Powermac G4 Dual Video cards

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by wooddorf, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. wooddorf macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2009
    I have a PowerMac G4 FW800 1.42gHz that has no video card and I have a dual 450 gigabit ethernet with an ATI Radeon 32mb AGP video card and I have some older pci Rage 128 pros, my question is would I benefit from sticking one or two of those pci cards in there? and would the radeon even be compatible with the 1.42 in the first place?
  2. sysiphus macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    Sure, you can put the AGP card into the AGP slot in your newer G4 tower...and if the PCI cards you're talking about are mac cards, then sure, you can add those too--but unless you're going to run monitors off of the PCI cards at the same time as the AGP cards, there's no benefit--those video cards won't be of any use unless they're connected to monitors. Hope this makes sense.

    To sum up: If your monitor setup can be run solely off of the AGP card, don't bother installing the PCI cards.
  3. wooddorf thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2009
    Ok but if I need an additional adc port will the mac use the agp card to handle graphic intensive work and the pci card to handle the display?
  4. sysiphus macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    There's no way you'll get another ADC port--ADC is basically just a digital video signal coupled with power. There is no such thing as a PCI video card with ADC, as the power pass-through for the ADC was only ever adapted for AGP. So, no chance of more ADC ports than what's built in on your AGP card.

    IF you must connect another ADC monitor, you can get an ADC adapter to attach it to a DVI port, which your PCI card probably has--but the adapter will likely be a bit costly...they were ~$100 when new.

    The last part of your question is a bit confusing, so one more time to be clear--the AGP card and the PCI card work separately. They can each drive displays, but one cannot enhance/assist the other directly. A circuits analogy: think of them as being in parallel as opposed to in series.
  5. wooddorf thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2009
    I understand about the adc port, what if I have an adc monitor hooked up to the agp port and a second vga or dvi monitor hooked up to the pci card?

    Or what if I still have the agp card installed and unhook the adc powered monitor does the agp video card just become useless?

    Edit: Basically the PCI card no matter what can't assist with graphic intensive tasks? I would just need to upgrade my agp card to a 128 or 256?
  6. sysiphus macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    There is no way to make the the PCI card do anything other than drive a separate monitor. If you're looking for a way to enhance your graphics performance on a single monitor, then yes, you need to get a better AGP card. Try for a Geforce4 Ti or a Radeon 9700, perhaps.

    Realize, though, that even the best AGP card you can buy for your Mac isn't going to be remotely competitive against today's cards, though...For example, if you are looking to play WoW, a maxed-out G4 tower is still not going to be a great solution...
  7. wooddorf thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2009
    Nope just my new work machine I got for $3 on craigslist, upgrading from eMac 1.42 1gb ram 64mb vram. Using it for video editing and the eMac was getting a little slow for me so I guess I'll look into the 128mb cards out there! Thanks!
  8. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2006
    A400M Base
    Geek G4...

    Since I have the same machine as you have, I can hand you some experience.
    In case would you "only" use two monitors, I would rather go for one good AGP card that can run two monitors, then for two cheap cards that can only do one each.
    Out of my experience the best original AGP card that is not flashed, is the ATI Radeon 9600 PC & Mac Edition with 256 MB. I had this card and its pretty even with the 9800. The 9800 is just a little bit faster but has the big disadvantage of being a very hot card and having a loud fan.
    The 9600 runs very cool with only a passive heat sink. Since the G4 MDD 1,42 is itself already running on the hot side, I would not advise anything else. However, the card I have right now is a flashed card. It's the best card I had so far but it comes at a great price and the benefit is only small to medium.
    Anyways, I really love my G4 and it still runs fast for what I do with it.
    For your Info, here are a view pages I would recommend to look at if you go the upgrade path as an Vintage Powermac Collector..

    You may will run into heat issues, so I would go for the hard to get hood upgrade: (there is only one left)


    ..just in case you are a G4 geek..




    Good luck !!

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