Powermac G4 Graphics Card????

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by joe95sp1, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. joe95sp1 macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2011
    At the moment I have a Powermac G4 "Sawtooth" AGP Graphics model, I upgraded it to 1GB of memory and it still has its stock 450MHz CPU.

    It came with an already upgraded Geforce2 MX graphics card, but I was wondering if there was a better graphics card that would work with my Powermac?
  2. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010

    just a quick answer stepping by.
    Look here:
    look also the following pages under this link, where you will be shown OS X compatible Cards and OpenGL capability.
    and look here (a maybe not complete compatibility chart) http://themacelite.wikidot.com/compatibility
    welovemacs.com shows several models that were shipped.

    PS: to find some other interesting topics, graphics cards benchmarks for gaming, etc. http://www.jcsenterprises.com/Japamacs_Page/Site_Map.html
  3. joe95sp1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 1, 2011
  4. HyperZboy macrumors 65816

    Feb 7, 2007
    I wouldn't spend a lot of money for 2 reasons...

    Sawtooth's are limited by processor speed first off.

    Sawtooth's are limited by AGP 2X speed on graphics.

    What that means is that you could easily buy a graphics card that will have the capability of being extremely fast, BUT JUST NOT IN YOUR MAC!

    Think of it as like a governor on an engine limiting speed.

    So I would avoid something like a Geforce 7800 or something crazy.

    Best you're going to do would be a used ATI Radeon 9700/9800 model graphics cards (probably originally a PC card, but find a reputable dealer), but not the original Apple ones. Apple always makes sure the later graphics cards don't work in older models, hehe. :p
  5. cocacolakid macrumors 65816


    Dec 18, 2010
    A couple of us on this forum have picked up GeForce4 MX cards with 64mb of RAM for $10-15 on eBay in the last month or two.

    I just replaced the stock GPU in a 400mhz Gigabit Ethernet with one. Works fine.

    They made versions with ADC and VGA, and ADC and DVI.
  6. sysiphus, Jul 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011

    sysiphus macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    I was one of them, too. It's a cheap, silent, easy upgrade, that makes a big difference IF you're running a large-ish monitor. You've already got Quartz Extreme support, and you're not going to get Core Image unless you buy a Radeon 9800 (only compatible card that can do it), which is not worth the money for that machine. Unless you're planning on gaming, or you notice slowdown in normal tasks (Exposé etc), I wouldn't bother with the upgrade, but it's not a bad/expensive way to go to get a Geforce4MX, especially the DVI+ADC model (best monitor compatibility). Obviously, the 4MX isn't a gaming card, but for day-to-day use, it's easily the best power/silence/price balance available. If you want OS9 gaming, the best option is the Geforce4Ti; if you want OSX gaming, the Radeon 9800, followed by the 9000, 4Ti, etc etc...but I can't imagine setting up your machine for gaming. By the time you upgraded it enough to make it a good (OSX) game machine, you'd be better off just buying a whole separate faster machine to begin with.

    Note When I bought mine, my old card was a Rage 128 Pro, which wasn't even Quartz Extreme capable--so the upgrade was a no-brainer. When I got my Quicksilver (with Geforce2MX) a few weeks later (free), I swapped in the 4MX, but wouldn't have paid to upgrade from 2MX to 4MX, even though I can notice a small speed difference between the two in Exposé.
  7. HyperZboy, Jul 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2011

    HyperZboy macrumors 65816

    Feb 7, 2007
    A Geforce 3 is actually faster than a Geforce4MX, but the Geforce 4Ti is definitely much faster than both.

    I believe the minimum modern Core Image capable graphics cards are the Radeon 9600 (but that won't work in a 2X AGP slot) and the Radeon 9800 that will work in a 2X AGP slot. A Geforce 5200 would be the minimum Core Image capable on the Nvidia side, but once again, not 2X AGP compatible.

    If you just want fast Quartz Extreme, a Geforce 3 or Radeon 8500-9000-9200 series will do the trick just fine, but a Geforce 4Ti would be the fastest.

    If you just want to spend $15, get the Geforce4MX as others suggested. It will be an improvement, but not much, but then again you'd not be spending much either. Depends on how long you intend to keep the Mac really. Keep in mind a more expensive graphics card could always be re-sold if you decide to get rid of the machine and you could always put the Geforce2MX back in to sell that separately.

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