Cube video card upgrade ?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AtmChm, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. AtmChm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
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    WI
    #1
    I have two upgraded cubes. One has a PL 1.7GHz CPU, and another has a PL dual 1.5GHz CPU. So, each has the included cooling fan installed. Each has stock DVD drive, 1.5 GB RAM, and WD 7200 RPM HDD (one is 80 GB and one is 160 GB).

    Both have the stock ATI Rage 128 graphics card. I have an Acrylic 23 inch HD cinema display, but the ATI card will not drive that monitor. I also have several 17 inch studio displays, and have noticed the dual processor cube handles video much better than the single CPU cube. I do not play games, nor do I intend to on the Cubes, but I do like viewing videos on You Tube on occasion.

    My question is, among the "drop in", "no mod necessary" video cards for the cube, which would give me the best performance increase while also allowing me to use the 23 inch HD display? Seems like the following will fit in a Cube with no modifications AND will drive a 23" HD cinema display: GeForce 2 MX, GeForce 2MX twinview, GeForce 3. Best I can tell these would all be "drop in" cards with no modifications necessary other than swapping the face plate if need be. Seems like the 2MX has heat issues, but is that less of a worry since I already have a cooling fan installed? Is the cooling fan on the GeForce 3 too loud? Is there much performance difference between the 2MX and the GeForce 3 and/or the stock ATI 128? I'm willing to spend more money for a better card if there is a real performance increase.

    Any and all help would be appreciated.
     
  2. skinniezinho macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #2
    Geforce 3 is the best.If it is too loud you can install a 3rd party cooler.
    Don't you have someone who is familiar with Graphic Card Flashing?
    A video card like the one in my powermac will be much better than those you stated, and can be had for cheap...
    And it fits the cube!
    Read more in the powerpc faq in my sig.
     
  3. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #3
    One of the most popular choices for a Cube these days is the same GeForce 6200 256MB I have in my Sawtooth. It needs to be flashed but you can buy pre-flashed cards on ebay.

    None of the other options offer core image support which is much more important performance-wise than quartz extreme which is all those cards you list support. It's the best option for heat also. large long heatsink normally with no fan. The 6200 GPU is normally never higher than 54c which is very good compared to other core image capable GPU out there.

    Don't assume because it's flashed that it won't work well. Mine is 100% compatible with monitor sleep, system sleep and of course every graphic feature OS X 10.4/10.5 offer.

    Real world example:
    My Sawtooth used to have a Radeon 7500 32MB (only quartz support) and with this same 1.8GHz G4 CPU I have my open mark score (opengl bench.) was in the 600's. With the 6200 and all the other hardware the same it scored around 5170. Thats about an 8.5x increase in just opengl performance alone which shows you how much core image support can help. I have also noticed that core image doesn't help near as much if you have less than 128MB VRAM. The 6200 with 256MB is almost like having a second CPU especially in 10.5.
     
  4. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #4
    OK, so the GeForce 6200 seems to be an option, though they seem to come with DVI/VGA connectors and not ADC. There are a few fanless cards being offered on e-bay for about $65 + shipping. These claim to be properly flashed for the Cube.

    Does this card fit in the opening for the video connectors on the bottom of the "cage" for the cube? Looking at a picture on e-bay, it seems the connectors could be further apart than will fit in the opening on the cube. I really don't want to modify anything, just upgrade.

    Thanks for all the info so far!
     
  5. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #5
    You would need a DVI to ADC adapter to connect your screen. Should be able to find one on ebay or cl for 10-15. Maybe less.

    This is both the card and seller I recommend and it fits the Cube well as it's a low profile card: http://cgi.ebay.ca/FANLESS-nVidia-G...696?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item3cb5452680

    I have bought from him before. Quality parts and fair shipping. He is easily the best Mac video card vendor on ebay. He very much caters to guys that still use G4 and G5 systems.
     
  6. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #6
    Rather $100 ;) He'd need this not this.

    OP, if you don't care about CI, get Mac R9000 Pro 128 MB with ADC. R9700 Mac Edition would be perfect (it has ADC, fits Cube, supports CI), but it's almost impossible to find one - ultra rare card, and it requires VRM mod IIRC.
     
  7. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #7
    I do have several ADC-->DVI converters, so that would not be a problem. And yes, they are very expensive to buy.

    Thanks for the recommendation on the vendor for the 6200.

