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PowerMac G5 Video Card [Best AGP & PCI]

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by willpower2992, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Okay so, I have a PowerMac G5 with 3 PCIx slots and one AGP slot.
    I also have three monitors, one with a ADC connection [but I do have the ADC to DVI Apple adapter][max resolution: 1280x1024], one with a VGA connection [but I do have an VGA to DVI Apple adapter][max resolution: 1024x768], and one with an S-Video connection [if needed I can go buy the S-Video to DVI Apple adapter][max resolution: 1024x768].
    The purpose it to run Final Cut Pro on the first two while running a preview of the footage on the third.
    Since my bus is practically outdated, I'd like to get the best cards, for PCI, I think that's ATI's Radeon 9200, but for the AGP, I'm not entirely sure...
    Everyone was leading me towards the ATI Radeon 9800 [256] and the nVidia 6800, but then I just noticed the ATI Radeon X800 and the nVidia 7800, so now I'm not so sure.
    What do you all think?
    Any incite would be great.
  2. TSE
    macrumors 68030


    I would say the nVidia 7800 is the best, but they are very rare and very expensive. New ones go for about 280$ and used ones go for about 240$.

    nVidia 6800s are okay, and go for about 150 - 200$.

    The ATI Radeon X800 is better option then the 6800, and can find one for about 180-250$.

    I would go for either the nVidia 7800 or the ATI X800.

    The 7800 is faster, but the X800 has better image quality.
  3. macrumors newbie

    hmm thanks,
    what about port wise?
    you don't have to research it, just curious if you have any knowledge already...
    and the cards are mainly going to be used to final cut and motion, which do you think is more important...im guessing speed, but do you think I should seriously worry about color?
  4. TSE
    macrumors 68030


    Portwise I am unsure of. But personally I would go with the X800. The 7800s spec wise are the fastest, but driver wise and image quality wise the X800s are better.
  5. macrumors member

    i'd have to disagree. The ATI drivers for the x800 havent been updated since 2005 while the every nVidia card's drivers are managed by Apple themselves. I went from a x800 xt (I returned it - the price gauging on them is terrible) to a 6800 gt and I'm glad I did. the X800 is a faster card, but I had problems with the drivers under 10.5 and under day to day usage, its impossible to tell the difference. Except my core animation effects are smoother.
  6. macrumors newbie

    well thanks for providing a different opinion, but, the only place I could find these cards for a reasonable price, was ebay, and I have found the 7800(nVidia) and X800(ATI) for around almost exactly the same price, while I've found the 9800(ATI) and 6800(nVidia) for lower, greenlightracer do you think I should go with the X800(ATI) or 7800(nVidia)?
  7. macrumors member

    Between those two, I'd go for the 7800 definitely. Like I said, nvidia driver support seems better, and its also 2 years newer technology over the x800, whose core is really just a modified 9800. You can read about that on the wiki for the x800 (r420 is the core I believe)
  8. macrumors newbie

    well okay thanks to both of you, ill now go see which i can get at the better bargain, hopefully it turns out to work best for me. thanks!
  9. macrumors 68000


    When I was looking for cards I ended up going for a 9800 due to financial constraints. It's a nice improvment over the Nvidia 5200 :p

    Also I did some reading on the x800 and there were some production issues with them I think, where some users needed replacements. I really wanted that card but was put off by the high price and failure rate (I think it effected a certain batch).

    If you have enough funds, probably go for an Nvidia.

    Good luck finding your card:)
  10. macrumors newbie

    yeah that's the card I have now!
    cool, I think I'll be purchasing the 7800 since I found it for a reasonable price; and the 9200 is in the mail for my third monitor, which right there is a major improvement over my 5200, so I can't wait. Cool, thanks guys.
  11. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    You may already know this but it bears repeating:

    If you have an AGP Mac you cannot use the Apple GeForce 7800GT, because it is a PCIe (PCI Express) card. Your AGP Mac uses PCI-X expansion slots, but these are not compatible with PCIe video cards. You need an AGP card.

    It is possible to find certain early PC GeForce 7800-class AGP cards and flash them to the Mac - but they must be cards that use the G70 core GPU, not the G71 that most later cards have. See The Mac Elite forums (the successor to StrangeDogs) for details.

    But if you don't want to mess with flashing a card your best AGP Apple-compatible option would be an Apple Radeon X850XT. It's a bit faster than the X800XT, but harder to find because it was BTO-only. Both X800-class cards offer good performance. The two 6800-class cards are also good (I'm quite happy with my flashed 6800GT), but the Ultra is a double-wide monster of a card.
  12. macrumors newbie

  13. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    Unfortunately no, that was a flashed PC card. The strangedogs (now The Mac Elite) video card flashing forum had success flashing a G70-based 7800GS AGP to the Mac using a hacked ROM (can't remember which ROM was used, may have been the 7300 Apple ROM).

