Fastest graphics card for PowerMac G4 Digital Audio

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Giuly, May 15, 2011.

  1. Giuly, May 15, 2011
    Last edited: May 15, 2011

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    I need to use my PowerMac G4 for some time soon. It has a Rage 128 Pro graphics card, which is really useless nowadays, and the last component that needs an update (1.33GHz Sonnet CPU, 1.5GB RAM, 2x120GB 7200RPM IDE hard drives in RAID0, silent fans, faster SuperDrive, SATA card).

    I bought a GeForce4MX from a Quicksilver 2002ED, but I just ended up with a black screen, tried some time to make it work and finally gave up after flashing the newest firmware, installing driver updates, modifying dev-ids...

    Is there even anything faster than the stock GeForce 3 w/ 64MB RAM?
  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    If you don't need ADC, get 9700 or 9800 and flash it. If you need Dual DVI, get Fire GLX3 and flash it. If gaming isn't your goal and you prefer silence, get XFX 6200 WANG and flash it :p
  3. Giuly thread starter macrumors 68040


    Upgradin' like it's still Y2K, accompanied by the sweet sounds of a starting jumbo jet :rolleyes:

    Well, if anything up to the X850 will work, I guess I'm just SOL with the GF4MX. I'll try to get my hands on anything above the FX5200 which could be possibly passively cooled. :D
  4. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    * I assume because the ATI 9600, though passively cooled, may be hotter and thus adds to the overal heat making the fan run faster/louder. (9800 is actively cooled)

    Added info for people who search later and find this thread and stop their search here!

    Additional sources: (see all three pages)
  5. bunnspecial macrumors 603


    May 3, 2014
    I have only encountered one FireGL X3 that would work in a DA...and it's not leaving my sight :)

    If you don't need OS 9 compatibility and can get it to work, this is the most available choice and is miles ahead of a 9800, 6200, or some of the other cards tossed around.
  6. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Thanks, I know, but the FireGL X3 has a fan, if my memory serves me well(?), I was pointing at the "silent" option, the 6200, which was mentioned by @666sheep , hence I talked about the 9600, because it is passively cooled as well, but faster. But I assume 666sheep didn't come up with it, because it is probably hotter too and thus will - though not needing a fan itself - be speeding up the case fan.
    I am not sure though; would you say the 9600 is the fastest passively cooled card and still not a hot running card? Is it emitting a lot heat?
  7. benwild_33 macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2016
    I can tell you the 9800 Pro 100% works as I have one in my DA, they're really easy to flash too. I had issues with other cards not working first and found my DA was quite picky so watch out if you were to go the FireGL X3 route as they are quite expensive cards.
  8. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Thanks for the info.

    But I was talking about passive cooled cards, i.e. those without fans and I have never seen a 9800 without a fan, I also often read they are heat and power monsters. RE: passive cooled cards I argued that one could get a 9600 instead of the Nvidia 6200 that 666sheep recommended. I then made the assumption that the 9600 is probably hotter than the 6200 and adds to overal heat in the case making the case fan speed up, which might be why 666sheep didn't mention the 9600 and instead preferred the 6200, because he said "If gaming isn't your goal and you prefer silence, get XFX 6200 WANG and flash it".
  9. benwild_33 macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2016
    Yeah the 9800 gives off a lot of heat, the 9700 is a good middle ground and there was a passive version available (huge heat sink). The 6200 and 9600 perform very similarly with the 6200 possibly even being slightly faster. The cast fan on the DA isn't temperature controlled as far as I know, it just runs at a constant voltage.
  10. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    The one in my AGP G4 is and this site states that the QS 933MHz and the G4-AGP have the same 120mm case fan that is temperature regulated by a small resistor (a blue dot next to the center of the fan).
    Like this

    I am not sure though, I don't have a DA here.

    Does the 6200 have Core Image?

    Edit: ok it has
  11. mode11, Feb 24, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2018

    mode11 macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2015
    As mentioned above, the 9800pro is a fast card, the PC version can be bought very cheap, and they're easy to flash (I did mine in a PC, but I think it's possible in a Mac too). Their 'monstrous' heat / power reputation is probably a bit overblown by modern standards, going by the minuscule heatsink. I chucked a Zalman VF700 on mine and it's inaudible over the other fans (in a dual 1GHz QS).

    The PSU fan was by far the noisiest fan in my QS (it wasn't faulty, just not very quiet). Given the DA is essentially the same machine, it may be worth looking at in yours, if silence is the goal. I replaced the PSU fan with an 80mm Noctua Redux fan, and it works great. I made a simple adapter cable to go from the fan socket on the PSU's PCB, to the plug on the Noctua, so it's plug-n-play and easily reversible if necessary.

    The 6200WANG is great, but wouldn't wake from sleep in my Cube. May be fine in a DA. Not everyone uses Sleep anyway.
  12. Cox Orange, Feb 24, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2018

    Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Thank you @mode11 (and all the others)

    when I was mentioning the 9600 first in this thread I was adding info for the thread opener @Giuly who started the thread in 2011 (and I also added it for future reference). I don't posses a DA.

    Now that you mention it, memory comes back: yes the Zalman fan was the one most MDD users upgraded their 9800 with, right after the Artic Cooling ATI silencer, that is even used more often. It blows the heat out of a PCI-Slot-cover (I know you know, just adding the info for later readers). The Vantec Iceberg 4 Premium is also an alternative (but very rare and sought after).

    The heat problem of the 9800 seems to be the bigger problem for MDD users, though. In QS and DA it seems to be depending on wether there are additional upgrades (more HDDs, PCI-cards or even a CPU Upgrade, I remember @eyoungren 's yourney getting rid of the heat in his Upgraded QS).

    Yes, replacing the PSU fan with a newer fan of the same airflow (but with newer technology and less noise and not worn out) is always good. I did it in my AGP-G4, too. I used a noctua NF-R8 (the same like your redux. the redux just comes in grey colour and without extra stuff, like rubber isolation and so on).

    The exhaust fan of the PSU is also the main exhaust fan of the hole Mac and that goes for almost all PowerMac G4s (the MDD has the help of an extra fan that blows through the CPU-Cooler and straight out of the back). This seems at first stupid, since it heats up the PSU further and thus makes it more ineffective (when a PSU heats up, it draws more power). But it is probably somewhat smart by Apple in order to find a way to keep the design while not breaking it with a big fan that is visible from the outside.

    Of course you can use hot cards and there are multiple ways to change the cooling in the PowerMacs to make it quieter, but I didn't want to open that can of worms and was talking about getting a card that will keep the Mac silent at stock status and without doing cooling mods.

    Off topic: I created a thread to collect cooling mods for PowerMacs, but it is merely an unsorted collection of links atm...
    PS: there isn't a paraghrap that goes intensively into video card cooling, yet.
  13. mode11 macrumors regular


    Jul 14, 2015
    I initially looked for an Artic Cooling Silencer myself, as I like the idea of ejecting heat out the back, but the ones on eBay were silly money and / or didn't come with the brackets needed to attach them to a GPU. The Zalman only cost me £10 and works well, even turned down to minimum speed. It's comically big compared to the tiny factory heatsink, and is made from solid copper, so I have no worries about its cooling capacity.

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13 May 15, 2011