI outputs, but lets keep it in the realm of reality.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to drop some suggestions.

Blair
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Old Feb 24, 2008, 07:32 PM   #2
QCassidy352
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I think a radeon 9800 will be your best bet, but I'm sure someone else has a more definite answer.
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Old Feb 24, 2008, 08:40 PM   #3
sysiphus
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The best "official" cards (ones that come from Apple or ATI preloaded with an official Apple ROM, rather than cards that originally had PC ROMs but were reflashed) were the nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra and the ATI Radeon X800 (there may have been an X850 later, but I can't recall if it was compatable with your system, and regardless, the performance differential would be small). Just below the 6800 Ultra was the 6800GT, which retailed for 100 dollars less than the Ultra when new. I used to have a Dual 1.8ghz of the same age as your Powermac with the 6800 GT, and was very happy with it. The ATI cards all came with one DVI and one ADC port. The 6800 series cards were the only ones that came with dual DVI ports; both the X800 and 6800 series cards had dual-link DVI ports, which allow you to drive 30in displays. The dual-link ports function like standard DVI ports electrically and physically, so you can run anything that uses a DVI port off them, not just the 30in displays. In short, if you need 2 DVI ports, your best bet is to find a 6800 series card. Make sure the one you get is an Apple-ROM card (the circuit boards on these card were always blue, whereas the cards that other people hack/flash for Mac use would not be). These were sold both in the computers, and in VERY limited quantities as white-box accessories in Apple stores and at Apple.com.

You can also try getting a hacked/flashed PC card to use in your computer, but realize that there is no guarantee of success with these, and the Geforce 7800gs is the only card that was successfully flashed that would work with your system and provide more power than an official 6800-series card. The hacked 7800gs required you to run an extra Molex power cable to the card; not hard, but something to keep in mind.

In short, to buy the best official card possible for your computer that has 2 DVI ports, find a 6800 Ultra or GT, and make sure it's a card originally meant for a Mac! No other 6800-series card, or anything higher from ATI or Nvidia will work in your computer and still provide the ports you are asking for. Be warned that a lot of lower-end cards from newer MacPros and the last-model Powermacs are on the market; these will all be PCI-Express (NOT the same as PCI-X) and will thus NOT work for you. Hope this wasn't too long of a post; this should be all the info you need. Feel free to PM me if you have more questions

Note that if you want to add PCI cards to your Mac rather than getting the best possible AGP card (like I was talking about above), your best bet is the Radeon 9200; a decent PCI card which will only provide 1 DVI port per card.
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Old Feb 24, 2008, 10:28 PM   #4
solvs
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I just sold a 9800, that would be your best bet unless you want a flashed on as mentioned above. eBay is a good place (find a reputable seller), or try OWC or another Mac reseller.
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Old Feb 24, 2008, 11:23 PM   #5
sysiphus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solvs View Post
I just sold a 9800, that would be your best bet unless you want a flashed on as mentioned above. eBay is a good place (find a reputable seller), or try OWC or another Mac reseller.
Why is everyone fixated on the 9800? It was a mid-range card when it came out, and is far outdone by the X800 and the 6800 cards.
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Old Feb 24, 2008, 11:56 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sysiphus View Post
Why is everyone fixated on the 9800? It was a mid-range card when it came out, and is far outdone by the X800 and the 6800 cards.
Because it was the last native high end card for that machine. The X800 and 6800 only came out for the PCI-e models. As mentioned, you could get those in AGP if you buy flashed ones from eBay that should work, but you wouldn't be able to buy the actual Apple ones if that's what you want. They're sometimes cheaper too, compared to some of the higher end models.
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 03:47 AM   #7
sysiphus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solvs View Post
Because it was the last native high end card for that machine. The X800 and 6800 only came out for the PCI-e models. As mentioned, you could get those in AGP if you buy flashed ones from eBay that should work, but you wouldn't be able to buy the actual Apple ones if that's what you want. They're sometimes cheaper too, compared to some of the higher end models.
Completely wrong. Call Apple if you don't believe me, or simply search the archives of this site's forum. The 6800GT and 6800 Ultra were available from Apple stores and as a BTO option. ATI sold the X800 through standard retail channels; I can't recall if it was ever a BTO. Regardless, both were for AGP. Guaranteed. See this link to see discussion of it. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=93818

