Looking for a new video card for my G4 MDD.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by macgeek2005, Feb 14, 2006.

  1. macgeek2005 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #1
    So, i'm thinking since i'm waiting for a Intel mac pro in september, I need some sort of upgrade to my Power Mac G4 before that time, so that I can keep semi up to speed with the new games coming out (quake 4, CoD 2).

    Right now I have a Radeon 9000/64mb. For $79, I can get a Radeon 9600/64mb. I know that card will be alot faster in spite of the same amount of video ram. I would however like more video ram as well, but I can't find a 256 card for my G4 that doesn't work in PC as well, therefore doubling it's price.

    At macsales.com they have the Radeon 9600 pro/256mb for $179, just because it works in mac and pc. Is there a 256 card that JUST works in mac, and works in my computer?

    Keep in mind that I need that DVI-ADC adapter on top of the price of the card, because I have a ADC moniter.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    The ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition. That'll work in your Mac only. AND it'll be expensive.

    AND it may not work completely properly in an MDD (even though it should). WoW continually crashed on me when I put one in an MDD, I susequently moved it to a Quicksilver '01 and it's fine with everything.

    http://www.ati.com/products/radeon9800/radeon9800prome/index.html
     
  3. macgeek2005 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #3
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    You've missed a very important word at NewEgg the effects the price.. look again and see if you can find it.
     
  5. macgeek2005 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #5
    Right, it's refurbished. I have another question.

    If I got the Radoen 9800 Pro, could I use a CRT VGA moniter with it, so that I wouldn't have to buy that DVI - ADC adapter?

    Thanks
     
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    You'd still have to get a DVI -> VGA adapter dongle. It's at home so I can't look to see what what outputs are right now. I think it's 2 DVI outputs.
     
  7. macgeek2005 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #7
    The Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition has a S-Video/DVI/VGA ports. What i'm wondering is, will that VGA Port actually work with a CRT apple moniter. Is it a powered port?

    Thanks
     
  8. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #8
    I seem to remember reading that it WOULDN'T work with those CRTs. That those CRTs were total pieces of **** and didn't stand up to modern video cards. I'll have to look for corroboration.
     
  9. iPhil macrumors 68040

    iPhil

    #9

    What model of apple crt is it ??

    Apple studio

    Multiple scan

    Other model ??
     
  10. macgeek2005 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #10
    Nevermind about that CRT's. I've got a new issue.

    Are there any Nvidia cards for the Power Mac G4 MDD?

    Thanks
     
  11. iPhil macrumors 68040

    iPhil

    #11

    Just checked

    http://www.nvidia.com/page/macintosh.html


    sorry no video cards for G4 PM MDD :(
     
  12. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    You could get an old nVideo GeForce 4 Ti (128MB). It's a so-so card. It works in a MDD just fine.
     
  13. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    #13
    Since your primary purpose for a new card seems to be gaming, you don't want a Nvidia card on a Mac anyway. (No ATI Overrides or anything equivalent.)

    --Eric
     
  14. macgeek2005 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #14
    So it looks like i'm stuck with the $179 Radeon 9600/256, for Mac and PC, if I want a 256 card that doesn't have any problems, and works in my computer. Cause apperently the 9800 has some problems in the G4.
     
  15. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #15
    If you want an NVidia card, you're out of luck...with a couple of exceptions.

    - You could buy a used GeForce4ti....128MB VRAM and ADC but performance is no better than the 64MB Radeon 9600 Pro from OWC.

    - you could buy a PC GeForce 5200 or 5500 and flash a Mac rom into it....do some research at the Strangedogs video card flashing forums for that. It is also pretty easy to flash a 9800 for half the price of the Mac version.

    Otherwise, I strongly recommend getting the 64MB Radeon 9600 Pro card from OWC, or the 9800 Pro Mac Edition if you are willing to spend the money. The 9600 Pro 64MB is the best value for money you can get, and it has very good performance across the board. The 9800 is significantly better, especially in games, but is expensive for what you get.

    I recently flashed an nVidia GeForce 6800GT and put it in my Digital Audio G4, and it is an awesome card - dual DVI and 256MB VRAM (click on the link in my sig to read more). However, there have been some issues with the 6800 in the MDD (again, check out the Strangedogs forum for more info).

    Edit: I've never heard of the Mac version of the 9800 having issues in G4s. Also, to be honest, A G4 can't really take advantage of a 256MB video card - the slow frontside bus usually runs out of steam before even a Radeon 9800 will, not to mention my overkill 6800GT.
     
  16. macgeek2005 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #16
    So you think theres a considerable difference between the Radeon 9000/64mb, and the Radeon 9600/64mb?

    Remember even with that card I still have to get the $79 adapter, so i'm thinking I might as well get the $179 card. Because buying a $79 adapter to be able to use a card that isn't that much better then the one I have isn't very smart I don't think.
     
  17. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #17
    I forgot you have ADC... that complicates things a bit.

    However, the 9600 is an order of magnitude better than the 9000, even with the same VRAM. It is 100% Core Image comaptible, and supports a number of 3D acceleration features that the 9000 does not. It also runs at a higher clock speed, so the difference between the cards is large despite the fact that they both have 64MB VRAM.

