Best Video Card for PowerMacG4 733 QuickSilver (2001)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by lenbone, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. lenbone macrumors newbie

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    Mar 27, 2005
    #1
    Hello. I've been reading this forum for over a year, and now I would like to participate.

    I would like to upgrade the video card in my computer to something that will give me better performance.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on what I should buy. What is the best video card currently available for my machine. Someone told me that there are some ATI cards that won't work in my computer. So I wanted to be sure before I bought one.

    Thanks for any help you may be able to offer.
     
  2. AstroManLuca macrumors member

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    #2
    This is the fastest, most powerful video card you can put in your computer.

    But if you don't need quite that and want to save some money (while still getting full hardware acceleration for Tiger's CoreImage), you could get one of these instead.
     
  3. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #3
    The 9800 is more video then your 733 can push but the great thing is you can still do a cpu upgrade later and have a very good machine.
     
  4. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #4
    Nothing else approaches the performance or value of a 9600 Pro or 9800. Go with the 9800 if you can afford it, but the 9600 should make you very happy as well - it works great for me. :D
     
  5. booksacool1 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Its a pity the fastest card you can put in your mac is 2-3 yrs old (9800 is pretty much a 9700)
    I wouldn't recommend upgrading a 2001 G4. Based on benchmarks, it has very little hope of playing Doom 3 or other future mac games.
    The motherboard limitations are just too great, with slow ram and fsb.
    Most of my PC friends are upgrading FROM the 9800 pro.
    If your not going to play games, I suggest you leave your computer as it is, its fast enough for pretty much anything other then games.

    If you really want "better performance.", I suggest you look at other platforms. For the price of a fast dual cpu upgrade and a 9800 pro, you could easily get a much faster pc.
     
  6. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    #6
    I put a 9600 Pro in a 667 G4... the card was nearly as powerful as my computer!

    Get a GeForce4 MX with 64 vram... they're super cheap and the video ram will help with Tiger.
     
  7. AstroManLuca macrumors member

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    #7
    Why the GeForce 4MX? Where are they available? I found ONE on eBay, and it's $80. I'd much rather have the 9600 Pro for $120. The 4MX is slow, rare, and expensive. You really don't need it.

    In fact there aren't many good nVidia cards you can use. The GeForce 4 Titanium is pretty good for gaming, but it doesn't support full CoreImgae hardware acceleration like the 9600 and 9800 do.
     
  8. rubytuesday macrumors newbie

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    Mar 28, 2005
    #8
    9600 Pro or XT is best bet for reasonable $$$ in an 4X AGP machine. To get ADC functional is a bit of work.

    If you are ONLY using VGA monitors, a flashed 5200 is a REALLY cheap Tiger option, and will run in 2X AGP.

    9800 Pro is an AWESOME card, probably best that will be available at a reasonable price until the flashed X800's make the rounds. They are MUCH better than a 9800. They are also LOTS more money, at least right now.
     
  9. lenbone thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 27, 2005
    #9
    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I had a feeling that I would be limited to a dated video card. I'm not necessarily looking for turning this old tank into a gaming machine, just a bit better graphics, and for a better tiger experience (now that I learn about it)

    Looks that the 9600 is the best bang for my buck. I'll scour eBay for a used one (is that a good idea?).

    Waiting for the PowerBook to go either HD or G5 before I get a new computer.

    Would you suggest uprgrading the RAM...I have 512MB. My primary uses are the usuals in addition to some flyer/marketing stuff for work. Crucial has 512MB for $89...

    9600 + 512MB = ~$200...would that be a marked and noticable improvment?
     
  10. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #10
    Just to clear things up....

    The GeForce 4MX is slower than the GeForce 3. I wouldn't bother with it.

    The GeForce 5200 Ultra is not usable in the G4 towers because it is an AGP 8x only card and will not physically fit in a G4 tower's AGP slot. Ditto the Radeon 9600XT and 9800XT. EDIT: some people have apparently gotten the 5200 to work by hacking off the extra parts of the card that don't fit and taping over the "wound". I know little about this, but check the cubeowner forums. Use at your own risk - anyway the Radeon 9600 is a superior card in almost all benchmarks.

    If you find a Radeon 9700 Mac edition for a decent price buy it - but they are rare and often cost as much as the Radeon 9800. Avoid cards that are "flashed" PC cards, you may run into compatibility issues (although the GeForce 3 seems to take well to flashing without problems)

    The Radeon 9600 Pro sold by OWC is sold specifically for use in G4 towers. Several of the leads on the card edge have been removed to reduce the speed of the cards AGP bus to match that of the G4 (AGP 4X). Many cards on ebay have also been subjected to this hack. I have one from OWC which I bought for $120 (the price has since been reduced tp $110) and it has proven perfectly reliable.
     