Or, check out http://www.barefeats.com/radx800.html

Also, think it out this way: the 30in Cinema Display came out well before the PCI-e models, and it took a Dual-link DVI port to drive a 30in model. There's no way in the world Apple would have sold a Cinema Display without a card available in their Powermac to drive it. The DDL suffix in the official name of the 6800 card designated that it was dual-link DVI capable.

I'm not attacking you for making a mistake, just want to clarify the matter so that the OP doesn't leave misinformed.
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Old Feb 25, 2008, 04:35 AM   #8
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You're correct. I forgot about the BTO 6800 and special edition X800 cards that were sold retail. I was thinking they were PCI-e, but there are AGP models compatible with your system if you can find them. A quick Google search netted a few results. Might even be in your price range too OP. All of the ones I've seen on eBay are flashed, but they work fine most of the time too.
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Old Feb 29, 2008, 10:44 AM   #9
blairwillis
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THANKS everyone for the good input on my G5's output (graphic, that is).

I am off to track down some of your suggestions!
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Old Mar 4, 2008, 10:03 PM   #10
solrydr270
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I too am searching graphics cards

Upon reading the whole thread i must commend all you put in the insight for me. I myself just bought a used pmac g5 dual 1.8 w/ 2 gb ram and have the dual dvi agp card. I need more info before i purchase an even higher graphics card so i may render hd video effortlessly. I alrady have 2 more gb of ram coming which is my computers max which im fine with. But the problem is 64mb video card just isnt going to be enough. I am looking for a dual HD/Dvi ports agp card that has more ram?256? 512? Who makes one and who sells it?
Id rather just replace the current 64mb apple dual dvi card than add a pci card. Any help, or ideas. I will listen to all.

In addition to this question i have a seperate one. With a max ram of 4gb on my used g5 dual 1.8 mac faster or comparable to the new 24" imac 2.4 ghz with 4 gb?
(i just switched to make videos cause the Xp crashes So iam learning i got this comp g5 for $500 and dont want to shell out $1800 for imac 24".)
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Old Mar 5, 2008, 01:25 PM   #11
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I had an x800 in my late 2004 G5. It's a great card if you can find it.
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Old Apr 19, 2008, 01:01 PM   #12
Hagbard
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I'm so confused i'm not sure if I'm confused!

Hello all,

I've never delved into graphics cards and now I need to.
There are some very helpful posts in this thread... but I'm not sure if I have this sorted. I'll tell you what I have, what I'd like to do, and what I think I'm looking for.

I have a dual G5 Mac. System profiler tells me the following:

Model Name: Power Mac G5
Model Identifier: PowerMac7,2
Processor Name: PowerPC 970 (2.2)
Processor Speed: 1.8 GHz
Number Of CPUs: 2
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 2.5 GB
Bus Speed: 900 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 5.1.5f0


GeForce FX 5200:

Chipset Model: GeForce FX 5200
Type: Display
Bus: AGP
Slot: SLOT-1
VRAM (Total): 64 MB
Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0321
Revision ID: 0x00a2
ROM Revision: 2060


What I'd like to do is
be able to run two 20" wide screen monitors, something along the lines of two HP L0245w displays at 1680 x 1050..

I mainly make music and run office type apps, -- sometimes I do some photoshopping and web design, and tinkering in iMovie, but I'm wouldn't call myself a graphic artist or video maker. I'm not a dedicated gamer, but I do like to get thrashed playing Halo online (its my daughter's boyfriend's fault).

On reading the above I think I'm therefore looking for a
Geoforce 6800 AGP
or
a Radeon 9800.