    Anyway, in your situation I would get one of the 9600s or the 9800. The 64MB 9600 Pro for the MDD is $65 plus the cost of an adapter...the 9800 is $260 and the 9600 256MB is $200. You are going to have to buy an ADC adapter with any of these, so add $80 to the prices. You could also look on ebay for one of the older 128MB Radeon 9800 Mac Editions...those have an ADC port.
     
  18. electronboy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    #18
    ATI 9600 Pro PC/Mac Edition. As easy as that. Same card also works in a PC :eek: should you ever need to repurpose it. 9800 is overkill for a G4 MDD it may not be able to keep the GPU busy--I may be mistaken on this.

    At any rate, the 9600 Pro has 256 MB of VRAM and that should be enough to last anyone into the next few years. Honestly, if you need more horsepower than this you should buy a new computer.
     
  19. macgeek2005 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #19
    I'd get the 9800 pro if my computer could take advantage of the 256mb of vram. Tell me more about that, and why it can't take advantage of it.

    thanks.

    edit: also, does running the moniter through the DVI-ADC adapter slow down the video at all?

    thanks.
     
  20. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #20
    Well, it isn't that it CAN'T take advantage of the extra memory...it's more a question of diminishing returns. For example, my Digital Audio originally had a Radeon 7500 with 32MB. Performance with OS X was good, but the card struggled with 3D apps. So I upgraded to the 64MB Radeon 9600 Pro, from OWC, which was $120 when I bought it a year ago. Performance increases were huge across the board - Call of Duty went from being a slideshow to pretty smooth, and Doom 3 was actually playable with the settings turned down.

    At this point I was close to my G4's performance ceiling, even with my upgraded CPU and fast SATA hard drives...still I decided to try hacking the GeForce 6800GT to my Mac, just for fun. The GeForce 6800GT is a lot faster than the 9800 Pro, even with the same amount of VRAM. After successfully getting the card running on the Mac, benchmarks showed a noticable but small improvement - the 7500-9600 upgrade had been a lot more noticable, even though the 6800GT was, on paper, a HUGE upgrade.

    The problem is that my Digital Audio's system bus runs @ 133MHz. No matter how fast my CPU, video card and RAM are they can only talk to each other at 133MHz. Same goes for you and your MDD - your bus is a little faster @ 167MHz, but the difference is negligible. The reason newer video cards need more and more RAM is because newer machines like the G5 have system bus speeds that are up to 10 x faster than ours, so they can use the extra memory since that much more info is able to be moved per cycle. In our cases, a Radeon 9600 64MB running at full bore probably uses 85%+ what a G4's bus can deliver....so buying a card that's 2x faster will only net you a 15% or so gain in performance, for a much higher price.

    Most of these numbers are guestimates, but if you go to the Barefeats website and search for benchmarks with various G4s you will see that, while they are still reasonably fast, the G5s make much better use of newer video cards with more VRAM/higher clocks due to their fast system bus.

    One more thing - the 9600 Pro is passively cooled; It needs only a heat sink. Cards like the 9800 Pro or my 6800GT have fans and draw much more power. Thus, they run hotter and way louder. My G4 can handle the 6800GT just fine but it's something to think about.

    All in all, the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition is the best video card for the G4: it can push more pixels around than the G4's bus can handle, but it does represent a performance gain over the 64MB 9600 Pro. However, the 9600 Pro is a lot cheaper, runs silent and cool, and is satisfyingly quick for anything other than new games. The 9600 with 256MB will probably show a small performance advantage over the 64MB model but IMHO if you are willing to spend the $$ on it you're better off getting the 9800 Pro.

    The only thing that using a DVI -> ADC adapter affects is your bank account....I don't recall hearing about any issues but I've never used one.
     
  21. macgeek2005 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2006
    #21
    Alright, its either the 9600/256 or the 9800/256. Thanks for the help!
     
  22. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #22
    Well, I have. :) or should it be :mad:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=2140941&postcount=11
     
  23. xyian macrumors 6502

    xyian

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Location:
    PDX
    #23
    I'd say try your hand at flashing a video card. You can get a refurb 9800 for around $100 and learn something new in the process. Who knows? It could be fun!
     
  24. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #24
    Interesting...the MDD has proven to be the most troublesome Mac for flashed video cards, because it uses a unique implementation of ADC. A short, inexact history:

    When Apple created the ADC connector, certain pins in the AGP bus were not used yet...they were either "spare", or "reserved" for future functionality. Apple used some spare and reserved pins for the power and I/O parts of the ADC. However, when the AGP standard was updated, some of these previously unused pins became active - so Apple was forced to move things around. As a result, the Sawtooth (which existed before ADC) can use any AGP card. The gigabit Ethernet is rather restricted, since it has a 2x max AGP slot. The Digital Audios and Quicksilvers seem fine with any AGP card (as long as it is a 2x/4x card or an 8x card hacked to work at 4x). However, the AGP standard was changed again around the time the MDD was being designed, so that the MDD implements ADC in a different way from other G4s (and the G5). It seems to have the most issues with video cards for this reason.

    Still, it's strange that an ATI retail Mac card would have issues...:confused:
     

Share This Page