  11. AstroManLuca macrumors member

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    #11
    Do NOT get a Radeon 9700 Mac edition. It uses a strange voltage and as such is only compatible with MDD PowerMacs. So if you try using it in a Quicksilver, you're screwed.

    Actually, flashed cards are often okay. What you really want to look for is ones that are physically identical to the Mac counterpart. Many Radeon 8500s are different, and some have problems because of slight hardware differences. On the other hand, flashed Radeon 9800s are often the same as the Mac version. Another thing to keep in mind is that flashed GeForce 3s will cause some nasty flickering when put in an AGP 2x slot. You have to use an AGP 4x slot to avoid that.

    Since the only place you can really get flashed cards is eBay, and eBay is full of terrible deals, I'd say skip it and go for something from Other World Computing.
     
  12. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #12
    Hmmm, I didn't know about the 9700 being incompatible, but then again they are rare enough to begin with. The 9700 must be the only card with this compatability problem, because Radeon 9000 cards from the same era computers work fine in older G4s.

    I agree that flashed cards are generally reliable when done properly, but I simply don't trust a lot of what is floating around on ebay and as you pointed out most people ask too much money.

    For somebody not familiar with flashing, you have little to lose by going through OWC for a 9600 Pro or 9800 Pro.
     
  13. AstroManLuca macrumors member

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    #13
    Yeah, actually I had a friend (with a Quicksilver) go through a pretty terrible ordeal with a 9700 Pro. He ordered it, tried it, and it didn't work. Sent it back for an advance replacement, so they basically charged him twice and refunded the second charge upon receiving the second card. It again didn't work so he had to return it and eat something like $40 of restocking fees.

    Worst part about it? I was stupid enough to tell him that he could borrow the money from me to buy it and pay me back later. Oh wait, that wasn't the worst part, that was just the STUPIDEST part. The WORST part was when WeLoveMacs (the place that sold him the card) charged my card two additional times instead of charging twice and giving me two refunds.

    Happily, it all worked out in the end. WeLoveMacs responded very quickly to my problem and my friend paid me the required restocking fee, so I didn't lose any money. But it sure as hell sucked for a few hours there. I would still recommend them; my problems were largely due to a really bad decision on my part.
     
  14. lenbone thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 27, 2005
    #14
    What is a flashed card?

    Looks like the 9600 Pro fits my needs and the amount i want to spend on a close to 4 year old machine.

    I have to admit though, this mac has been everything I hoped for when i got it in 2001. It's still a solid machine. I've only replaced the CD-RW and added a hard drive.

    My friend just bought a dell inspiron 6000 laptop and it looks like the old school titanium powerbook. It's very fast, and i wish apple offered a screen like the one he got.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #15

    Flashing allows you to run certain PC video cards on a Mac ; for example a Mac GeForce 3 costs a LOT more than the PC version, and the only real difference is the ROM file.

    In a nutshell, you take a PC video card that is the same or very similar model as one sold for Macs and copy or "flash" the Mac version of the ROM onto the PC card. Mac video card ROMs are available on the internet for free as a downloadable file. There are several different ways to actually do the "flashing", some of which involve using a PC, others using an OS 9 utility.

    With prices coming down on the best G4-compatible video cards flashing is less economical than it once was.
     
  16. AppleAce macrumors regular

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    #16
  17. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

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    #17
    Just be aware that the 9600 Pro is much more powerful than your processor or bandwith can compete with... if you have the money go for it, it won't do much for gaming but will probably do well with activating those Tiger desktop enhancements and such...
     
  18. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

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    #18
    I dont think 9800 will be a good choice for you. Its very powerful for your machine... Get lower end card, like 9600
     
  19. lenbone thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 27, 2005
    #19
    Actually, I do have an upgraded processor...not much but it's 933mhz. I stated 733 because the motherboard is the same and I didn't want to confuse myself.

    This is what I have....

    933mhz PPC g4 2mb L3 cache
    512 MB Ram
    40/120 GB HDs
    GeForce MX2 32MB

    Can I get faster RAM as well? I did not know this.
     
  20. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #20
    Recent benchmarks with Doom 3 show that very fast G4 towers can benefit from a Radeon 9800 over a 9600, but this is at the extreme end. You probably wouldn't notice a difference.

