Can I use a PC graphics card in my PowerMac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by jnuneziglesias, May 15, 2006.

  1. jnuneziglesias macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #1
    Hey everyone,

    I just made the switch to Mac a few months ago. I bought a Dual-Core 2GHz PowerMac. Anyway, I was just wondering whether it is necessary for me to get ripped off by the Apple store's outrageous graphics card prices, or whether I could just buy any PCI-Express card with the equivalent chipset from Newegg? Has anyone out there done any reports on PC-to-Mac graphics card compatibility? I haven't been able to find anything like that.

    Thank you!

    Juan.
     
  2. iGary Guest

    iGary

    Joined:
    May 26, 2004
    Location:
    Randy's House
    #3
    It's usually best to get the best graphics card you can in a Mac when you order it, as you have found, finding an equivalent on the open market is hard and expensive. PCI-Express makes it that much more difficult as far a limited choices goes.
     
  3. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #4
    Your choice isn't just between the Apple Store and a PC version from Newegg... get familiar with the Mac discounters like Powermax and Smalldog, and the comparison sites like DealMac. Even this site has a Mac PriceGrabber that you can use for comparison shopping. You have more options than you think.
     
  4. jnuneziglesias thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #6
    Looks like I'm SOL

    tristan: I checked those sites, none of them appear to have some PCIe cards, if they have any card at all. Happy to be corrected?

    iGary: thanks, I'll just hop into my time machine and prevent my past self from buying the stock Mac and getting it upgraded. ;) Seriously though, I am more than aware of what a mistake it was to get the stock model; it's been nothing but trouble getting the incremental upgrades. Just one of the many quirks in the Apple world that one didn't have to deal with with PCs...

    everyone else: not too happy about flashing cards, especially since I don't have a PCIe-compatible PC to do the flashing. Thanks though!

    Ach, I guess I'll just deal with a bit of stutter in Expose... And maybe an early adoption of the Intel PowerMacs. Not like I'm buying two 30" screens any time soon!

    Juan.
     
  5. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #7
    Ummm... try MacMall? I think they have graphics cards.
     
  6. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2004
    Location:
    Illinois
    #8
    Why don't you just got to Fry's or something. They carry Apple ATI cards.

    BTW: It isn't Apple ripping you off; ATI charges an arm and a leg for Mac versions of their cards that cost much less than on a PC...

    "development" costs :rolleyes:
     
  7. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #9
    No, you should go to a mac retailer if possible.
     
  8. TDM21 macrumors 6502a

    TDM21

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2004
    #10
    If you want to upgrade your PowerMac's video card, your only good choice is to get a flashed card from the people at StrangeDogs.com. They are the leading group and giving Mac users alternatives to over priced video cards. They currently have 7800s working.
     
  9. jnuneziglesias thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #11
    Still SOL

    tristran: Nope, no luck at MacMall.

    dpaanlka: Unfortunately, (last I checked) the Dual-Core PowerMacs only take Nvidia, ie there's no Apple ATI PCIe cards. And also last I checked, Fry's doesn't carry Apple Nvidia cards.

    Anyway, I wasn't so much complaining about Apple charging more, but making their architechture so far from standard that you can't use standard components on it. For example, the mic jack is a line-level input, meaning you can't use most standard microphones. And they choose to abandon PCI and only offer PCIe, meaning you're screwed if you want to get more USB ports ($80 for a PCIe card instead of $20 for a _better_ PCI card, plus they're way harder to find). All this frustration from what is supposed to be the easiest system on the planet.

    Juan.
     
  10. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2003
    Location:
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    #12
    At MacMall, I found something called the "NVidia GeForce 6600 Graphics Upgrade Kit" for PowerMac G5 Duals and Quads with PCI Express architecture for $199. I guess the 6600 is pretty old though.
     
  11. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #13
    6600 is a little old, but it is a pretty darned fast card.

    Without flashing or spending a ton of money, your options are limited. But really, unless you're doing intensive gaming, I've found the stock Apple cards last a heck of a long time; the graphics card was the LAST thing I upgraded on my Sawtooth, so I ran the stock, year 2000, Rage 128pro for years without a problem.

    Also, to the original poster: check out strangedogs (link already posted by another user); their main research people sell flashed PC cards for a slight increase, which works out to be cheaper than the same card as a Mac version (and gives access to many cards that aren't available for Mac). PM a mod there saying you want to buy one or post in the Marketplace section saying you want to buy one (read around first, though, they run a tight ship and, like most mods [myself included] can get annoyed if you post things that are already answered). They have people working with them spread out across the world, and their sales end up supporting being able to afford researching newer cards, so if you don't want to flash a card yourself, they are a great option.
     
  12. jnuneziglesias thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #14
    Thanks

    Strangedogs.com sounds like a good option, thanks! Meanwhile, I currently have the 6600LE -- not terribly cutting edge, and if I have a moving desktop background, a few transparent windows, and some QT movie going, there's a fair bit of stutter when I use Expose-All Windows. I think I probably want a bigger jump than the 6600, especially for $200.

    Juan.
     

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