Single 867Mhz G4 - Radeon 9000 128MB or 64MB?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by cyphur, Aug 19, 2004.

  1. cyphur macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hey, I'm a gamer who wants to upgrade from a GeForce 2 MX 32MB. I have read some posts about upgrading, but I'm still unsure. I have a single 867 Mhz G4 with 1.25 RAM. Now I've heard that if I get a high video card, I will waste my money with a vid card that outperforms my processor. So what I'm asking is - which video card will best suit my processor speed? I am looking at the Radeon 9000, but I'm just a bit confused. Are there two kinds? 64MB and 128MB? Will the 128MB be wasted money? Please help me out. Thanks!
     
  2. keysersoze macrumors 68000

    keysersoze

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    #2
    I think there's only 1 option (128MB) for the Radeon 9000 Mac version (could be wrong). I don't think it would be wasted on you computer, esp. for games. You have quite a bit of RAM, so the bottleneck right now would be your current card-- I think the 9000 would alleviate that quite a bit. OWC had them for sale for $129 as a pre-order but now they are $149... where are you thinking of getting one? I would say it would be very cost-effective.

    EDIT: For Retardedness. Sorry. I am thinking of the forthcoming Radeon 9200... Anyway, I still think the upgrade to either the 9000 or 9200 with 128MB would help you out a bit.
     
  3. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

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    #3
    In all honesty, you probably won't notice too much of a difference going from a Geforce2MX to a Radeon 9000. Even if you were to get a 20% increase in performance (which is probably the most you'd get, if even that), i'm not sure it would be worth the $150 price tag.

    If you're expecting to be able to play the latest games well, you still won't. Your processor simply isn't fast enough, no matter what video card you get.
     
  4. cyphur thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Thanks for the replies! I really appreciate it. So I was planning on buying the 9000 off of ebay, but if you a search, they only have the 64MB one. However, when I looked at a couple of other places, they had only the 128MB one.

    I understand that my processor is already lagging for today's games :( , but I don't know how else to upgrade my system. The only alternative I can think of is getting a G5, but that won't happen for at least another year. So I guess what I'm saying is - I want an upgrade that can help me out for that time frame until I get a new machine. :confused:

    p.s. - I saw the Radeon 9000 for about $138.99 somewhere.
     
  5. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #5

    I highly agree. The CPU and system bus are going to be serious bottlenecks in your performance... granted you are only running 4x AGP but I believe you won't even see that much of a performance increase should you decide to upgrade... and truthfully Mac gaming is horrible in general, and this is coming from someone who has a plethora of Mac games and benches and tweaks them constantly for best performance.
     
  6. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #6
    i have to clear this up, first off a 867 g4 can push a radeon 9000 and in games you will notice the difference a 9800 would be wasted but a 9000 is the sweet point (if they were available a 9600 would be better) get a 64MB version as they are acctually a tad faster due to the 128MB version is underclocked for no aparent reason (thanks ati :mad:)

    even going from a geforce 2 to the radeon 7500 that is in my cube now made a decent speed increase, by all means go for it.

    but..... do you use adc because if you do not there are a few more options available with flashed pc cards (look at the cheap geforce 3's that are currently on ebay)
     
  7. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #7
    I still don't agree. I think at best, the 1.25 MDD showed that it was ideal for pushing a 9000. On top of that, if he can get a G5 he may as well hold out and save the money and put it towards the G5...
     
  8. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #8
    i think your re confusing the 9000 with the 9800 which requires at least a 1GHz plus g4 to be able to push the card.

    it's a worth while upgrade and should yeild good speed gains i got decent gain going to a 7500 on a dual 450MHz cube
     
  9. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #9

    Read my sig friend. I HAVE a 9800, and even then, it's been well established at even a 1.8 G5 doesn't fully push the card... so you are DEFINITELY wrong about a 1 G4 pushing it. My rating, not worth it, and this is coming from a person that has had experience with video cards.
     
  10. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #10
  11. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #11

    The GF2 is a very old card by today's standards.

    As for comparisons between 9800 and 9000,
    http://www.barefeats.com/rad9800.html


    Also please note that the test system IMG used for that test was:
    • Power Mac G4/500
    • Giga Designs G-celerator 1.25 GHz @ 1.35 GHz
    • ATI Radeon 9000 Pro
    • ATI Radeon 8500
    • ATI Radeon (32 MB)
    • NVIDIA GeForce2 MX (32 MB)
    • 768 MB PC133 SDRAM
    • 80 GB Seagate Barracuda IV
    • Mac OS X 10.2.4

    The clock was significantly faster than the setup the original poster has.

    I still maintain that it is more efficient to save the money, get a faster rig, and then upgrade later from there.

    Furthermore, the only time the card might be pushed to it's limit is if heavy graphics intensive applications of the card is used, for instance enabling pixel shading on Halo, or specular lighting, for instance.
     
  12. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #12
    you know you could sell your geforce 2 for about $120 on ebay because cubeowners need them as an alfter market upgrade, the cost is so little and for games it will make a decent difference
     
  13. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #13

    I'm still curious why they go for so much when I just saw one on eBay for $39.99........
     
