Flashing A Quadro FX 4500 For Power Mac G5 Compatibility

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by SuperKerem, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. SuperKerem, Sep 5, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017

    SuperKerem macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    Oct 29, 2012
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    #1
    Prerequisites:
    - Nvidia Quadro FX 4500
    - PC or Mac Pro with a PCI Express slot
    - USB flash drive
    Windows is required to create the bootable USB.

    Download: https://goo.gl/Ow66FG
    Note: Only the Quadro FX 4500 revision with a metal L-shaped piece on the back of the card can be flashed for compatibility with Late 2005 Power Mac G5s. This revision is known as having 'double-sided RAM'. The newer revision contains RAM on only the top side of the card and is incompatible.

    1. Install and launch the 'HP USB Storage Format Tool' executable
    - Specify your USB drive and select 'FAT32'
    - Select 'Create a DOS startup disk'
    - Select 'USB DOS Image' folder
    - Click 'Start'
    - DOS is now bootable on your USB drive.

    (Your USB drive may appear to be empty. This is because Windows Explorer is set to hide system files by default.)

    2. Copy 'quadro.rom', 'nvflash.exe' and 'cwsdpmi.exe' (in 'nvFlash 5.67' folder) to the root directory of the USB drive.

    Your USB drive is now ready to use.

    3. Connect a display to the FX 4500. It must be the only PCIe card in your PC or Mac Pro.
    - Restart your computer and boot to the USB drive (enter boot manager on startup)
    - DOS should load with the prompt 'a:\>' or 'c:\>'
    - To initiate the reprogramming, carefully type:
    - Press the enter key, accept the onscreen confirmation prompts, and nvFlash will commence. Do not interrupt.

    4. Turn off your PC or Mac Pro and replace the Quadro FX 4500 into the Power Mac G5.

    If this worked for you, feel free to reply to this thread!
     
  2. LarsG5 macrumors member

    LarsG5

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    Aug 10, 2016
    #2
    Duuuuuuude, you're my God!

    Everything worked perfectly!

    Picture 4.png
     
  3. SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    #3
    You're now in the FX 4500 club! :cool:
     
  4. LarsG5 macrumors member

    LarsG5

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    Aug 10, 2016
    #4
    And it feeels awesome :3
     
  5. LAHegarty, Jan 10, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017

    LAHegarty macrumors member

    LAHegarty

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    #5
  6. LAHegarty macrumors member

    LAHegarty

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    #6
    Anyone who has flashed these cards, I'm looking for more info on them.
    Do both the DVI ports work on a flashed card?

    @LarsG5 Has reported only 1 of their 2 DVI ports appear to be working, has anyone else had this problem with flashed cards?
     
  7. Eriamjh1138@DAN, Jan 12, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017

    Eriamjh1138@DAN macrumors 6502

    Eriamjh1138@DAN

    Joined:
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    Location:
    BFE, MI
    #7
    Can someone post a pic of what card one should be looking for?

    There are some really cheap ones on eBay, but they don't show good pictures of the whole card, both sides, etc. I'm guessing MOST of them are the wrong kind of card.

    I have a PC and can probably easily flash a card like this.
     
  8. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    Florida
    #8
    You are going to want to find cards that have a silver looking heat sink on the back. These are the only ones that will work with a G5, the ones without the heat sink will work in a Mac Pro
     

    Attached Files:

  9. SuperKerem, Jan 15, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017

    SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    #9
    Updated the download link.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 15, 2017 ---
    Indeed, many on Ebay are likely to be incompatible. You should look for FX 4500s with a silver L-shaped metal piece on the back.
     
  10. Mileham macrumors member

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    Cascadia
    #10
    Thank you! Successfully upgraded.
     
  11. Bubalight macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2015
    #11
    It was 6 months ago, and I have since parted with the G5, but I had success flashing an OEM HP Quadro 4500 (HP p/n 395814-001) I just had to take the bracket off.
     
  12. SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    #12
    Awesome! Glad to help. :)
    --- Post Merged, Jan 18, 2017 ---
    Yeah, I had to do the same thing for my card.

