G5 Replacement Video Card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by exodius, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. exodius macrumors newbie

    Jun 14, 2004
    I'll post the details below, but right to the point. I have a Dual G5 with the stock video card. Video card died in the summer heat. I need to replace it. I have a few options:

    (1) Buy a cheap video card online and hope it works. I hear that video cards need special firmware to run with OSX, which makes me sad. I'd gladly shell out $50 for a new card to keep my trusty old G5 running.

    (2) Cannibalize the dual G4 computer I have which doesn't really need a video card anyway and plug it into the G5. It's an ATY,Rage128v card in a PCI, which should work in the G5.

    I have my MacBook to keep me working until the new Mac Pros come out (whenever that is), but my G5 is -- despite its age -- my workhorse computer with extra internal hard drives, productivity applications, and dual monitors. Option 1, even if it means shelling out for a video card I may have almost no use for in a few months, is by far my preferred option. I'm still using a G4 for light internet stuff and with the extra RAM and ROM I've packed into the G5 I expect it to be useful for at least a few years to come. $50 is a bargain for me.

    I'd rather leave my G4 as intact as possible but if it comes down to it, the G4 doesn't need the video card nearly as much as the G5 does. So option 2 starts sounding better once the price of a replacement video card reaches $100 or more.

    So, do I have any OTHER options? Thanks for any input.

    And the promised details from the G4. I can barely see the mouse moving on the G5's screens, let alone find System Profiler. (And I can't get screen sharing to work, either, though ssh works fine.)

    Hardware Overview:

    Model Name: Power Mac G4
    Model Identifier: PowerMac3,3
    Processor Name: PowerPC G4 (2.9)
    Processor Speed: 500 MHz
    Number Of CPUs: 2
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 1 MB
    Memory: 512 MB
    Bus Speed: 100 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: 4.2.8f1


    Name: ATY,Rage128v
    Type: display
    Driver Installed: Yes
    Bus: PCI
    Slot: SLOT-C
    Vendor ID: 0x1002
    Device ID: 0x5245
    Subsystem Vendor ID: 0xb530
    Subsystem ID: 0x0408
    Revision ID: 0x0000
  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Which dual G5 do you have? Late 2005 models have PCI-E graphics slots, whereas all of the older ones are AGP 8x.

    Further (especially with AGP), it's becoming pretty hard to find older PC graphics cards that can be flashed to the appropriate Mac ROM. And the few sellers that still stock old G5 video cards charge an arm and a leg for them.

    Your best bet is to do search for G5 graphics cards in eBay. I just did one and there are a few models that can be had for under $100. But before you pull the trigger, do find out exactly what type of graphics slot your G5 has (AGP or PCI-E) first.

    Best of luck!
  3. Giuly macrumors 68040


    Get yourself the Info.

    Also, without additional flashing, you could install an Injector kext for graphics cards and throw in any PC AGP or (basically) PCIe card you like. nVidia 7600GS w/ 512MB RAM would be the best AGP card out there*, and makes your PowerMac play 1080p without a flaw. You can get one off eBay for about $50. If your PowerMac has PCIe, any nVidia GT240 for $60 will do.
    With the injector how ever, you wont see the gray apple right away while booting, it'll appear as soon as the graphics driver has loaded. That's no big deal, at least for me. Once you booted into Mac OS X, they'll work with CoreGraphics and Quartz Extreme enabled, thus 100%.

    * There is the 7600GT, 7800GS, 7900GS and 7950GT, but you're not likely to find any of those for a reasonable price. The 512MB version of the 7600GS is already hard to find, but there are plenty of them with 256MB RAM out there, they'll do just as fine. The best one of them is the MSI one, it has passive cooling, thus no noisy fan. Later Sparkle ones were also fan-less, I had the older one and it's tiny, noisy fan was annoying.
  4. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Got a link to where Graphics Injectors have ever worked on a PowerMac?
  5. Giuly macrumors 68040


    I wonder why it shouldn't. It doesn't communicate with the hardware, it hands over values you predefine inside a plist to the nVidia kext to properly identify the card. You'll just have to compile it for PPC, if this hasn't happened yet. The sourcecode is available.

    What I'd do is get a Geforce FX 5200 from eBay for $10-15, try whether it works with the Injector. If it does, get the 7600GS. If it doesn't get a Mac card. After what I saw in the injector code, it however should work 99.9%.

    Now you still have the GeForce FX 5200 left which was intended to test the injector. If it worked with the Injector, install the injector on the G4 and put it in, if it didn't flash it with the Mac ROM first. That will give it a great graphics overhaul.

    After that, post your success here so I can hand over a link to The Rominator.

    Injector PPC and i386 universal binary for Leopard. Just unzip it and throw the kext into /System/Library/Extentions of the G5 via Target Disk Mode (connect it via FireWire to the MacBook and hold the "T" key while booting) and install a PC card.
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    With all due respect, it seems that from the tone of the original post, the OP wants his G5 to just work again and might not want to deal with the complication and hassle of flashing a card (which may or may not work). But I suppose that really depends on how comfortable he is with doing so.
  7. Giuly macrumors 68040


    If so, a search for "AGP Mac G5" on eBay offers anything in the range from $20 up to $450, just pick depending on the budget.
    In comparison however, the works-out-of-the-box 6800GT w/ 256MB is 106$ plus shipping. The PC 7600GS w/ 512MB is $70 plus shipping.

    If money doesn't count, get something from an Old-Hippie who sells parts for old Macs.

    Cannibalizing the G4's Rage128 won't bring any satisfaction. It's just old'n'slow, nor support CoreGraphics or Quartz Extreme. It would be better to get a Radeon 7000, which would be the cheapest Mac card on eBay, for $20.

    The card flashing in my scenario is just for fun and beef up the G4 a little, and it's not that hard, either.

    If the G5 however is PCIe, you can get a GT220 for $50. It's even faster than the one that is shipped with the current Mac Pro.
  8. VanneDC macrumors 6502a


    Jun 5, 2010
    Dubai, UAE
    Gully mate, does that actually work, injecting the nati driver on ppc? I'd b intrested to know if it does work and work 100%??

    At any rate, best card for agp ppc powermac g5 is the x800xt mac or flash a pc card. Best card for a ppc pcie g5 is the x1900gt (identified as the x1900xt) or you can flash a 7800gtx 512mb card to fx4500.

    But gully mate, please enlighten me a bit more on that kext injector.

    I've Got a ppc pcie quad g5 and a x1950xtx card ghat would run great if I can get it to work.
  9. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    There is practically ZERO evidence that injectors have ever worked on PPC Macs. Guily needs to know what he's talking about before he makes senseless posts that confuse people and even worse, needlessly encourages them to buy useless hardware.

    On PPC Macs, you HAVE TO FLASH an appropriate card if it doesn't have an Apple ROM to begin with. Graphics injectors work by tricking the system into thinking the card has the appropriate EFI strings to work properly in Mac OS. G5s don't use EFI (they use New World ROM).

    In fact, injectors originally gained popularity with those building Intel-based Hackintoshes because those users needed a workaround to use PC graphics cards in hacked versions of Mac OS (i.e. OSx86).

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