    You need to find a similar card to the original hacked card or the ROM won't work. Certain GS, GT and GTX cards can be done this way but you need a G70-based card...many(most?) 7800-class cards are G71-based.

    The Radeon X850XT is the fastest official video card out there for the AGP Macs.

    IF you do a flashed 7800-class card it will be faster than the X850XT, of course. But there was never a "genuine" 7800-class card for AGP Macs.
  14. macrumors 6502

    I'm using a flashed 7800 GS in my AGP G5. It's driving a 30" monitor over its single dual-link DVI port.

    Can't recommend it more highly.
  15. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    In terms of performance, you can't go any faster on the AGP Mac than the 7800GTX.
  16. macrumors member

    you mean the 7800 GS.

    7800 GTX = the PCI express version
    7800 GS = The AGP version = the fastest card for AGP G5's at this time.

    hope that clears it up. :)
  17. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    Yes. :eek:

    You can overclock the 7800GS of course, but only the PCIe G5 Macs can take a (flashed) 7800GTX.
  18. macrumors newbie

    Where can I get the 7800 GS Mac ROMS? strangedogs.com and the successor Mac Elite Wiki seems to be dead, the download links are dead.

    Ideas anyone?

  19. macrumors newbie

    The Wiki of the Mac Elite it´s back, you can download the ROMs that you require (Leopard compatible, etc...) from this link:


  20. macrumors 6502

    Forced Perfect

    (sorry if this is a somewhat old post)

    As someone who literally flashed a x800 card for my very same PCI-X G5 (dual 2.7) yesterday there are a couple things to point out:

    First off: As far as I know there are NO ROMs for the x800 which enable the DVI ports digitally. VGA and DVI work, but not as a digital output on the DVI. The FireGL 256 (which is a FireGL version of the x800) does work, but they're rare and costly.

    Second: The x800 is a very fast card. I had the stock Radeon 9650 installed and got ~30-90 FPS in World of Warcraft and 250-300 in Quake 3. After installing the card WoW does 90-200 and Quake 3 350-400 (or higher, the numbers change rapidly :p)

    I used a Sapphire x800 XT. I downloaded the reduced x800 ROM from The Mac Elite Wiki and flashed it using GraphicAccellerator from Leopard (10.5.4) but you must boot while holding shift or the flasher won't work. Flashed it and rebooted. Works perfectly.

    One thing you might want to consider is using a Radeon x850 fan on the x800. The x800 has a cooler which just blows air around the case where the larger x850 cooler sucks air over the memory and GPU and exhausts it out the back of the case. I think it might actually make less noise, too.

    Please note the x850 cooler blocks the closest PCI-X slot. You must remove the little PCI cover plate from the second slot so the air has a place to go. Also my video card has an s-video port on it and I needed to cut off a small part of the air duct for the x850 cooler to work.

    All in all, about 10 minutes to install and flash and 10 minutes to mod and replace the cooler. Made a very noticable difference in speed.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Can you help me?


    my config is:

    - Dual G5
    - Leopard
    - flashed BFG 7800gs with (overclocked version) rom from themacelite

    the card works well. My only problem is that the fan is spinning at full speed and it appears not to be controlled by the system.
    How can I solve the problem? I tried resetting the PRAM and in OF the command reset-all.

  22. macrumors newbie


    Maybe this is related to the ROM version altered to avoid the "Temp. Sensor" that creates issues at the boot of the Mac OS X Leopard. Saludos! :D
  23. macrumors member

    Thank you for your post, it is very helpful for me.
    I have the stock 9600 card in my 2.7Ghz G5, so I am getting about 15-30 fps in WoW. Sadly I get down to 4 fps in Mount Hyjal, so I am looking to upgrade.
    Are you able to tell me
    1. Is the card you use 256 or 512 Mb?
    2. Do I need to update to 10.5 from 10.4 to use teh apple GraphicAccellerator ?
  24. macrumors 6502

    Forced Perfect

    My card is 256 and I am using it for two displays, so it's really 128 per screen.

    I did it in 10.5.4. No problems, just make sure you boot holding shift before you flash it.

    In WoW I've found the worst thing for your FPS is the draw distance. I have mine almost at the lowest. Turning it up totally kills the frame rate down to like... 10. I suspect it would be 1 FPS in Stormwind. Either way your frame rate seems pretty low. You must have something very GPU hungry turned on.
  25. macrumors member

    Thanks for your advice Forced Perfect, I have ordered an X800 card. I will let you know how I go.

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