Late 2005 2.0Ghz PM G5, Linux, and modern graphics cards.

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by CIA, May 20, 2013.

  1. CIA
    macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Under Linux can you run modern-ish graphics cards? The last G5's had PCIe, was wondering if I install linux on one could I slap in say a 7950 (external PSU probably) and mine bitcoin/litecoin? School around here is dumping a bunch of old machines super cheap/free.
     
  2. macrumors 6502

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    Jan 25, 2011
    #2
    Mac GPUs had a few extra bits and pieces in ROM, now whether these are required by OpenFirmware or OSX I'm not sure - wait for someone more knowledgeable to chime in.

    I can however tell you that a G5 is going to consume an awful lot of power, and anything short of a cutting-edge graphics card is not going to net you anything much at all. While it's not my place to tell you what you should and shouldn't do, if you want to profit from Bitcoin then get into trading. If you're serious about making a profit from mining, start saving up and investing in ASICs or FPGAs - the time for investing in GPU mining is long gone.
     
  3. CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Power isn't a problem/cost for me. Also as I mentioned, a 7950 is modern. (Gets me a great hashrate on my PC Linux boxes)
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

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    #4
    when you flash a card, you flash it for mac firmware if the issue was with os x we would all be running titans



    rgrds,
     
  5. CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I'll just let you go back and re-read my first post and make note of all the times I mention OSX in it.
    Yup, I'm not running OSX on the G5, I'm running Linux. I'm well aware of the issues with OSX and graphics cards. My unflashed PC 7950 is running great in my OSX MacPro by the way. (Minus the boot screen)
    You know how all those nice PC graphics cards that aren't EFI but still usually work just fine when you boot into windows (and install the proper driver) on your MacPro? Turns out Linux is the same.

    Under linux you can run any PC Graphics card in the last G5's with PCIe, and it works fine. Now I just need to figure out how to power it with a external PSU.

    via:
    https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroup******opic/g3-5-list/o9sfVntf3GI
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

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    #6
    So you ask for help then say that you know everything about the subject 30 minutes after you knew nothing sounds a bit like trolling to me
     
  7. CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Nope, I asked for help and then you jumped in and answered a question I never asked. Sounds like you just need to learn to read.

    (Excuse me for continuing my search for the answer to my original question after my OP, instead of just waiting around for others to help.)
     
  8. CIA, May 20, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2013

    CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    I'lll pick up a free G5 and try one of my 7950's in it over the holiday weekend if I can find a spare PSU to power the card externally. I'll report back hopefully with results next week.
     
  9. Lil Chillbil, May 20, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Lil Chillbil

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    #9
    I would put money on that It won't work.
     
  10. CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Yes, well, based on actual research so far it could work. So unlike you I'm going to try it, and find out. This seems to be a case of possible on paper but no one has tried.
    The card will certainly run, it's the mining that will be a challenge.
     
  11. macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

    #11
    If it runs it would be amazing! But the chance is almost zero; there is no OpenFirmware on the ROM.
     
  12. CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    <Sigh> No one reads anymore. It worked for this guy I quoted in my earlier post, so I'm going to give it a shot.
     
  13. macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

    #13
    So, you would have no boot screen, if it worked at all?
     
  14. CIA, May 21, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: May 28, 2013

    CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I'm hoping so. Based on that post I linked to earlier it seems linux looks at graphics cards on a mac the same way your intel mac looks at them when you boot windows. They usually don't work (or work poorly) in OSX if they aren't supported. You lose a boot screen, (no biggie really) and sometimes you lose stuff like DVD player and steam might not work. But when you boot the same card under windows it works fine because the driver support is there once the OS loads.
    So I think it's the same on Linux. I might not have that boot screen, but if I can install linux with the original card, and get SSH running then I can install the latest Linux AMD drivers and reboot with the 7950 in it. Should work. The real question, and all I really care about, is can I get that setup to then run CGminer and start hashing.
     
