G4 Video Card Options?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by cave12man, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. cave12man macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Location:
    avalon, nj
    #1
    Have a G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) and was wondering what my options are for a video card upgrade. Currently im running a GeForce4 Ti 4600 128 mb card and want to upgrade to something a little better although with so many options im not 100% sure which would be better than what i have while still being relatively cheap. Through a little bit of research ive found some cards like the Radeon's 9600 and 9800 PRO for mac but at $200+ its a little steap for me right now. Ive also heard of some cards that have been flashed for mac use but a little hesitant about them. Any one have any ideas? Maybe something im not thinking of or possibly some sites that have some better deals? Up for anything right now.

    Many thanks.
     
  2. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #2
    The Geforce 4Ti was once THE card to have in that machine, so you're already starting off strong...the Radeon 9700 Mac Edition, Radeon 9800 PRO Mac Edition (or a flashed equivalent) will give you slightly better performance in some areas and has Core Image support for OS X.

    Radeon 9600 variants probably won't work in that machine (EXCEPT for the 9600 PC + Mac Edition), and anyway they would be a drop in performance except for Core Image support.

    I believe the Radeon X800XT and Radeon X850XT Mac Edition cards, as well as the GeForce 6800GT and 6800 Ultra Mac Editions will work if you tape two of the pins to throttle the card back to AGP 4x rather than the stock 8x.

    Otherwise, you have some good options IF you are willing to do some homework and flash your own card. These can be flashed, some easier than others:

    GeForce FX 5200/5500
    Radeon 9800XT
    Radeon X800XT
    Radeon X850XT
    FireGL X2
    FireGL X3
    GeForce 6800 Ultra
    GeForce 6800GT
    GeForce 6800GS (only early versions)
    GeForce 7800GS (only early versions)

    ROMs can be downloaded here and the same site has some helpful instructions.
     
  3. cave12man thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2007
    Location:
    avalon, nj
    #3
    awesome man thanks for the info. kind of figured this is the position id be in. ill probably put the video card on hold for a while since it seems id be paying a lot of money for not that much more of a performance boost. flashing my own cards seems a little too hairy for me and ive heard that if you dont know what you're doing you can seriously fry your machine and with my luck, id be that guy. if i can find one relatively cheap ill pick up a radeon 9800 but till then ill wait.

    again man thanks for the time!
     
  4. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #4
    You should be able to snag a Radeon 9800 PRO pretty cheap on ebay, it it is the easiest card to flash and still gives good performance in a G4. I have a 6800GT in my Digital Audio G4, it's a much faster card (overkill, really) but is a significantly more difficult flash.

    Unless you plan on keeping the G4 for a few years I don't advocate spending much on a video card. If you do a little research at the link I gave you you should be able to find a flashable 9800P PRO on ebay for less than $50 and you'll be up and running in no time.
     
  5. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #5
    The real question is - what do you need the video card upgrade for? The Geforce 4 series supports Quartz Extreme so your UI is already accelerated. It does not support Core Image, although that isn't really heavily used at the moment. If you play a lot of games on your MDD, then you might see an improvement moving to a 9800 Pro or even a 6800GT. But if you're just browsing the web, it might not be worth the trouble.
     

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