FLASH ATI Radeon 9800XT for Macintosh

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by br35, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. br35 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #1
    Equipment:

    Mac:Apple G5 Dual 1.8Ghz (June 2004)
    Monitor: Formac 2010 ADC
    Graphics Card:ATI Radeon 9800 XT 256MB AGP (Powercolor model XR98T-D3) PC Retail version
    ROM Chip in Graphics Card:25P05AV 9318C
    Rom used to flash the card:9800 MAC PRO 256 MB 134 ROM (full 128k rom)

    Additional Equipment:
    Apple DVI to ADC adapter

    I recently got an ATI Radeon 9800 XT second hand for a good price only to learn that i had to flash the card to work with the mac and also to buy an expensive DVI to ADC adapter.

    I flashed the card with the 9800 PRO MAC ROM using Graphiccelerator since i read that flashing it with the XT Rom would make the DVI port unusable. To flash i asked someone with Apple Remote Desktop to do it from another computer.

    After rebooting i sadly realized that my screen is so corrupted that i can't use it. I have tried several times ro re-flash the card but since i can't see anything that i'm doing it's very hard.

    The strange thing is when MAC OS X is booting, the screen will sometimes show up correctly (blank blue) but only for a fraction of a second, then it becomes all corrupted again.

    I believe i flashed the card with the right rom (128K). The number on the card's ROM CHIP is 25P05AV 9318C. Although i have read that this number refers to a 64K chip, when i first dumped the ROM it gave me a 128K PC file.

    For a while i hoped that perhaps the ROM that i used to flash the card set it to the wrong core/memoory frequencies but since i can't see the screen there seems to be no way to change these values either in Graphiccelerator or ATIcelerator II.

    I have now quit trying to get this card to work on my mac since i have been unable to find any answers on what i did wrong.
     
  2. Dave H macrumors 6502

    Dave H

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    California
  3. br35 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #3
    I will try it although i am not having much success using ATI multi flasher. I am using Universal Access to have the computer read the screen to me but pressing "Return" doesn't choose the "Yes" or "OK" buttons.

    I was able to download the rom you mention but not the ATI displays http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/21573

    Thanks.
     
  4. br35 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #4
    THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

    I re-flashed with the rom link you gave me and it's now working! I guess although the initial rom dump of the rom that was in the card showed rom size as being 128k it is actually 64k.

    Are those ATI tools really necessary?

    Thanks again!!!
     
  5. Dave H macrumors 6502

    Dave H

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #5
    You're welcome.

    The 134 ROM didn't work on my 9800XT either, but the 130 version did.

    Based on the ROM chip's part number and the "ATI Multi Dumper" utility producing a 128k file, it's very likely you have a 128k chip.

    If you don't have any unusual problems using the card, then you may not need to install ATI Displays.
    Edit: Corrected link http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/atidisplays4-5-7.aspx
    It redirected to an unrelated page at first, but I went back to it a couple of times and then it worked.

    Edit:You may be able to update to the full 130 ROM with "ATI Mac ROM Update Aug 2005", which is available at http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/macdrivers/files/
    They require a (free) Yahoo.com account to access the downloads.
    Note: The 2005 ROM Update only contains full ROMs, and must not be used on a card with a 64K chip!
     
  6. br35 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #6
    I followed the links you posted and they both work. I didn't install ATI Displays since i really don't have any problems with the card now.

    I DID install the "ATI Mac ROM Update Aug 2005" which updated the card's ROM file. I assume this confirms that the card has a 128K chip.

    Something did change though: On Apple System Profiler it now shows the information that the card has 128MB VRAM. Before this update, with the 130 ROM you originally informed me of, Apple System Profiler used to say 256MB VRAM, which is what the seller of the card told me it had.

    Does this mean even if the card has 256MB VRAM it is now using only 128MB?

    Apple System Profiler Info:

    "ATI Radeon 9800 Pro:

    Chipset Model: ATY,R350
    Type: Display
    Bus: AGP
    Slot: SLOT-1
    VRAM (Total): 128 MB
    Vendor: ATI (0x1002)
    Device ID: 0x4e48
    Revision ID: 0x0000
    ROM Revision: 113-A07525-130"

    Thank you so much for the help you have been giving me. I got so frustrated trying to get this card to work that i had given up hope.
     
  7. Dave H macrumors 6502

    Dave H

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    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #7
  8. br35 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #8
    Thanks. Again. :)

    I installed this latest 128k 256MB ROM you pointed to and it's working fine. Now i'll begin two more quests: fan replacement and overclocking.
     
  9. br35 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #9
    Fan Replacement

    The fan on the Ati Radeon 9800 XT was indeed very noisy so i replaced it with a Zalman VF900-cu vga cooler. I had to replace the plug that connects the cooler to the card and sandblast a plastic part of a screw that didn't fit the cooler as it was supposed to but other than that it was a fairly easy job. Now the fan makes no noise at all. If anyone has one of the ATI cards and wants to replace the fan i definitely recommend the zalman.

    PLus with the new fan working so well i finally ventured into overclocking the card.
     
  10. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #10
    Since you got a better cooler, you can download ATIccelerator II(if you haven't already) to use for the overclocking of ATI cards. Just don't go too high or you could fry your card.
     
