Anybody upgraded a slower Power Mac with a high-end graphics card?

Jethryn Freyman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 9, 2007
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Australia
So, I've got a dual 1.8GHz G5 with the Radeon 9600 XT, and I'm considering upgrading to a Geforce 6800 GT for $150. Thing is, I really don't have a need for this per se, it's just for fun. If I want to play games, I've got a PC with a Radeon 6770 in it, but it would be nice to game a bit better on this Mac since it's less of a hassle :)

Not that it'd make too much of a difference, because most games seem to be limited by the 1.8GHz CPU, most PowerPC games aren't even multithreaded. So that's the problem, the CPU is a big bottleneck, and any benchmarks of the different GPUs out there use the high end (dual 2.3GHz and faster) models (to show off the GPU difference and not be bottlenecked by the CPU.)

Has anybody upgraded a slower Mac like mine to a fairly high end graphics card, and how that go for games? (like Quake 4, Halo, even UT2004)
 

Subish

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2011
53
1
Never bench-marked my G5 but I will tonight after work for ya.

I'm running a G5(early 05) 2.3DP , 8gigs of G-Skill Ram (2.5cl), 6800 ultra.
I usually play all my old blizzard games on it and never have a problem.
 

Jethryn Freyman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 9, 2007
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Australia
Never bench-marked my G5 but I will tonight after work for ya.

I'm running a G5(early 05) 2.3DP , 8gigs of G-Skill Ram (2.5cl), 6800 ultra.
I usually play all my old blizzard games on it and never have a problem.
Cool - not sure it'll help a great deal though since your CPU is much faster than mine so won't be as much of a bottleneck for performance
 

Subish

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2011
53
1
When I play games I never really feel bottleneck by the CPU but the video card.
On the PC side I know the newer video cards do see better scores with Intel vs AMD. The different was minor by only a few fps.

Even is the CPU is holding the video card back your still going to see an improvement in your games with the better card.

I think you should be fine since you have a Dual 1.8 and not a single. The single CPU where the ones that felt gimped.
 

California

macrumors 68040
Aug 21, 2004
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I think you should be fine since you have a Dual 1.8 and not a single. The single CPU where the ones that felt gimped.
That 6800 is a great card and as I've owned both a 2.7ghz with that card and a 1.8 single without that card I'd be curious to see the speed increase. It is indeed a "gimped' machine' even with maxed 8 gigs of ram.
 

666sheep

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Dec 7, 2009
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Poland
Get this one and flash it to X800XT. It's more powerful than 6800 Ultra and it costs about 3x less. It's possible to flash it on a Mac using Graphiccelerator.
I'm not a gamer but I've compared 6800 Ultra (Mac one) with FGL X3 (flashed to X800) on 2.0 Dual in Cinebench and Fire was about 20% faster in OpenGL.
 

zen.state

macrumors 68020
Mar 13, 2005
2,181
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IMO the ultimate card for a G5 tower is any GeForce 7800 revision or ATI x800.
 

adcx64

macrumors 65816
Nov 17, 2008
1,227
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Philadelphia
Upgrading my MDD to a Radeon 9800 from a 9000 pro. I thought of the same thing about the CPU being a bottleneck, so I'm curious to see what other responses you get here.
 

Jethryn Freyman

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 9, 2007
2,333
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Australia
Get this one and flash it to X800XT. It's more powerful than 6800 Ultra and it costs about 3x less. It's possible to flash it on a Mac using Graphiccelerator.
I'm not a gamer but I've compared 6800 Ultra (Mac one) with FGL X3 (flashed to X800) on 2.0 Dual in Cinebench and Fire was about 20% faster in OpenGL.
Interesting... I had a bit of a Google and it looks possible, when shipping is factored in though it ends up about $65, definitely cheaper, but I really feel that the difference will be negligible when you take the CPU factor into account and I like the idea of the 6800 because it's very much going to be plug and play. If I did have enough extra cash to get that card and then still be willing to get a 6800 afterwards if I failed, then I'd certainly go for it and see what I could do...

IMO the ultimate card for a G5 tower is any GeForce 7800 revision or ATI x800.
Yeah I remember the 7800 GS being benchmarked as the very best for the AGP G5's, but I'd bet they be going in the $250+ price range and again if I were comparing a 6800 vs a 7800 vs X850XT on my system, there would be very little difference because of the CPU (and to get to a high enough resolution to show any different would probably mean a framerate of less than 10 anyway.) I'm surprised I just can't find any benchmarks of a slower G5 like mine with a high end graphics card though, I would've thought that somewhere on the internets there'd be some...

Upgrading my MDD to a Radeon 9800 from a 9000 pro. I thought of the same thing about the CPU being a bottleneck, so I'm curious to see what other responses you get here.
When I get this done I'll post benchmarks :)

It'll also mean I can swap the 9600 into my old Digital Audio G4 to replace it's ancient Rage 128. Awesome!
 

ThunderSnake

macrumors 6502
Jul 23, 2010
310
1
If you go with 666sheep's advice, use this rom. The X3 is an easy teardown too. Removing three screws on the rear of the card will free the heatsink assembly. Clean the GPU and apply some fresh thermal compound just like you would if you were purchasing a used G4 that you didn't know the history of. Normally, when I'm going to this much trouble, I would also install a new fan (just to be done with it for a few years aside from the occasional blast of compressed air).
 

vohdoun

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2006
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Far away from Earth.
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Subish

macrumors member
Dec 2, 2011
53
1
I did a Xbench if you like any other one please let me know.

Results 127.68
System Info
Xbench Version 1.3
System Version 10.5.8 (9L31a)
Physical RAM 8192 MB
Model PowerMac7,3
Processor PowerPC G5x2 @ 2.30 GHz
L1 Cache 64K (instruction), 32K (data)
L2 Cache 512K @ 2.30 GHz
Bus Frequency 1 GHz
Video Card GeForce 6800 Ultra
Drive Type WDC WD2500KS-00MJB0 WDC WD2500KS-00MJB0​

CPU Test 136.87
GCD Loop 99.50 5.24 Mops/sec
Floating Point Basic 154.39 3.67 Gflop/sec
AltiVec Basic 302.42 12.05 Gflop/sec
vecLib FFT 120.84 3.99 Gflop/sec
Floating Point Library 118.75 20.68 Mops/sec​

Quartz Graphics Test 152.81
Line 125.51 8.36 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
Rectangle 137.05 40.92 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
Circle 132.55 10.80 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
Bezier 125.77 3.17 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
Text 510.19 31.92 Kchars/sec​

OpenGL Graphics Test 103.67
Spinning Squares 103.67 131.51 frames/sec​