Flashing a Fx4500 for a G5

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Energybutton, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Energybutton macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #1
    Hi I'm new to the forum but not to Mac's although this is my first time flashing a graphics card to work in a Mac. I recently upgraded to a Late 2005 G5 Dual Core 2.3Ghz (Quad's in the UK are still Mac Pro '06 money). Anyways I found the GeForce 6600 currently in the machine underwhelming so I decided to try my hand at flashing a FX4500, I purchased one off eBay (BIOS Version 5.70.02.41.03) and tried to flash it, NVFlash reported a successful flash but when installed in my G5 the display is scrabbled so obviously something went wrong during the flash but I just wanted to make sure I had a "Flashable" card before I tried again, if anyone could shed any light on this it would be much appreciated!

    Thanks
    Aaron.
     
  2. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    Ohio
    #2
    Is the scrabbling just on the top display?
    Is the GPU power cable inserted?
     
  3. Energybutton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #3
    Hi,

    Thanks for getting back to me. The whole display is scrabbled not just the top. I have used both a 6 to 6 pin apple cable connected to the logic board then I tried a molex cable to 6 pin connected to where the optical drive is connected with no success. There are also no other cards in the machine sucking power so I doubt that's a problem either.
     
  4. rabidz7 macrumors 65816

    rabidz7

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    Ohio
    #4
    When the mac is on does the GPU fan turn on?
     
  5. Energybutton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #5
    Hi,

    When the power button is pressed the fan spins to full RPM till about the time the USB ports are powered then it spins down to idle RPM.
     
  6. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #6
    Wrong card. There were 2 flavors of 4500: with one sided and two sided memory chips. First works with MP ROM, second one works with PPC. Yours seems to be the first type.
    You could probably make a custom ROM for it using PC BIOS. Check Nvidia ROM editing section on Themacelite and good luck.
     
  7. Energybutton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #7
    I guess I should have done some more research.. I had quite a lot of trouble getting my computer to POST after flashing it but after a lot of patience and a fair bit of swearing I managed to get it flashed back to PC, I then attempted to modify the Mac ROM with the instructions on The Mac Elite site but that didn't work either (no display and the Graphics card fan on full RPM) is there anyone on the forum, or outside the forum that does ROM editing that I should speak to?

    I've currently put the FX4500 back to the stock ROM. I may be upgrading my machine to a 06' Mac Pro at the end of April so I might just hold onto the card until then and use it to immediately replace the GeForce 7300 GT that'll no doubt come with it.

    It would be nice to get the FX4500 working in the G5 for the mean time though, anyone have any suggestions? :apple::confused:
     
  8. Colpeas macrumors 6502

    Colpeas

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2011
    Location:
    Prague, Czech Rep.
    #8
    Yes, sell your Quadro and get ATI X1900 or X1950XT, which is a better card for day to day use IMO (smokes FX4500 in everything except pro apps)

    My G5 is currently rocking Sapphire x1950XT 256MB flashed with a modified X1900 ROM and is blazing fast! These cards are dirt cheap nowadays and work like a charm in all PCI-E G5s. If you're interested, I still have the PPC ROM for X1950XT.
    Look for models with dual-slot cooling, though, as they're significantly quieter than their single-slot siblings...
     
  9. Energybutton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #9
    That might be a good call actually. If you could send me the X1950XT ROM it would be much appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Aaron
     
  10. Graveyard macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Romania
    #10
    Is there any way you could send me the rom too? I have found the exact same graphics card you mentioned but the ppc rom i found says it's meant for agp cards while this one is pci-e.
     
  11. Colpeas macrumors 6502

    Colpeas

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    #11
    Here it is. I got this file from user named Thorns, so all credit goes to him.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. Graveyard macrumors regular

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    #12
    Thank you. As soon as i get the videocard, i'll flash it and post the results here.
     
  13. Energybutton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #13
    After you're suggestion of a X1950 XT I went on eBay and found a nice Sapphire branded X1950 XT with Dual slot cooling, I managed to win it the other day for £33! When it arrives I'll let you know how I get on. Thanks for the ROM.
     
  14. Colpeas macrumors 6502

    Colpeas

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    Sep 30, 2011
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    Prague, Czech Rep.
    #14
    If it is the one with a picture of a silver robotic woman on the cover, you got the right one. Or, if someone peeled off the sticker, a woman with a sword should be there instead...

    I was lucky and got my card for shi*ty 450CZK, which is like £15. It was in an auction and no one seemed to want it even for 500CZK (which was a starting price) so I asked the seller if he would sell it for less. And lo and behold, he agreed :)

    I hope the ROM will work for you the same as it worked for me. I recommend you to backup the original ROM from your X1950XT, though. Just in case that something went wrong. Use CPU-Z to do it.
     
