PowerMac G4 questions, questions, and hey, more questions!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Daniël Oosterhuis, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
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    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #1
    Since I'm picking up a QS and a MDD PowerMac G4 over the course of a few days (QS tonight, MDD on wednesday), I've been thinking what I can use these computers for. While I do want them just for the sake of collecting Macs, I do want to find a purpose for them, much like how my iMac G4 is a music jukebox and my iMac G3 will control MIDI devices.

    GIMP, or as some people oddly tend to call it, the GIMP, is a piece of software I like to use for photo editing. My work is not intensive at all, at most I add a few filters, or design some text for overlays in videos I make with custom fonts. I also make my logos with GIMP and custom fonts, again just for me and just for fun. I did see that there is a GIMP version for PPC, although I don't know how up to date it is, and if GIMP is even still supported on the PPC architecture.

    Has anyone used GIMP on G4 machines? And if so, did it run well? I can do pretty much anything on my i7 ASUS laptop, but I like to convolute my workflow with several computers. Every computer has its charm and I love variation in computer usage, rather than using one machine for everything. I'd love to do my image editing on a MDD or a QS PowerMac G4.
     
  2. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #2
    I'd humbly suggest finding a copy of Photoshop CS2. It runs great on a G4.
     
  3. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Phoenix • 85037
    #3
    I do image editing on my Quicksilver using Photoshop CS4 all the time. Granted, I have a non-stock processor but it also works just fine on a G4/450 at work.

    Given that, GIMP shouldn't be any kind of an issue.

    PS. I run Graphic Converter on a G4/350 with 192mb ram at work (we have two G4s) that processes all of our editorial photos via Applescript. I would place GC in the same class as GIMP in terms of ram/cpu footprint. So, I don't think you'll have any issue.
     
  4. Gamer9430 macrumors 68020

    Gamer9430

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2014
    Location:
    Central New Jersey, USA
    #4
    Damn, you're collection is growing at an exponentially fast rate! Sorry to get off topic, but if you haven't already, check out "Post your PowerPC Setup"
    http://forums.macrumors.com/index.php?threads/Post-Your-PowerPC-Setup.1399769/
    and "Does anyone have more Macs than I do?"
    http://forums.macrumors.com/index.php?threads/Does-anyone-have-more-PowerPC-Macs-than-I-do?.1816059/
    Great place to share the expanding list of macs that you have, as well as post pictures of how and where you are using them. I know you are fairly new here, so figured I'd inform you about those threads.
     
  5. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
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    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #5
    Thanks for the replies. I'll check out Photoshop, but I am really used to GIMP and the way it works, so excuse me if I stick with it if PS has a too steep learning curve.

    I did actually recently post in the PowerPC Setup thread, and soon, there'll be more. And eventually there will be new photos as soon as I get my rooms neatly cleaned up, and build my desk extension that will hold my HiFi setup and iMac G4, with all the computers in their permanent spot (well, long term permanent spot).
     
  6. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #6
    The point I was simply trying to make is that Photoshop has a much larger cpu/ram footprint than GIMP. If the G4s I mentioned can run PS fine then your G4s should have zero issues running GIMP.
     
  7. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #7
    I was aiming at bunnspecial with that one, not you.
    I actually got my Quicksilver next to me, just an hour or so after getting it, but GIMP is doggone slow on it. Filling an empty sheet with a colour takes 10 seconds to do. It still has the 32MB ATI card, I suspect that it's way too outdated for Leopard, which the previous user installed. I'll post a thread on that later on.
     
  8. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #8
    Got you.

    I would argue however that the QS is not too outdated for Leopard. I'm typing this on my own QS running 10.5.8. If you haven't maxed the ram on the QS that might be an issue. Leopard generally does much better beyond 1GB of ram.

    A non-optimzed Leopard install also can cause slowness as well. Like most subjects here, there's a thread for optimizing Leopard.

    See my specs for my QS. There's a lot that can be done to the Quicksilver far beyond what most people think. :D
     
  9. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
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    #9
    I meant that the GPU is likely the bottleneck, as 32MB of VRAM just is a bit on the short side for Leopard. The CPU is an 800MHz single processor, and it came with 1GB of RAM, which I notched up to 1.25GB with a PC133 256MB stick I had lying around. I always check the little bin with RAM modules at the thrift, most of it is PC133 or PC100 stuff, so if I find a 512MB one that works, I'll pick it up to max the QS' RAM out.
     
