Flashing An ATI Radeon 9800 Pro

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by AltiVecG4, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. AltiVecG4 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 14, 2013
    #1
    Hi,

    I am looking to upgrade my graphics card in my PowerMac G4 MDD. Due to the high pricing of Mac compatible graphics cards, I have opted to flash a card myself. I have decided on the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128MB. I have been doing a lot of research, but everything I find is from around 2006/7, and software versions have changed and are not the same. I have some questions.

    1. The quickest and easiest method seems to be using aticcelerator II, but I can't find any guides online. Has anybody had any experience with this? I have downloaded and installed, but I can only get it to overclock my current graphics card. How can you use this to flash a PC card to Mac.

    2. To get video while flashing could I use my ATI Rage 128 Pro from a PowerMac G3 B&W? Would this work?

    3. I have found two roms online, one 64kb, and one 128kb. What one do I use?

    Thanks for the help! If I think of anymore questions I will post them here!
     
  2. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #2
    1) Graphiccelerator is the one you want. ATI Multi Flasher is in the ATI Tools folder. Supposedly, it will work under Leopard, but I would avoid that if possible. Use Tiger with a safe boot or, better yet, Panther if you still have a bootable copy.

    2) Yes, a PCI Rage will let you see what you're doing.

    3) It depends on the size of the ROM chip. I used DOS flashrom to verify my ROM size since I purchased the card used and wanted to test it in a PC anyway in order to verify that it was good. I think I recall that there is a way to determine the ROM size when it's installed in a Mac, but I can't recall what that is at the moment. Hopefully, someone else can answer this part of the question. (Note: It might seem like a straightforward approach to simply Google the markings printed on the chip itself, but I don't think that's 100%. IIRC, some of these cards were sold with mislabeled chips.)
     
  3. CapnCrunch53 macrumors member

    CapnCrunch53

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    #3
    If I remember right, a lot of the PC cards only had 64KB for the ROM, while the Mac ones were all 128KB. If you can't figure out how to check what ROM size your card supports, I'd just go with a reduced 64KB one; these have been modified to fit on 64KB.

    I flashed a PC 9800 Pro 128MB for my MDD a few months ago and used one of the 64KB reduced ROMs. You can find them here; I don't recall if I used the Sprinter or the Gotoh one, but whichever I used, it worked and still works perfectly.
     
  4. AltiVecG4, Oct 15, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013

    AltiVecG4 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Thanks! I had also installed Graphiccelerator, but it wouldn't open on my Leopard machine! I shall install panther on my Quicksilver and flash the graphics card on there instead. I have found these instructions:

    'Launch Graphiccelerator (under OS X), choose Open Flasher, select ATI Multi Flasher, then the 9800 ROM. After that, restart in OS 9, launch the flasher, answer 'yes' to confirm and restart! Note however that I don't know how the flasher behaves if there are multiple Radeon cards in the Mac; verify the card in Slot-1 (AGP) will be the one flashed before clicking Yes! If someone tries, please keep me informed so I can update the page if necessary.'

    Are these all I have to do, aside from taping pins three and eleven? I assume the steps would be the same for an ATI Radeon X800 Pro also?
     
  5. AltiVecG4, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013

    AltiVecG4 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Would a PNY GeForce PCI 6200 work in a G4 if properly flashed? Would it even make a difference? This is on top of a X800 Pro/9800.
     
  6. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #6
    A PCI 6200, no. Some AGP 6200's work when flashed.
     
  7. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #7
    It has been a few years, but I don't recall having to use OS9 at all. Maybe you have one of the earlier versions? I do remember that it's a little cumbersome. There is a "run me first" app, which, as the name implies, needs to be run first. Then I think you have to open ATI Multi Flasher from within Graphiccelerator? As long as you get the right ROM loaded and you're using Panther, there isn't much that can go wrong, though. It will ask for confirmation before doing anything.

    Edit: Give me a few hours. I'll flash one this afternoon to refresh my memory (heh, my read only memory, that is). I was planning to flash one for my G5 anyway.
     
  8. Swampus, Oct 16, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013

    Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #8
    I just flashed a FireGL X3 in an MDD booted to Panther and used a Radeon 9200 PCI card to see what I was doing.

    I'm using Graphiccelerator version 1.3.4 which includes ATI Multi Flash version 8.7.

    You cannot, as I was quickly reminded, run this from the disk image. It has to be on a writable drive. I simply dragged the folder to my desktop.

    I did things in this order:

    -ran the "run it first" app (found in the ATI Tools folder).

    -launched Graphiccelerator and clicked the "Open ROM..." button and then navigated to the desired ROM file. I then clicked "save".

