30" Cinema Display and G5 1.8Ghz DP- how much graphics juice will I need?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by quantum003, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. quantum003 macrumors 6502a

    quantum003

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    #1
    Hi, thanks for any advice. I've got a 1.8ghz dp G5, 4GB of RAM (max unfortunately). I'd like it to be my media center and drive a 30" ACD... I have a Radeon 9600 in there now I believe, just 128MB of VRAM and it can't quite get there. How bad of a card would I need for good picture quality? Do you think a flashed 256 would be enough, or would I need to track down a 512 or better card for the task?

    Thanks again for any advice... I know this forum is chock full of experts on this topic.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #2
    Why can't the ATI 9600 do it? Dropping frames? Even 9400M can do it and it's integrated mobile GPU so can't see why that ATI card can't.

    What quality video are you watching? 720p? Even 1080p? It may not be the GPU that is slowing you. If it's too high quality, your CPU just ain't fast enough
     
  3. Bennieboy© macrumors 65816

    Bennieboy©

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    #3
    30" requires a dual link DVI and the DVI on the ati cards is only single, you'll need at least radeon 9650 or the nvidia geforce 6600 depending on what slots you have available ;)

    more advice and tips can be found here
     
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #4
    Your G5 is everything but suitable for a media center, the CPU's simply don't have enough power to play HD videos and SD looks like crap on a 30" computer screen.

    It doesn't matter which card you put into your G5 (you've got a AGP version, so the 6800 Ultra or a flashed AGP 7800GT are the biggest cards you can put in there, both can drive a 30" screen), the CPU's limit the HD playback. Your G5 does not support graphics hardware acceleration for video playback which is why it has to be software rendered by the processors.

    My advice, don't invest any more money in the G5 and dump it. Get yourself a Core2Duo Mac Mini. It is much more convenient as a media center.
     
  5. quantum003 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    quantum003

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    #5
    Dang... bad news all around! Thanks for the posts guys.

    Basically I'm trying to find a way to use the 30" as my "TV" since I don't have cable or an HDMI-friendly TV set, and I don't want to move Mac Pro out of the office. I actually do have a 2.0Ghz Core 2 duo mini, it was my first solution to the problem... but both the G5 and the Mini didn't seem to be able to drive the 30" display. I don't remember the exact resolution they both maxed out at but it was significantly under par, and both looked pixelated and crappy in some way that I can't quite explain... Is this one of those DVI vs. Dual-Link DVI situations by any chance? Gotta confess I'm not 100% certain I understand the difference... but it would be dang cool if I could get the mini to work with the 30" as I originally intended it to.

    Perhaps I just need some adapter or something? Thanks again for the help...
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    30" CD's resolution is 2560x1600.

    Your Mini has only Mini-DVI which tops out at 1920x1200. Same thing with your G5 because it only has single-link DVI.

    So, you need a GPU with either dual-link DVI or Mini Display Port. Then your G5 will be able to drive that 30" without problems but as said above, HD video may be too heavy for it
     
  7. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

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    #7
    Yeah I'm afraid you're going to need to get either a new computer or a new graphics card - alas both aren't exactly cheap options. You could have a look for a pre-flashed 6800 card. There's a flashed XFX 6800 on eBay at the moment if you're in the UK. Chances are it won't go for masses. Genuine Apple 6800s go for way more.

    If you're already looking at spending a good chunk on a new graphics card you may want to consider selling the Mac Mini and buying one of the new gen Mac Minis and a mini display port to dual link adapter, that will be able to drive the 30" just fine.

    I have to ask though, why would you want to use a 30" ACD as a 'TV'? If you already had it connected to the G5 and wanted to carry on using it then I'd get it but it sounds like you've got a 'spare' 30" ACD which you don't need elsewhere anymore. If that's the case then I'd highly suggest you sell it pronto (they still command a hefty premium second hand). For example, looking at completed listings in the UK, you could get £600 at the very least, probably more. That money can easily buy you a great 40" Full HD LCD TV brand new. If you're elsewhere in the world then I'm sure you could get similar deals.

    Don't get me wrong, the 30" ACD is an absolute dream and is in my opinion the best consumer screen available on the market - as far as computer screens go but it's not as good a TV as an actual TV, it's built for different purposes after all. If you want to go the media centre route then a proper TV + your Mac Mini running Plex would be absolutely perfect. It's what I've got in my lounge.
     
  8. quantum003 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    quantum003

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    #8
    Actually my mini has standard DVI, not sure if mini-DVI is a more recent model... mine currently handles the 23" ACD pretty well so I think I'll leave it with that. When I have the coinage I'll buff up the RAM to 4GB from 2GB and just call it good... I think you're right about the G5, just not the right tool for the job. Might be fun to flash a ridiculously powerful AGP card and give it one last shot though. Thanks for your posts. :)

    Well it definitely isn't a "spare" 30" ACD... my Mac pro really likes it. :p Unfortunately I'm in the awkward position of loving dual monitors on my primary workstation, but also being somewhat uncomfortable with them being 2 different sizes. I've picked up several of the ACD's at different times when I saw them going for ridiculous prices on craigslist, so I've currently got a 20", a 23", and a 30"... (I did have dual 20"s for a while but gave one to my Pop last year). So I've been doing the ACD shuffle while I get my new place set up...

    A split with my ex left me with all my fun toys, and her with our great TV. So it's a little frustrating since I've got a bunch of nice parts, but they don't form a cohesive system... Basically I'm a huge Apple nerd, so it seems appropriate to me to have that big sexy monitor out in my living room, and using it as my primary "entertainment" display, one way or another... If I can avoid buying a new TV I'd sure prefer to.

    Thanks for your post and advice, Spanky! :)
     

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