Modifying PCi Graphics Cards - PC to Mac?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by TENBLUE7™, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. TENBLUE7™ macrumors member

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    #1
    Hello all.

    I've been bidding on this item on eBay ATi Radeon 7000 and in the product description it mentions that it is a PC card adapted to work on a Mac, you can tell as the heat sink on the Card is different to a Mac version as it has the "Saphire Logo" famous with PC Cards.

    Was wondering how easy or difficuilt this is to do, as we know an original Mac Edition Radeon 7000 32mb PCi card is around £100.00 inc Vat, but the same card for a PC can be bought as low as £30.00.

    I have a Mac Edition 7000 running my second monitor but need another for a new set-up and don't want to pay too much for something that can be adapted from a PC.

    Cheers.
     
  2. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #2
  3. pepeleuepe macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Definately post your results when you're finished. Also, did you find any info regarding the 64 MB version and if it can be made Mac compatible or not? I look forward to hearing if it worked for you or not.
     
  4. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #4
    From what I've found it works on both the 32 and 64mb cards as long as they are DDR, NOT SD-Ram based as one of those links specify.

    I might not have to do it as the machine I'm getting is a Dual 1.25 G4 which I think uses a Radeon 9000 as standard which will support two CRT's via an adapter?

    I'm still really interested to find out if this works, early last spring I finaly upgraded to Jaguar from 9.2.2, this resulted in my ProFormance 3 failing (Bad Bad card) which lead to me paying £125.00 ($229.98!!!) for my Radeon 7000 32mb PCi - you can't go back to one monitor after running two for four years, so I had no choice.

    This means we could be paying nearly four times as much just for a different ROM and "Mac Edition" Box and CD, I don't know how the prices compare in the US but over it takes the p*ss just like everything else. :mad:

    Thanks Christian.
     
  5. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    There's More...

    ...check this link Aussy Forum on the topic

    Looks like most cards are getting this treatment both AGP and PCi. :)

    Like the post stating each companies opions quote:

    "In terms of legality Nvidia have effectively said they don't care as long as they get their share of the money for the cards. 3DFx actually encouraged it and ATI get a bit upset" - My heart bleeds for ATi...;)

    In a perfect world Mac cards would be price matched to PC counterparts - but in a world of business I bet the Mac card sales are about 0.5% to the PC card sales - therefore they bump the price up loads just to make the figures work.

    Maybe in five years cards will start shipping that are Dual format - i.e a blank card (ROM wise) that installs the correct ROM dependent on the machine and system it's running on - maybe, maybe my a*s.
     
  6. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816

    blue&whiteman

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    #6
    not only is the S logo not on the mac version but the heatsink itself is totally different. my radeon 7000 is the official mac edition and has a black heatsink with nothing on it. the ati logo on mine is on the top of the card ie. the opposite side of the heatsink. the PC card looks much cooler I would say.

    you mentioned that the pc 64mb 7000 can be flashed to work on a mac? if so that would be awesome and I would buy one. here in canada the pc 64mb is less than the mac 32mb. to be fair to ati though both the pc versions are OEM and the mac one is in a retail box.
     
  7. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    I spent a good three hours trawling through various sites and forums last night and looks like the game might be up already - all Mac ATi cards have a 128k bios chip, which is needed for flashing the Mac bios from DOS in Windows.

    Lot's of people are finding that new 32mb and 64mb 7000's have the PC 64k chip and are having no success flashing it in DOS and updating the ROM once it's slotted into a Mac. Which is a real shame, seems ATi have got wise and have put a stop to it, the only solution is buy a 128k bios chip and solder it on the card replacing the 64k chip - I won't be attempting that. :(

    But I've found that some people have flashed and are running 9100, 8500, 7500 and 7000 cards both AGP! and PCi versions, an AGP 9100 would be nice, although some are too fast for older Mac processors and you get a bit of screen lag.