  11. br35 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #11
    Thanks. I'm already using it. I bumped the processor up to 438,75MHz (a 25% increase) and the memory to 389,25MHZ (a 20% increase). Seems to be working with no artifacts.

    I don't know how much is safe to overclock. I had so much work getting this card to work i don't want to "fry it" :)
     
  12. br35 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2009
    #12
    Once in a while i turn on my computer and the screen is sort of scrambled (see picture attached).

    Does anyone know why this happens? It only started happening with the ATI card and it only happens a couple of times a week. I usually have to restart or, if that doesn't work, physically remove the card and put it back. It does this WITH and WITHOUT overclocking through ATIccelerator.

    Thanks.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #13
    Probably what happened to my 9800 Pro. Needs more/better thermal paste for a better contact with the heat sink. But it looks like it's probably from over heating. Better hope it's not permanent.
     
  14. br35 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #14
    Hmmm... you think? It doesn't happen when it's been working for a long time...both times it happened right after i turned it on.

    I already installed the zalman fan with heat sinks on the memory chips (on one side because the other has a metal panel covering them).

    I used most of the thermal paste that came with the zalman fan. Either i get a bigger amount of it or i install another fan close to the graphics card.

    Maybe i used too much thermal paste... i found this on wikipedia:

    "It is always important not to apply too much metal thermal paste to the CPU/GPU as excessive amount of applied thermal grease can act as a thermal isolator, and thereby lowering the capacities of cooling power."
     
  15. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    Sep 16, 2007
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    Northeastern Ohio
    #15
    Too much paste isn't a good thing either. It just creates better contact between the processor and heat sink so it can transfer the heat away from the processor more efficiently.
     
  16. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    Thermal Paste is just designed to make the surface flat, filling in any tiny scratches etc, not a paste.
     
  17. br35 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #17
    Artifacts started showing up so I decided to re-apply the thermal paste since I read in the Zalman website that about half of the tube they supply with the fan is enough. When I first installed the fan I hadn't read this and had used about 80% of the supplied thermal paste. I suspected this is why artifcats were showing up on screen so I took the fan apart from the card, cleaned the thermal paste and re-applied what little thermal paste I still had left.

    I also installed 4 heat sinks i had left over on the bottom side of the card. I hadn't installed these the first time because there is a copper plate covering the bottom side of the memory chips on my card so i assumed it wasn't necessary. This time I applied them anyway, glued onto the copper plate.

    Hopefully the thiner layer of thermal paste and a total of 8 heat sinks (my card only has 4 memory chips so I know have these on both sides) would make the cooling easier.

    No artifacts have been showing up since this so I assume the card was acting funny because it had too much thermal paste and perhaps too few heatsinks.
     
  18. beardman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #18
    9800XT Similar Problem

    I also just purchased a 9800XT, but for my G4 1Ghz Dual (Quicksilver)

    I was able to flash the rom on the mac (via a VNC client) from my pc, but I must have used the wrong ROM.

    Now, the mac will not boot at all with the 9800 in it. If I put the original GeForce card back in, it works perfectly.

    My Windows based machine doesn't have an AGP slot, so I am unable to flash using that machine.

    Am I now just stuck or is there another way to flash the rom using the MAC?

    Any help is appreciated.

    Joel
     
  19. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #19
    Did you tape pins 3 & 11 on the backside of the card? The Quicksilver needs the pins taped as the card will run 8x while the QS only supported 4x AGP cards.

    See here for details.
     
  20. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #20
    Without the pins taped a QS won't even start.

    BTW...that wood table under the card in pix....is on my back porch. The table is a little more weathered now.
     
  21. beardman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #21
    Taped

    I did tape these pins. I thought that I might have done it incorrectly, so I have done it 3-4 times now.

    Although, the first time that I put the card int he QS, I was able to boot with no problem, that is when I connected to it through VNC.

    No I have any options for flashing this ROM?

    Thank you in advance.

    Joel
     
  22. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #22
    1. We need to BE CLEAR on this. Not taping pins will mean the computer won't start, as in NO SIGNS OF LIFE AT ALL. No "Ding", no drives whirring, NOTHING.

    A bad rom will have the computer go through the motions, but nothing will appear on screen.

    My guess is that you used wrong ROM or put a 128K ROM on a 64K chip.

    You WILL NEED A PC to fix, if that is he case.

    If through VNC, there is no sign in system profiler of 9800XT, then it is bad flash.

    ROM 130 is right one.
     
  23. beardman macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #23
    Thank you

    Yes, the computer acts like it is going to start up, but fails. I may have accidentally used a 128K ROM.

    I will have to track down someone with a PC with an AGP slot.

    Thank you again.

    Joel
     
  24. br35 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #24
    I was able to re-flash the card using "voiceover" which makes the computer read aloud what is showing up on screen, so i wasn't tottaly "blind" while doing it. It has been working since then but sometimes i get many artifacts on screen and have to re-boot or physically remove the card and re-install it. Other than this problem it works fine.

    I didn't tape any pins on the card but i have a G5. I did read in several places online that to have the card work properly on a G4 you do need to tape some pins.
     
  25. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

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    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #25
    Sounds like a heat issue. Does the video card still have the factory heatsink/fan? They tend to crap out over time. Try removing it and cleaning off the older thermal paste. Apply new paste and go through a few hot/cold cycles. See if the artifacts go away then.
     

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