    Fortunately, the G5 has a nice mounting system that will support the card whether it has the bracket or not. ;)
     
  13. macmee Suspended

    macmee

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    #13
    http://www.ebay.ca/itm/nVidia-Quadr...097544?hash=item2a7535f7c8:g:Dx4AAOSwHMJYKeOB

    hey do you know if this is compatible in the quad core G5? It has the L thing in the back.
     
  14. SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    #14
  15. macmee Suspended

    macmee

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    #15
    Thanks, just placed an order.

    I see the card supports SLI but I imagine there's absolutely no support for that on any powerpc, right?
     
  16. SuperKerem, Jan 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017

    SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    #16
    Nope, unfortunately not. Also, I believe the GPU won't improve the performance of the OS/UI, but of course, it will benefit applications.
     
  17. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #17
    You do reach a point of diminishing returns, but the GUI in OS X leverages the video card heavily for rendering the desktop. Again, past a point you the difference won't likely be noticeable in day-to-day use but a better card does make the system more responsive overall.
     
  18. SuperKerem, Jan 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017

    SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    #18
    As far as I know, PowerPC Macs do not incorporate hardware acceleration for the OS, and therefore I assume that UI elements are rendered by the CPU.
     
  19. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #19
    You would be very, very wrong on that assumption.

    OS X has incorporated Quartz Extreme for rendering the GUI since 10.2 and Core Image since 10.4. 10.11 added Metal.

    Try running a computer in Leopard with and without a core image GPU for a dramatic example. Then, put in a GPU that doesn't support Quartz Extreme(like a Rage 128) and watch the system drag to almost a halt.
     
  20. SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    #20
    TIL! In that case, I would be mistaken. Since I haven't noticed a UI performance gain between a stock 6600 LE and a high-end FX 4500 using my system, I had not thought twice about the correlation between GPU and UI animations.
     
  21. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #21
    As I said, past a certain point you get into diminishing returns with higher powered cards. The difference isn't that perceptible between a low end PCIe G5 card and the high end cards(X1900 and FX4500).

    On AGP G5s, though, moving from something like the Geforce FX5200(which was the standard shipping card in earlier systems) to a Radeon 9600XT will be noticeable.

    Also of interest is comparing something like a Geforce 4Ti to an FX5200 in Leopard. The 4Ti is a better card in basically every measurable way, but the FX5200(as terrible as it is) will outperform the 4Ti due to the latter's Core Image support. It gets even more interesting when you compare the awful Intel GMA950 used in a lot of early consumer level Intel Macs-once again it's a terrible GPU that gives acceptable performance because it supports Core Image.

    BTW, at least in Leopard look in System Profiler under Displays. There is a line that says "Core Image" and it will either say "software" or "hardware accelerated."

    The classic Mac OS going back to the Mac II(System 4) used QuickDraw hardware acceleration to render the desktop. Since it's a lot simpler and has a lot less "eye candy" than OS X, even something like a Rage Pro is more than enough to get good performance. It's pretty dramatic, though, when you compare the performance of OS 9 on older PCI systems using the on-board graphics vs. a separate GPU.
     
  22. SuperKerem thread starter macrumors 6502a

    SuperKerem

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    #22
    Very interesting, I see! I was just trying to say in my response that I had not thought twice about my misconception due to the gains being unapparent.

    It does makes sense that in the final revision of pro PowerPC Macs, even the lowest-end cards were sufficient to render the basic UI animations. Maybe with further OS support we'd have seen these cards being pushed to their limits!

    Also, although I had seen the Core Image support spec in System Profiler, it never meant much to me since I've never owned a classic PowerPC Mac - I'd always seen it as being "enabled". I appreciate the background info, it was most definitely a fruitful read.
     
  23. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    Manchester, UK
    #23
    As an aside, as it's a popular topic round these parts ... upgrading the GPU once you've got core image support won't help video playback. Rage 128 and upwards have MPEG2 assisted decode for DVD. To get H.264 hardware decode requires a late-2008ish and later Intel Mac with a nVidia or ATi GPU and OS X 10.6.3 onwards.
     
  24. macmee Suspended

    macmee

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    #24
    Yeah Leopard on my imac g4 was very sad, as it only has 32mb vram

    And yet Tiger runs amazing!
     
  25. macmee Suspended

    macmee

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    #25
    One thing I just noticed now is that I think I need to (somehow) hook up power to the card myself. Are you aware of anything like this and/or what else I might need to buy to pull that off?
     

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