    I emailed the guy regarding the card on eBay.co.uk and he kindly replied saying he's bought 6 x Saphire PCi 7000's and is selling a few and keeping most for his Macs, he didn't know if they where old or new.

    The Mac I am getting next is a Dual 1.25 G4 so I am correct in thinking it will have a Radeon 9000 which I can run two CRT's from with the help of my DVi apadter I got with my overpriced "Mac Edition" 7000?

    But I'm still gonna have a crack at this with a 7500 or even an 8500.

    Thanks Christian
     
  8. hugemullens macrumors 6502a

    hugemullens

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    #8
    Your Radeon 9000 will have no problem powering 2 screens. If its from apple it most likely has an ADC port, which means you will need to buy a VGA extractor for ADC. They're $30 or so.
     
  9. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Thought so - thanks for confirming! - will be on the look for an adapter on eBay.
     
  10. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    just bought a 64mb DDR, PCi 7000 - gonna give it a go and see what happens... :)
     
  11. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816

    blue&whiteman

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    #11
    did you get a powered by ati version or an authentic ati?
     
  12. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    Gone for a Saphire one seems to have the best results and I've spoke to the guy selling them on eBay and he has similar cards all working.

    The latest developments show that you can tell a 64k or 128k bios chip with the help of a magnifying glass, all later models are aledgedly shipping with 64k chips to prevent any more Mac users capitalising on saving large amounts of money.

    I specifically searched for a card that was held in large stock figuring my chances of getting an older card are better this way, than from somewhere awaiting delivery.

    I don't have much faith in it working and I'll have jinxed it by posting so much on the topic - but it's worth the risk to save nearly a £100.00 and the feeling if it does will be nothing short of amazing. ;)

    Thanks Christian.
     
  13. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816

    blue&whiteman

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  14. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    Sorry mate thought I'd covered both in my posts.

    To answer, the saphire as we know is a "powered by" ATi card. I've tried to replicate the method used by the guy selling cards on eBay.co.uk all of his are Saphires most are 32MB though.

    He's got the second of his cards on now no doubt it will go for double what he paid for at least eBay UK - Radeon 7000

    The 64mb I have bought was a fraction more expensive than the 32mb, and the 32mb cards where out of stock so the chances of getting a 64k bios chip card are pretty odds on.

    It looks like the card has shipped if so I'll be attempting to get it working either tomorrow or Friday.

    Jut doing more research via google on any tips to get them working, seems the austrailian lot have been on it for a while thanks to mac cards being very rare. Lot's of people running 7000's in Cubes! If I find anything on 64mb 7000's I'll post them in this thread if they can help.

    Also found a site with various versions of ROMS link is here
     
  15. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816

    blue&whiteman

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    #15
    thank you very much. I simply have a strong thirst for knowledge and love to know as much as I can about things. good luck with the card.
     
  16. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816

    blue&whiteman

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    #16
    I just had a thought. there is now a radeon 9200 pci 128mb card for pc. I wonder what size rom it has and if it would work.
     
  17. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
    Good question I think the only way of knowing is runnning the ATi flash in DOS and figuring it out from there.

    Check this link here - this is aimed at 64mb 7000's specifically and there's detailed instructions on how to go about it.

    I've downloaded all three files and am trawling through them now.

    Will post developments tomorrow.

    Thanks.
     
  18. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    No Dice...

    ...as yet.

    Card arrived this afternoon, first flash attempt in DOS resulted in an error, second attempt was succesfull and the rom size read at 0x20000 - which according to all my research means is has a 128k chip.

    Eventually installed Jaquar on an old PC HD - downloaded the 208 Rom update and as I expected it stalled 50% of the way. Meaning it's a 64k chip not a 128k :(

    Strange how the FLASHROM -i in DOS returned a 128k chip.

    Gonna give it another go tomorrow - I've got pics from my digi camera.

    Time to get drunk now.
     
  19. TENBLUE7™ thread starter macrumors member

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    #19

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