  15. macrumors newbie

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    Feb 12, 2013
    #15
    Okay, OpenFirmware, to the best of my knowledge, is the firmware of every New World PowerPC Mac. This may sound stupid, but it's very important to understand that this is firmware, not software. Firmware interfaces with the hardware, if there isn't the ability for the hardware to interface with the firmware, it will be like nothing is even there.
    Now, on PC's the firmware is BIOS or EFI, to my knowledge, EFI is usually 100% compatible with BIOS. Cards interface with BIOS and EFI in a way OpenFirmware isn't compatible with.
    This is why PowerPC mac users need different cards. If a BIOS/EFI compatible card (All modern ones except ones made before 2006 specifically for macs) is inserted into a OpenFirmware computer (Apple Macs made before Intel switch and some IBM POWER computers) it won't recognize it. Since it's firmware, and not software that isn't recognizing it, it doesn't matter what operating system your using (Linux, Mac OS X, BSD) even if they have the correct drivers to support the graphics card.

    I hope this made sense.

    BTW: Lil Chibil was saying "if it were osx" not "if it were compatible with osx"
     
  16. CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #16


    Yea, I'm well aware of this, but since no one has tried/documented it why not right? Based on that one post I do have some hope it will work. But the computer is free, and I already have the card here so no loss really. I'll report back after this weekend with results.
     
  17. macrumors newbie

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    #17
    Well, it doesn't really matter because nobody has written a driver for PowerPC linux on a card that will never be compatible. Even if it does work, it will only be using the fallback VESA drivers or something and won't be very useful because it will lack any advanced features of the graphics card like 2D and 3D acceleration.
     
  18. CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Yes, I am aware of this also, but I'm using this card for one purpose, so there is a chance. Why is everyone so "DON'T EVEN TRY UR BEING STOOPID"? No wonder scientists and inventors don't hang around forums.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

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    #19
    @TorCoolGuy: Yes, but even so, there is a base to work from. Proper drivers are secondary to working bootup. Once its running, drivers can be written/compiled.

    I'd love for this to work, i have a G4 and a G5 myself that could get the same treatment it turns out to work.
     
  20. CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Also I'm not even going to be using this computer directly. It will be headless with the (hopefully) working card inside. All the interaction with the machine will be done over SSH.
     
  21. macrumors newbie

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    #21
    People are like that so you won't be disappointed when it doesn't work. Plus, i'm almost 100% sure that the VESA drivers don't include the specialized and unique parts of individual cards architectures like all of the parallel processing cores that makes your card so good at hashing.

    Also, I'm pretty sure that scientists don't do experiments if they know how the outcome will be and will have no possibility of learning anything, and inventors don't build contraptions that are flawed from their creation.

    ----------

    Yes, that is true, but you're still missing the OpenFirmware component and I don't think that drivers for that graphics card exist for this computer.
     
  22. CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Actually, last time I checked scientists often do experiments to prove something. Sometimes to prove a thing is perhaps false, sometimes perhaps to prove it's true. I would like this to work, and since no one has come and shown me it can't be done, I will gladly try it. That way when CIA 2.0 comes along in a few years wondering if this is possible, he/she will see this thread, skip over all the crap here in the middle, and hopefully see at the bottom proof that it either works or didn't work.
     
  23. macrumors 6502

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    #23
    Even if its a longshot. He's got the card and te computer. Its a five minute job. The off chance it does work, is worth those meager minutes.

    Also, drivers arent an issue. If it works the modding community will write one. There are enough PPC supporters to keep it alive.
     
  24. macrumors 68000

    Goftrey

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    #24
    You should take it easy buddy. You seem to be getting very wound up by/and are now offending nearly everyone who has contributed to the thread.
     
  25. CIA
    thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #25
    You're right and I'm sorry to all the people who have contributed cold hard facts in this thread disproving my theory. To all the people who are assuming it won't work no apologies. And to people saying "Science! Give it a shot!" I tip my hat to you.
     

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