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PCI slots on G5 Powermacs

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Patch^, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. macrumors regular

    I was wondering is it possible to use a standard PCI / PCI-X card that is sold for a PEECEE on a Powermac e.g. a USB 2.0 card or Firewire card. Or would i have to buy a special PCI card made especially for apple computers etc....If so where could i get one.....

    thnx :)
  2. macrumors 68020


    Hardware-wise, no problem, but there has to be an OS X driver available for the card. OS X doesn't have drivers for every PCI/PCI-X card made.
  3. macrumors 65816

    Along the same lines, will every PCI-X slot on PowerMacs accept:

    Old PCI cards?

    AGP cards?

    Is there a size limit on old PCI cards?
    Is there an adapter to convert old PCI cards to PCI-X or will they fit right in?
  4. macrumors 68030


    afaik old pci cards will fit, but agp cards won't. that's why the g5 has an agp slot.
  5. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Old PCI cards? Has to be the newer 3.3V PCI cards or PCI-X cards -- they must fit the slot (PCI Specification 2.3)

    AGP cards? Apple "says" it must be at least AGP 8x, may want to look for the voltage it'll support and what people have been using.

    Is there a size limit on old PCI cards? Yes, make sure the card is at least as long as the PCI slot and is keyed correctly. The XServe G4 would actually short out the motherboard when short 5v cards that fit part of the slot were used.

    Is there an adapter to convert old PCI cards to PCI-X or will they fit right in? None needed... PCI-X is actually a 3.3V PCI slot that runs at 100 and 133MHz.

    In fact the first PowerMacs rev A machines that had PCI only, were just feature crippled (still had the PCI-X controller) to delete the capability to run at 100/133MHz thus making them PCI slots.

    The newer rev. B machines deleted the PCI-X controller completely.
  6. macrumors regular

    How Old is Old?

    When did this standard voltage change take place in pci cards?
    Would the Ultra SCSI pci card that came BTO in my blue & white g3 work in my G5? Would it need drivers?

    Edit: I just remembered that there are no extra regular molex power connectors from the g5 power supply unless you get a y-adapter and use the one from the dvd drive, so what I was thinking of doing wouldn't work easily anyway.
  7. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Happened quite awhile ago in computer years, but since quite a few PCs (on until recently Macs) still support both 5v and 3.3v -- there was no need for card makers to switch. The XServe G4 was the first Mac to kill 5v cards completely.
    Even if it is 3.3v, you're bound to run into lots of driver issues. Since a lot of card makers ditched legacy card support. And one that came with a PowerMac G3 would probably fit that definition.
  8. Guest


    Be prepared to give up sleep mode with any PCI card, FYI. :rolleyes:
  9. macrumors 68020


    Good point. I'm sure there aren't too many 3rd party drivers that would bother supporting sleep.
  10. Guest


    Even Belkin's FW card disabled sleep on my MDD G4.

    I went to the usual upgrade sites (OWC, XLR8YOURMAC), and Apple's support for PCI cards really stinks. It's so spotty that some testers reported no problems, and others (the majority) lost the ability to sleep their machines.

    This is all really easy to fix, but Apple and the PCI people have been ponting their fingers at eachother for years. :rolleyes:
  11. macrumors G3

    To answer the original question, any USB 2.0 or Firewire PCI card should have no problem working in a PowerMac G4 or G5. I have used both OrangeMicro and Adaptec cards and they work with the drivers built in to OS X.

    Any card that follows the standards should also have no issues.
  12. Guest


    Do you have sleep issues? (Your machine, that is :p )
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Most other than Video cards will work. That is if you can find a device driver for them(which can be a chore in itself).
  14. macrumors G3

    I don't know if the cards I have impact sleep. The machine is usually on and only gets powered off if I'm going to be away from home for more than a day or so.

    I actually had sleep issues without having the PCI cards in my system. It's probably one of the USB or firewire devices I have connected. It wasn't worth tracking down back then, and it certainly isn't worth it now.
  15. macrumors newbie

    More PCI X slots...

    Pop music is a challenging medium. Believe it or not, on the current album I am working on, I have already maxed out my G5 2.5 ghz machine and get CPU overloads constantly because of the external plugs I run. basically, I need more PCI slots.

    Don't say Magma. They do not support 100-133 mhz 64 bit and cost $1800 bucks. Old technology.

    But, doesn't the Apple 'X Serve' system software tie a G5 desktop and an 'X Serve' 'two slot' together as one to run OSX apps and share PCI's?

    Wouldn't that work to expand PCI?

    Or, how about two 2.3 dual ghz 'X Serves', tie them and get a quad machine with 4 slots.

    I would much rather add a machine than a PCI chassis.
  16. macrumors regular

    I know this is an old thread, but seeing as I now have my powermac :), I want to know if anyone could recommend me a decent USB card [UK] with at least four ports, I bought one the other day and it didn't work, it even said OS X compatible, so can any of you guys tell me what USB card you use?

    Thanks ^_^
  17. macrumors regular

  18. macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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