new video card or no?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by zen.state, Nov 13, 2005.

  1. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #1
    hi all,

    i'm a pretty hardcore geek but do not know much about gpu technology (not a gamer and never have been). I have a G4 sawtooth 500 that I use as a media center and it only has a Rage 128 pro 16mb. very soon I will be upgrading the cpu to a G4 1ghz and would also like to upgrade the agp slot to a better card.

    the main thing I am wondering is if a better card would really help me. all I do on this system is watch divx, dvd, quicktime and listen to music with itunes. would a newer vcard help me? will a modern tech vcard render video better or will the faster G4 cpu be all I need?
     
  2. reberto macrumors 65816

    reberto

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2005
    #2
    A video card upgrade is very important for what you are using the g4 for. Might I suggest a Radeon 9800. Or if you don't need that much power, look on eBay for a GeForce 2mx.
     
  3. zen.state thread starter macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #3
    a 9800 would be way more power than I need. I was thinking a 9000 maybe.

    anyone else have any ideas?
     
  4. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #4
    For what you're doing VRAM is more important than the latest GPU. I would think that 32-64MB would be sufficient for your needs here. So I'd go with a Radeon 7000,7500 or 8500. Or an nVidia GeForce3 or GeForce4MX, maybe even a 2MX on the low end. A Radeon 9000 or 9600 (the 64MB version at Other World Computing) would be better for games but verging on overkill for just video and iTunes. The 9800 is only needed for games or rendering things with Pro Apps.
     
  5. osprey76 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    #5
    I agree with your comments except the 9600 requires a AGP 4x slot, which the Sawtooth does not have.


    I have a GeForce 2MX that I flashed to work on the Mac. It did fine until I decided to bump up to a Radeon 8500. I'd be willing to sell either card. I do need to make sure the nVidia card still works. Been sitting unused for a few years now.

    Also, I did notice a speed bump when I put in the 8500. I have a Gigabit Ethernet machine that was running at 450 MHz. Adding the 8500 and getting Quartz Extreme did make a difference in general use, especially with the Finder.
     
  6. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
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    #6
    Good point, didn't notice that - but you may be able to modify the card to run at 2x (it is an 8x card modded to run at 4x, which was done simply by taping over a couple leads on the card edge connector). The Cube also has a 2x slot and people have gotten everything from the GeForce 5200 to the Radeon 9800 Pro to work in it.

    One reason to go after the 9600 is that it is fully Core Image compatible, unlike the 9000 or 9200
     
  7. osprey76 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    #7
    Hadn't thought about that. I haven't looked into doing those kinds of mods. Maybe I will if someone throws a 9600 at me. Man, I remember when my 8500 was hot stuff. Still holds up well at normal resolutions according to Bare Feats since the 2x slot can't feed a 9800 fast enough.
     
  8. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #8
    The CubeOwner forums have some excellent information on flashing and modding various video cards that apply to older G4 towers as well.

    The Radeon 8500 was a great card when new and it is still good for just about anything except playing newer games. I played Call of Duty with a Radeon 7500 on my dual 533 (before I upgraded the CPU) and it was tolerable, if not all that great - not bad considering the age of the GPU, and the 8500would do better.
     
  9. zen.state thread starter macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #9
    how much for the 8500?
     
  10. mjstew33 macrumors 601

    mjstew33

    Joined:
    May 29, 2005
    Location:
    Illinois
    #10
    I'd recommend an ATi 9600 64MB card. Not to expensive at all and is a real nice card for what you are doing. :)
     
  11. zen.state thread starter macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #11
    the 9600 needs agp 4x and my sawtooth has 2x. the sawtooth and gigabit ethernet models have 2x and all models that followed had 4x.
     

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