I've found a Geoforce 6800 on eBay, available from China, and the ad says:

nVIDIA Geforce 6800Ultra AGP 8X
Memory 256MB of 256-Bit GDDR3
Memory Clock @ 1100MHz
Core Clock 425MHz
25601620 Max Resolution (Digital)
OpenGL 2.0 and Microsoft DirectX 9.0c Support
Connectors D-Sub , DVI, S-Video/Component TV Out
882.5 million vertices/sec.
25.2 GB/second memory bandwidth


Have I found the right thing? Or is there anything I need to check there?

I can find loads of Radeon 9800s but they only have one DVI out...? Surely I'm going to need two?

Am I missing something there?

Thanks all.
Dave
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Old Apr 19, 2008, 06:35 PM   #13
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unless the add mentions Mac Compatibility, then it will not work.

You must find a Mac Compatible card (which is difficult). PC video cards will not work.
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Old Mar 8, 2009, 06:20 AM   #14
vero
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Same card and using 2 HP20" and it works fine

This are the specs of my G5 dual 1.8

Machine Name: Power Mac G5
Machine Model: PowerMac7,3
CPU Type: PowerPC G5 (3.0)
Number Of CPUs: 2
CPU Speed: 1.8 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 2.5 GB
Bus Speed: 900 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 5.1.8f7

GeForce FX 5200:

Chipset Model: GeForce FX 5200
Type: Display
Bus: AGP
Slot: SLOT-1
VRAM (Total): 64 MB
Vendor: nVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0321
Revision ID: 0x00a2
ROM Revision: 2060
Displays:
HP w2007:
Resolution: 1680 x 1050 @ 60 Hz
Depth: 32-bit Color
Core Image: Supported
Main Display: Yes
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Quartz Extreme: Supported
HP w2007:
Resolution: 1280 x 800 @ 60 Hz (I use this one as a magnifier, but they both could be at the same resolution))
Depth: 32-bit Color
Core Image: Supported
Mirror: Off
Online: Yes
Quartz Extreme: Supported


It works fine, if you don't mind that when the computer goes to sleep and is awakened, the monitors stay sleeping so you have to turn them off and back on. I guess it has to do with the ADC to DVI adaptor an the second monitor. But I am no expert.
Just to let you know that with an ADC to DVI (from apple) adaptor it just works. I have both monitors running and no problem except for the sleep issue.

Hope that helps,

Vero
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Old Jan 13, 2011, 02:10 PM   #15
RedElectro
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Is this a genuine card... and would it be worth the investment from a standard card in the 7,3 2.0ghz DP G5?

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Mac-G5-Edition...#ht_3414wt_907

Thanks.
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Old Dec 22, 2011, 02:40 PM   #16
Tinksharley
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Need a New Graphics Card

My screen keeps going black and sounds like my fan races. I am a Graphic Designer and use an G5. Could someone recommend a replacement for a Video Card: THis is what I have now: ATY,RadeonX1900
Model Name: Mac Pro
Model Identifier: MacPro1,1
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 3 GHz
Number Of Processors: 2
Total Number Of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.33 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MP11.005C.B08
SMC Version (system): 1.7f10
Serial Number (system): G863619DWS4
Hardware UUID: 00000000-0000-1000-8000-0017F202808C
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Old Jan 3, 2012, 09:02 AM   #17
davdchai
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5770 for Macpro 1,1

It's the fastest card you can use in that machine, although apple doesn't officially support it. It does work and you can get it for $229 from B&H.
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Old Jan 3, 2012, 11:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinksharley View Post
My screen keeps going black and sounds like my fan races. I am a Graphic Designer and use an G5. Could someone recommend a replacement for a Video Card: THis is what I have now: ATY,RadeonX1900
Model Name: Mac Pro
Model Identifier: MacPro1,1
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 3 GHz
Number Of Processors: 2
Total Number Of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.33 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MP11.005C.B08
SMC Version (system): 1.7f10
Serial Number (system): G863619DWS4
Hardware UUID: 00000000-0000-1000-8000-0017F202808C
Your Mac is the original 1st gen. Mac Pro with Intel Xeon Processor, not a Power Mac G5. I myself had the same Mac Pro and I used an ATI HD 5770 from Apple.
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