Power Mac G4/AGP graphics/video card upgrade?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by canhoto, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. canhoto macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2011
    #1
    Hi.

    I have a Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics), with

    512 MB RAM
    500Mhz processor
    10 GB IDE HD
    ATY,Rage128Pro card

    which I intend to upgrade on the next few days to

    1,5 GB RAM
    1,6 Mhz processor
    160 GB HD (I know it's limited to 128GB)
    PCI card with USB 2.0

    I think maybe it would also benefit from upgrading the video card. I have an Asus VW192DR monitor.

    I would like to ask:

    - What kind of compatible card would be best (if possible with examples from different brands)?
    - Is there a compatibility limitation regarding the clock speed (I think - that's what is expressed in Mhz...)? E.g., being risky for the hardware if it's a card working at more than 66 Mhz; I think I read something like that on the G4 manual, but I'm not sure.
    - Are there any good cards for less than $100 (with examples, if possible)?

    I'm now running 10.4.11 but I intend to upgrade to Leopard after the processor upgrade.

    Thanks
     
  2. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

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    Jan 6, 2008
    Location:
    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #2
    Check here at Low End Mac
    http://lowendmac.com/deals/best-power-mac-g4-prices.html

    and scroll down to video cards near the bottom. There are suggestions from several sources.

    I think I had a GE Force 4 worth 64 Mb in a Sawtooth a while ago. The Power Mac had a 1Ghz Sonnet CPU, 120 and 60 gig HDs, and 1 gig ram.
     
  3. canhoto thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #3
    And how did it work (resolution, video, etc.)? Do you remember?
     
  4. doctormark77 macrumors member

    doctormark77

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    Jul 21, 2010
    Location:
    Houston TX
    #4
    Ive got a sawtooth with 1gb ram 1.2ghz single processor with a flashed pc geforce 5200. my resolution is 1650x1050. i have 10.4.11 on it now to run photo shop 7 but Ive had leopard on it. html5 video with safari 5 under leopard was ok. i looked on ebay and you can find them for about $65 (usd). good luck!
     
  5. WGoins88 macrumors regular

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    Feb 8, 2011
    #5
    Same here.. I have a XFX FX 5200 Ultra w/256MB video memory in my MDD, and it works great.
     
  6. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

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    #6
    Video was choppy. Screen res was set around 12X10 IIRC, on an older 15" LCD.

    The 100 MHz bus was a limiter too. But it was okay for general non-intensive use.
     
  7. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #7
    I have the same Mac and am very happy with the flashed XFX GeForce 6200 256MB AGP.

    You can buy one and flash yourself or buy a pre-flashed for Mac 6200 on ebay. I can recommend a great ebay mac video card vendor. May as well add a card that supports all the graphic features up to 10.5. About the only cards that supports all those features and run in a Sawtooth are the GeForce 5200/6200 and Radeon 9800.
     
  8. -Ken- macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #8
    You should be aware that the Radeon 9800 is very loud.
     
  9. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
    #9
    You can't just blame the bus. It's as much about CPU and GPU as bus. A 1.0GHz CPU and Geforce 4 64MB is hardly a powerful combo. No core image support and 64MB is also very low considering OS X gobbles up VRAM almost as much as system RAM.

    My 1.8GHz and Geforce 6200 256MB that supports every graphic feature in OS X never seem choppy to me. I also run the screen at 1920x1200.
     
  10. VanneDC macrumors 6502a

    VanneDC

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    Location:
    Dubai, UAE
    #10
    I had a 9700pro and a 9800pro. They were not that loud, yes ofcourse louder than the ambient non fan cards, but that's to be expected.

    Graphics performance was good though on both those cards.
     
  11. -Ken- macrumors regular

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    Mar 1, 2011
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    Oregon, USA
    #11
    I have the 9800 GT, perhaps the pro is a bit quieter.
     
  12. canhoto thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #12
    But all this cards, do I have to look for them on special mac upgrades online shops or can I just buy one from a regular hardware shop?

    Are there limitations to their use with sawtooth? For instance, can I have a 512 MB card on a sawtooth?
     
  13. jrko, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011

    jrko macrumors regular

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    #13
    Is it this one? http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Apple-Mac-Gef...eo_TV_Cards&hash=item3a63890c98#ht_3254wt_907
     
  14. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    Location:
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    #14
    You won't find any of these in a regular 'ol computer hardware store, except perhaps as a Wintel PC card. These can be flashed to Mac compatibility using a Mac ROM - most cards on ebay exist in this form, and are NOT original Mac-compatible cards. There's nothing wrong with this though, if it is done properly.