    You can get the lower latency RAM but it won't do any good unless to remove all your current RAM and replace it with the faster stuff.
     
  21. AstroManLuca macrumors member

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    #21
    Faster RAM? Not really, as Blackadder said. You might benefit from a little more of it though.

    For a processor upgrade, no single CPU upgrade will really be worth it. A dual processor upgrade might, but I'm not sure the price is justified. I mean, you could get 4x the theoretical processing power by getting one of those new GigaDesigns Dual 1.7 GHz upgrades. A friend of mine got one and is running it at 1.8 GHz. On the other hand, that upgrade is something like $800.

    A 9800 Pro would help for games or for dual monitor setups (since double the VRAM means more VRAM for each screen if you do spanning), but other than that it's probably not worth it. I don't think Doom 3 will run very well even with the 9800 Pro.
     
  22. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #22
    The performance difference between a single 733 and say a 1.5 is a lot as i know. In fact i still have that 733 cpu in a drawer. Barefeates showed that a dual 1.42 and a 9800 was getting 34 fps 800 x 600 med. since we know the 2nd cpu is only a drag it figures that a single 1.47 and up mated to a 9800 would do only better. The os and drivers are going to get polished and as they do these speeds will improve over the next year or so watch and see. I think its pretty cool how these old quicksilvers can still be made to play.
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #23
    Do you have an ADC monitor? If so, your choices are pretty limited, unless you want to also buy an ADC to DVI adaptor for around $100.00.
     
  24. rockman2023 macrumors member

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    #24
    I also have an [original] 733 MHz Quicksilver (2001), but I've upgraded since owning this machine in Nov. 2001.

    The original specs of this machine are as follows:
    - 733 MHz processor, 256K L2 cache
    - 40 GB HD
    - 12x 10x 32x CD-RW
    - 32 MB Nvidia GeForce 2 MX
    - 384 MB SDRAM (got extra RAM as a purchase deal)

    I've made the following upgrades within the past year or so:
    - Motorola 1.0 GHz 7455 cpu tested at 1.467 GHz (purchased from GigaDesigns, currently running at 1.33 GHz, no L3 cache :( which is why it cost me $250 instead of $400-450)
    - 40GB, 120GB HD
    - 8x/40x 4x/24x 12x/40x DVD+-RW(+R Double Layer)/CD-RW Sony DRU-700A (downloaded PatchBurn for system to recognize the drive)
    - 128 MB ATi Radeon 9000 Pro Mac Edition
    - 896 MB SDRAM

    I had, and still have, the Unreal Tournament 2004 demo before I purchased the vid card, and I've noticed a slight performace increase while playing the game. The extra 512 MB RAM may have contributed, but going from 32 MB to 128 MB of video RAM is a big leap. I also have World of Warcraft (PM me if you're on the Gilneas server) and with my current config, the game runs well. I would have liked to get the Radeon 9800, but I just couldn't afford it at the time. I would agree with was said in the earlier posts; this machine just wouldn't be able to take FULL advantage of the card's power. Extra RAM DOES help a lot overall, but in general, the real bottleneck (as far as I understand) is the slow 133MHz front side bus.

    To be honest, if you can, just save your money for a G5. Personally, my computer can handle the graphics and production work I can throw at it, and I could see myself using it to capability for another two years. To get back on topic though, if you're looking for a decent video card upgrade and don't want to break your wallet, you can't go wrong with the 9000 Pro. If you're a big gamer and want to see your games in all their graphics glory, go for the 9600 or 9800. You might as well pick up another 512 MB or 1 GB of RAM just to boost overall performance.

    I'd rather spend $500 upgrading my Mac than spend $500 for a brand new top-of-the-line PC.
     
  25. AstroManLuca macrumors member

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    #25
    Well, that really depends on what you're doing. Some games do benefit from dual processors. I have a friend with a heavily upgraded PowerMac, and moving from a single 1.47 GHz (with L3 cache) to a dual 1.8 GHz (with no L3 cache) represented a major leap in gaming performance for him. Even though you'd expect a dual processor to not help much, in some tasks it helps a ton. I would strongly recommend one.

    Also note that the OP said that his Quicksilver is actually using a 933 MHz processor with 2 MB L3 cache, not the original 733 MHz processor with no L3. That doesn't mean a 1.5 GHz upgrade will be worthless, as it's still a 50% jump in clock speed, but it's not as big a jump.

    I don't understand how you can say the second processor is "only a drag." At the VERY LEAST it won't help any, but I know from experience that it does help, and it helps a lot.
     

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