  15. Energybutton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #15
    The card I bought has a silver robotic woman on the cooler, I've included a link below.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ATI-Radeo...nLvk0CWvEro7y0UgvjwqU%3D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

    Personally I don't mind paying £30 odd for a Graphics card when Inferior genuine Apple cards are still over £100, you got yours for a steal though!

    I would be using ATIFlash to backup the original ROM and flash the new mac ROM is there any advantage to using CPU-Z to backup the ROM file?

    I've also picked up a FireGL X3 to flash for my other G5 that has AGP graphics since it's the only X800 based card that has digital output once flashed.

    Again, thanks for your help!
     
  16. Energybutton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #16
    Well I received my card today, backed up the ROM and went for a flash, once the flash was complete I stuck it into my G5 and turned it on, Nothing is displayed on screen fans are going at full blast, using a DVI 20" Apple Display but it does chime and it does seem to be recognised by OSX.

    [​IMG]

    I attempted to reflash the card back to windows and attempt it again to find my flashing machine won't post with the card installed, no beeps, nothing.

    Can anyone help?
     
  17. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    The Philippines...
    #17
    How about moving the ATI card to x16 slot?
     
  18. Energybutton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #18
    Initially it was in the x16 slot but when I couldn't get an output from the card I moved it to slot-2 to see if the system would boot with the card installed and to check to see if it had been recognised at all. I'll try plugging the X1950 XT into a VGA monitor when I get home from work tonight to see if I can get it to display anything. If not I'll return to trying to flash it back to PC to start over again.
     
  19. Colpeas macrumors 6502

    Colpeas

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    Prague, Czech Rep.
    #19
    Well, I don't know exactly what method you have used, but this is what worked for me:

    1) I installed the card into x16 Slot-1 in a Mac Pro (but any PC should work just as well, I just didn't have any other x86 PC around)
    2) Burn a bootable CD with Win95 DOS environment
    3) create a small FAT partition with atiflash.exe and X1950MAC.rom
    4) restart the computer and boot from the Win95 CD
    5) Command prompt interface should apperar. When it does, type in this
    Code:
    C:\
    DIR
    6) a list of files saved on your FAT partition should appear. If you see both atiflash.exe and the ROM file, proceed to the next step
    7) type this:
    Code:
    atiflash.exe -p -f 0 X1950MAC.ROM
    8) voilà, your card is flashed. The G5 should recognize the card correctly now.

    Known bugs: image is shifted to the right when the monitor is connected through a DVI-VGA adapter.

    However, in case needed the original PC VBIOS, i have one working that I could send you.
     
  20. Energybutton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #20
    I used a pen drive loaded with FreeDOS, I had atiflash and the ROM on the same partition, I did backup the original ROM. I then typed,

    atiflash -p 0 X1950MAC.ROM -f

    As per The Mac Elites instructions

    After a few seconds I was asked to reboot the computer
    I Rebooted the computer and moved the card into the G5 and it wouldn't display anything.

    I will attempt to get my computer to post with the card tonight and flash it back to stock then attempt the flash again.

    The only other thing I can think of is that the original ROM is 128k and the Mac ROM is 64k would that make a difference?
     
  21. Colpeas macrumors 6502

    Colpeas

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    Prague, Czech Rep.
    #21
    No, I don't think the size of the ROM is relevant. As long as the chip has enough capacity to store the VBIOS you are trying to write onto it, it should work just fine. It wouldn't if it was vice versa, but that's obvious.
    How do you think I would flash mine if this was a problem, anyway?

    Perhaps try my method and follow it to the point. Since I flashed several cards this way and always with 100% success, I see no reason why it shouldn't work for you as well.
    Furthermore, I don't think there was a revision of X1950XT 256 that would require an unique, different VBIOS. At least I haven't came across one. Not once. Ever.
     
  22. 666sheep, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013

    666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #22
    Change device ID in Mac ROM to one from PC BIOS, reflash the card and it will work.
     
  23. Colpeas, Apr 4, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2013

    Colpeas macrumors 6502

    Colpeas

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    Sep 30, 2011
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    Prague, Czech Rep.
    #23
    Don't all the X1950XT 256MBs have the same DevID? Just curious, because honestly, I flashed 5 of these cards without having to change jack in the ROM. I only used Hexedit once to modify the ROM for X1900GT, but that's all...
     
  24. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #24
    Theoretically they should... X1900 series had DID hardwired IIRC (resistors on PCB), so best is to check what's in original BIOS.
     
  25. Energybutton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 13, 2013
    #25
    I checked the Device ID but they're both 7244, The only one I can see that is different is the Subsystem ID which is 0B12 on the PC but 7240 on the Mac ROM, I've changed this on the ROM (8th line between 0210 and 4472).

    I haven't tried flashing it as I ran out of time but I'll give it a go tonight, I'm also going to rebuild my bootable flash drive with Windows 95 DOS and see how I get on with that.

    Thanks for all the help guys!
     

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