    More video memory is not always better. Frankly, I don't think a Sawtooth will gain any benefit from a 512 or even 256MB card over a 128MB card. The CPU, system bus and AGP bus are too slow. It doesn't hurt, mind you - but it doesn't necessarily make any difference. I would say that a 128 or 256MB card is the maximum you will need in a Sawtooth.

    Also, The Sawtooth can't handle 4X or 8X AGP cards, only 2X. Many 4X and 8X cards can be made compatible with the 2X AGP slot by taping two of the pins on the video card to force it to run at 2X.

    I suggest looking for an original Radeon 9800 PRO. The Mac Edition of the card is going to involve the least headaches and will provide very good performance for a Sawtooth. However, they will probably cost quite a bit more than a PC-compatible Radeon 9800 PRO that has been flashed, so if you can find a reputable seller of flashed 9800 PROs, that will save you money.
     
  15. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #15
    The Geforce 6200's don't work in the MDD's. Never really known why exactly but they don't. I would look for a 9800 pro from the same seller.

    Either of these 2:

    256MB XT (faster than the normal pro): http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Mac-ATi-Radeo...ryZ80034QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    128MB Pro: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/NEW-Mac-ATI-R...ryZ80034QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
     
  16. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #16
    Both cards are good, fast and worth recommending, but overall prices (inc. shipping) are horrible :eek:
    I've bought recently 3 ATI FireGL X3s for less than this 9800XT costs. GL X3 can be easily flashed to X800XT and after that it's almost twice as fast as 9800XT (not to mention about Dual DVI).

    Besides (IMHO), buying pre-flashed cards doesn't have a "fun factor" ;)
     
  17. canhoto thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #18
    But you are sure the Geforce 6200 (like this onehttp://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Apple-Mac-Geforce-6200-256mb-AGP-Video-G4-FANLESS-/250778029208?pt=PCC_Video_TV_Cards&hash=item3a63890c98#ht_3254wt_907 works with Sawtooth? Because it seems to be the best choice.

    Btw, my upgrade was wonderful! I have a fast computer, running 10.5.8 perfectly! It's even faster for some tasks (starting up, for instance) than my Macbook. The only thing where it is slower is with video (whatching youtube videos, for instance).

    And, of course, there is this pressure of the software companies which don't support PPC or Universal anymore... but this is for a different thread.
     
  18. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

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    Mar 13, 2005
  19. zen.state, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011

    zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #20
    I have a 6200 in my Sawtooth. Perfect card for this model.

    EDIT: For youtube use Mactubes. Set the player setting in preferences to Quicktime and you will be able to watch YT vids at half the CPU use or less. I prefer it not only for the lower CPU use but also no need to go directly to the site and look at ads and stupid comments.
     
  20. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #21
    IIRC, the Apple OEM Radeon 9700 PRO used a green PCB. My guess is that is a flashed card. Still a good choice for a Sawtooth though.
     
  21. zen.state macrumors 68020

    zen.state

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    #22
    jrko actually has an MDD. You may be right about it being flashed but it does look a lot like the Apple OEM 8500.
     
  22. 4JNA, Mar 30, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011

    4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

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    #23
    i'd second that. green it was. the linked 'red' 9700 is also missing the 'ADC' tab at the front of the AGP connector.

    there was a goofy looking little tab that went into a slot just in front of the logic board AGP slot to power the ADC. the OEM Apple cards will have it, the flashed PC cards will not.

    EDIT: went looking and found a PICTURE of what i remember them looking like. i'm old. i might be wrong. or i might be wrong about being wrong. you never know.
     
  23. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #24
    Ah, my mistake. The 9700 was an OEM option for the MDD, so if the OP can find an OEM 9700 it will slot right in.

    EDIT: Seems like some versions of the Mac 9700 Pro are red, and some are green...all the examples I've ever seen are green though. The red one in my link might be a pre-production model or reference board design (which used a red PCB). It was never available retail from either Apple or ATI - the only way to get one was to order an MDD with it installed - and is thus rather hard to find and expensive (like the Mac version of the GeForce 4ti).

    But as 4JNA says, one way to differentiate a "real" Mac card from a flashed one is the presence of the ADC tab just in front of the regular AGP connector. Also, "real" Mac cards have one ADC port and one DVI port on the back - flashed PC cards usually have one DVI port and one VGA port, or (more rarely) some other combination of DVI and VGA ports. They never have ADC ports, since these appear only on Mac-edition cards.

    Still, current wisdom is that a flashed 9800 Pro is the best card for the money.
     
  24. canhoto thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 10, 2011
    #25
    Sorry for insisting, but... doesn't the fact that it is a 8x card causes a compatibility problem? How did you manage it?

    Also, what kind of cooling does it have, since it has no fan?
     

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