  14. osprey76 macrumors 6502

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    #14
    The 9000 would be a good upgrade. The GF card is old and slow. I saw a nice boost when I went from the Rage Pro (even older than the GF) to a 8500. So, you'd definitely get a nice increase in 3d framerates. If you were going to buy a G5 tomorrow, I'd recommend against it. But, if you're like me, you won't be able to afford a whole new G5 for quite a while so upgrading what you have is a good option.
     
  15. Jigglelicious macrumors 6502

    Jigglelicious

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    #15

    Of course you saw a nice boost with that upgrade. You went from a Rage Pro (the speed of a Riva TNT card) to a Radeon 8500 which is roughly the speed of a geforce3. However going from a Geforce2MX to a Radeon 9000 wouldn't be all that big of an increase in speed. If the original poster could get the R9000 for like $50 (which is what its worth on the x86 side) then I might say go for it. I don't think its worth $150 though, because you WILL be disappointed in the speed increase.
     
  16. rand() macrumors regular

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    #16
    I do agree with this, and yet, I'm almost tempted to say go in the opposite direction.

    That's to say, check out the cards that will work with Core Image in Tiger. I believe for ATI, the base is the 9600 Pro. That's going to cost you a number of pennies more, but once Tiger comes out, you'll have an extremely eye-candy friendly mac. And I'm guessing that eventually Mac games will take supreme advangate of CI.

    Basically, you are wasting your money by upgrading to a 9000; but if you are really intent on upgrading it, especially if you think it might be a while before you can get a G5 (or G6...), go BIG, man! As to the pushing issue, they've put the 9600 Pro in with the G4 iMacs / PowerBooks... the bus might not be pushing the card all the time, but he will definitely see a big boost.

    (that said, I haven't even checked if you CAN put one of those cards into a MDD mac... I know it won't go in my Dual 500.)

    -rand()
     
  17. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #17

    9600's are 8X AGP and have a power connector in a different area, making them unseatable in 4X AGP slots in the MDD.
     
  18. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #18
    you can acctuallly use them in a mdd it just requires you to tape off some connectors and move the adc power connector allong a bit

    search for it a g5 9600 can be put in a g4
     
  19. Mord macrumors G4

    Mord

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    #19
    because that was a flashed pc one that dosen't have adc
     
  20. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #20

    Ah, guess I was wrong.

    But it's still not worth buying a 9600 for an 867 G4...
     
  21. rand() macrumors regular

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    #21
    I'm not so sure about that. And actually, the retail (vs. OEM) version should be able to go into any AGP mac - it includes a HD-style power connector for the extra juice, I believe.

    Here's a review which compares it to an 8500 in a MDD - but that was a Dual 1ghz system. Still, the primary AGP / FSB bottlenecks are the same.

    The primary reason I suggest getting the card is Core Image. But if you aren't intending to go to Tiger, then skip an upgrade altogether and save to get a G5.

    -rand()

    Edit: My bad, that's talking about the 9800. The 9600 never came out in a Retail version. The 9700 and 9800 did.
     
  22. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #22
    That was tested on a dual... and everyone knows UT2K4 and some builds of Cinebench are MP aware... so that totally defeats the purpose of using that as "evidence"....
     
  23. rand() macrumors regular

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    #23
    The evidence is still pretty strong - the 9800 card outperformed a card that is STILL BETTER than the one he's currently using. I would argue that the larger bottleneck is the AGP4x, not the proc, but that would require a better knowledge of the achitecture of the game, which I don't have. I will say that if UT2K4 is benefiting from the Dual as much as your argument warrants, then the 8500 scores should be much closer than they are - it should already be topping out - but they aren't.

    I've been saying all along - you are wasting money by upgrading at all. But if you are intent on upgrading, get something that's truely going to benefit in the long run - Core Image, as I understand it, is much more bottleneck-friendly in that regard. But remember - while the $350 is much less than the $2K for a shiny G5, you're eventually going to need the G5 if you're going to be an up-to-date gamer.

    -rand()
     
  24. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

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    #24

    Of course the 9800 is better than the 8500! It's at least 2 years newer than the 8500... on top of that it has much better support for pixel shading, FSAA, and AF... not to mention at least twice the pixel pipelines and higher RAMDACs. That comparison is pretty moot, however, because it's obviously a much better card. My point was that the #s in general would be inflated, due to the fact that UT2K4 is MP aware, it offloads sound processing to the 2nd CPU, which always shows around a 40% FPS increase over SP machines.
     
  25. rand() macrumors regular

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    #25
    And I'm not disagreeing with you. So here's my point, one more time:

    Upgrade = wasted money. 9000 or 9600 or 9800. Wasted Money - at least in terms of "getting the most from the card." He simply can't. But if you are REALLY intent on upgrading - get the card that Tiger will make the most of.

    Of course, it really depends on his budget, and how much he really wants those precious few extra fps. He may decide to go with something that he can push the limits of - but again, then he's down to not getting much more performance than he's getting from his GF2MX.

    His absence suggests to me that he's going to simply wait for the G5.
     

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