New PowerMacs - Non Apple Video Card

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jedijoe, Oct 20, 2005.

  1. jedijoe macrumors 6502


    Oct 13, 2005
    Fort Collins

    I am new to Apple, first powerbook last April and I want a new PowerMac, but I hate Apple's selection of video cards. Either the absolute low or the absolute high.

    I do not want a 6600LE or 6600 even, nor do I want a 7800GT or Quadro 4500..
    Plus the 7800GT isn't an option at the Apple Store, even though it states on the that 7800GT is a video option upgrade....

    My question, is it possible to just buy any PCI-e video card and use with a PowerMac? I was thinking of nvidia 6600GT or 6800GT or ATI X800 or X850..

  2. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus


    Jul 24, 2002
    If the card has a compatable BIOS this will work. So in practice the cards you listed above will not work. This is down the the different architecture of the platform, specifically bit ordering and PC BIOS vs Open Firmware initialisation.
  3. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    no unless you want to modify the board yourself.
  4. Zoowatch macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2004
    Sheffield, UK
    for the peace of mind

    get the video card specifically designed for Mac instead
  5. treblah macrumors 65816


    Oct 28, 2003
    As this being the first Mac with PCIe, there are no cards available to buy with a Mac firmware. It will probably be a month or two.

    One question though, why are you down on the 6600 but like the GT?
  6. RatVega macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2005
    Southern California
    I think you're getting the message here, but I'll reinforce it:

    My system, for example, can be upgraded to an X800 or X850 board, but only one that is "Mac Edition", which pretty much means ATI branded and higher cost, but also means it'll run great and be fully supported.

    Killer graphics boards are important, but not as important as in a PC, in your new PowerMac you'll have dual 64-bit processors and the the apps use the system differently.

    Go with the supported board that most closely meets your needs. That lovely aluminum enclosure is a lot more than a life support system for a video board. :)

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