    -I tried clicking on the "Open ATI Flasher..." button because I thought that I remembered doing it that way before. It didn't work, though. So I just double clicked on the ATI Flasher app itself. A window pops up asking if I want to "flash R420 in SLOT-1". I click yes. The same yes/no option then comes up for SLOT-3 (where my PCI card is) and I click no. ("SLOT-1" is the AGP and there is very little risk of accidentally flashing the wrong card. It will ask for each ATI card installed, starting with the AGP slot.)

    No OS9 was involved at all. I think those instructions you found must have been for an earlier version.

    To me, the most tedious thing about doing this was taping the pins. It's not something that I normally do, but I didn't want to remove resistors since it's for use in my G5 (already installed and working very well--Way better than the GeForce FX5200 that I had stuck in there!).

    If anything does go wrong with the flash, though, a DOS PC with an AGP slot will be needed to recover the card. You really only get one shot when doing it on a Mac. In my own personal experience, I've never had a problem doing this in Panther. I've also done a couple in Tiger with a safe boot. My only two botched attempts were done from Leopard. But both of those could be recovered in DOS. Well, there was actually a third failure that could not be recovered, but I think that was just a bad card to begin with.
     
  9. AltiVecG4 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 14, 2013
    #9
    Thanks very much! That's a coincidence as I was planning on getting a 9800 for practice, and then upgrading to a FireGL X3! I'm the exact same way on the pins! I have installed Panther on my QS and am just waiting for the card. Thanks again!
     
  10. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #10
    You could probably find a cheaper card than a 9800 to practice on! You'll like the X3 in your MDD, though. I've had one in mine for a few years.
     
  11. AltiVecG4 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    I know, but I wanted to put the 9800 in my QS after I got the X3. I'm really looking forward to the graphics improvement! I'm also planning on buying a SATA card and a 64GB SSD, and maxing out the RAM. This thing should fly when I am finished with it!
     
  12. AltiVecG4 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
  13. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #13
    Differences are: device ID, clocks, number of pipelines.
    X800 Pro can be flashed with XT ROM with some minor edits. Major downside is analog-only signal on all X800 series after flashing with Mac ROM.
     
  14. AltiVecG4 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Oct 14, 2013
    #14
    Yeah, I have just received my BFG GeForce 7800 GS OC to flash using graphiccelerator, only to find out the ROM is not compatible! It only cost me £3.49 so I considered attempting to flash it using a standard GS rom, although later decided not to. I am hoping to get a standard 7800 GS now, and then get the X3. One last question, did you use the 64KB ROM for the FireGL X3? Not the rom for a X800XT. I have read about many flashing this with a X800XT ROM.
     
  15. abbotkinneydude macrumors member

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    #15
    9600 vs. 9800

    Hello everyone,

    I've replaced the originals RADEON 9000 in my two MDDs with 2 RADEON 9600 (originally PC but flashed to MAC; 256MB Vram).

    Is the 9600 supposed to be inferior to the 9800?

    Just wondering.

    Thanks.
     
  16. zackkmac macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Yes. Think of the 9600 as a nice mid-range card and the 9800 as a high-end. The 9800 is a lot better for gaming.
     
  17. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #17
    Correct. This is the exact ROM that I used. I wonder it if might have been unclear wording in some of what you've read? It's true that you're basically flashing it to (to function as) an X800XT, but, as far as I know, you want to use the one labeled FireGL X3 when flashing a FireGL X3.
     
  18. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #18
    Yeah, I tend to agree with zakkmac's statement that the 9800 would be better for gaming (or 3D applications). For 2D, I think you're fine with your 9600.

    Forgive me, but it's bedtime, so I'm going to be lazy and copy what I just wrote in another thread:

     
  19. ekiro macrumors regular

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    Oct 25, 2013
    #19
    Sounds risky as hell. Why would you do this? REALLY?
     
  20. Swampus macrumors 6502

    Swampus

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    #20
    The payoff is obvious. With the exception of a very very rare build to order option (The Radeon 9700), no G4 towers shipped with a video card capable of hardware accelerated Core Image. Under Leopard, a Core Image card means a dramatic improvement to the entire system. Obviously, you get better graphics, but it also frees up CPU cycles that can then be used elsewhere. Aftermarket options dried up a long time ago and are increasingly difficult to find on the used market. They were also more expensive and sometimes less capable than their PC counterparts.

    This risk isn't very high if you do some research to make sure that you're getting a compatible card, especially considering how little these older PC video cards are going for used today. Flashing on a Mac isn't as reliable as flashing it on a DOS PC, but a failed attempt usually only means that you will have to fix it on a DOS PC (So, yeah, that can be risky depending upon one's access to a DOS PC).

    But this is all very well documented now. The real risk takers were those who pioneered the effort and took the time to share their knowledge with the rest of us.
     

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