    I'm not well versed on what Core Image is most valuable for. Can you enlighten me so that I can decide whether I should have it?

    Thanks!
     
  8. zen.state, Mar 25, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011

    zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #8
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Core_Image

    The 6200 also supports Core Video and Core Animation

    The simplest terms to put it in is they are OS level enhancements that when given the proper GPU take different type of graphic rendering and use the GPU to crunch them. This frees up the CPU to have more speed for other things. Thats what I mean when I said it's like having an extra CPU. It makes everything faster. How fast a web page scrolls or a window minimizes down to how well video plays or how smooth graphic transitions work. Anything 2D and non game or 3D oriented.

    If you don't have core image and you run 10.5 it used the CPU to do what the GPU should do and slows everything down a bit. On 10.4 if you don't have a core image GPU it simply just disables the feature.
     
  9. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    OK, I still have the same question...

    After looking at pictures of the end of the nVidea 6200 card (particularly the one posted by zen.state), I'm not convinced it will fit the openings for the video connectors in the cube case. As I look at my cube with the ATI Rage 128, there is really no room to spare on either side of the VGA/ADC connectors. When I look at the 6200, which has VGA, DVI, and S-video, it seems the total distance from the end of the VGA connector to the end of the DVI connector is definitely larger than the distance from one end of the VGA to the other end of the ADC connectors on the ATI. I do see a version for sale on e-bay that only has VGA & DVI, but the listing says it specifically will not work in the cube.

    Has anyone actually put an nVidea 6200 in a Cube? Is there a specific version that fits without modification?
     
  10. zen.state, Mar 26, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011

    zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #10
    That card is a low profile which makes it about half the size of any Radeon card. If he says it fits the Cube then it does. He tests all these cards in the actual systems they are listed as compatible for. He also sells another 6200 that is a standard profile (same size as an average Radeon) card and it is not listed as cube compatible.

    The image shown for compatible systems in that auction I first linked to for the low profile card:
    [​IMG]

    I am no Cube expert as I don't even own one and never have but as I said that seller is very reliable and never claims compatibility that doesn't exist.

    There are specific Cube forums out there that can verify that card will work. Google and find out for yourself.
     
  11. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #11
    Apple Radeon 7500 fits the cube, but you have to use it without faceplate or make a custom one. It has ADC, but not Core Image.
     
  12. AtmChm thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Thanks for the additional info. I believe the 6200 *fits* in the cube, but the back plate may have to modified for the video connectors to be accessed.

    I have done a lot of web research the last few days on this card and others. There seem to be three types of cards for the Cube:

    1. too large, doesn't fit
    2. small enough to fit, but some face plate and/or cube back plate modifications necessary
    3. Fits in the cube and connectors line up w/o modification.

    I'm really only interested in #3 as I don't want to *modify* the cube, just *upgrade* it. From what I can tell the 6200 falls into category #2, which is too bad since it seems like a very nice card. The Radeon 7500 also falls into category #2, and there are special brackets you can buy to mount this card in a cube.

    Thanks again for all the info from everyone. At this point I think I am going to go for the GeForce 3. It fits in the cube with no modifications and will accomplish what I want: better graphics performance and able to drive a 23" HD display. I may e-mail the seller you mention zen.state and see if he knows what modifications have to be done to get the 6200 to line up in the Cube. If it's not too difficult, I may get that one for my second Cube.
     
  13. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    #13
    Thats what you should have done to begin with and save yourself all this wondering.

    Why you would want a slower system just to avoid some minor modification that may or may not need to be done is a mystery to me.
     
  14. cube macrumors G5

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #14
    The only upgrades that match the original faceplate are the Apple GeForce 2 MX or the Apple GeForce 3.
     
  15. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #15
    The 6200 will fit without modification into the cube, however you will have to remove the bracket entirely. Thus, the card is "loose" and only secured from the AGP slot and nothing else. It works fine, but can be dangerous if you tend to move your computer around while its on, causing the card to possibly short in the AGP slot.

    There used to be an individual who made custom brackets for the 6200, however I doubt that many still exist.
     
  16. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #16
    Almost any graphics card bracket is quite easy to mod to fit Cube. All you need is drill and hacksaw (or dermel). It's about 30 mins (maximum) for mid-techy person. I've done few of them for 7500 and GF2 MX Twinview.
     

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