  10. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #10
    OK.

    Well…I have a G4/450 at work running Leopard with 256mb ram. It's the print server for my Mac Pro, runs the VNC client so I can control the G4 next to it running Tiger and also serves as our Mac for older design/productions apps (including Adobe CS4).

    It once had close to 2GB ram and was used as the main Mac for my coworker.

    I get where you're coming from, but I just have to disagree that a Quicksilver can't handle Leopard considering that the base version of the QS had almost double the processing power of the G4/450 I speak of. :D
     
  11. Dronecatcher, Feb 6, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2016

    Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #11
    Are you using the latest build? That's probably quite demanding - look for a build that was released pre G5.

    Old versions of Photoshop are available at macintosh garden - I appreciate your reason for sticking with GIMP but at least the option is there and PS is massively optimised for the G4.

    Also, with your current specs I think you're pitching too low to run Leopard - the Core Image graphics are stealing CPU cycles - I'd go for Tiger.
     
  12. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #12
    Back in the day, I think that optimizing for architecture(and PPC in particular) was one of the areas where Adobe really kicked butt.

    I think there was a good reason why Photoshop was used for benchmark comparisons during so many of Steve Job's keynote addresses. Photoshop 6 is blazing fast on a 200mhz 604E(and it's one of about half a dozen programs that can even use the second processor in my 9600/200MP), while Photoshop 7 screams on a G3. Going past roughly CS2, the G5 starts to really show its strength, but I had no issues earlier today with CS4 on my Quicksilver when I was retouching some film scans that are a few hundred MB each(6x6 transparencies at 4000x4000 dpi).

    Apple, IMO, owes a lot to Adobe for even making the Macintosh platform relevant in the first place and then for making it shine in areas where Apple has historically dominated. I have no love for the current Adobe pricing model, but using older versions of Adobe software(which are still very capable) serves as a good reminder of why these computers were so great in their day.
     
  13. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
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    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #13
    I'll probably try Tiger and an older build of GIMP. This install was done by the guy who owned this Mac before. Unfortunately he also neglected to remove the, eh, well, porn videos that were right on the desktop, so I am probably feeling safer if I do a reinstall. It also has a password I don't know, so a reinstall would already be required for doing system tasks. I'll also try Photoshop. Would a better graphics card help out Leopard? It just seems like it's having trouble doing graphically intensive tasks, and the 3D GUI stuff like the Dock are also not performing great. I plan to get it a better hard drive and a SATA card as well if I settle on making it my photo editing system. But I might just check the MDD I'll be getting too, and if that performs better, than the MDD will be used for that task. The QuickSilver might see use as a audio capturing machine, granted if I can find a 24-bit recording capable PCI sound card that actually works with this system.
     
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #14
    A Radeon 9600 is my first-line choice for CI in a Quicksilver. It's not the best, but is easy to find and in my experience is reliable.

    The G5 version of the card(9600XT) needs to have pins 3 and 11 taped to work, but in my experience is plug and play(you will need a little bit of extra work to get the ADC port on one fully functional if you want that). The 9600 Pro PC&Mac can be hit or miss in the Quicksilver, but I can usually get them to work.
     
  15. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

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    #15
    Would this one do the trick? It's a Club 3D brand Radeon 9600.
    [​IMG]
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #16
    Looks like a PC card and would need to be flashed.
     
  17. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
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    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #17
    How about the 9600 Pro? Are there specific PC and Mac versions? Or are they universal cards? I've seen several brands of 9600 Pro cards, Asus, Gigabyte, Club 3D, but am having a hard time figuring this out. Jeez Apple & ATi, way to make it complicated :p

    EDIT: Changed the thread title, since we might as well continue on here rather than split the rest of my PowerMac G4 conundrums over to a new thread, leaving some information behind here.
     
  18. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #18
    The specific model of 9600 Pro you want to look for is called the "9600 Pro PC & Mac edition."

    Otherwise, if you can find one labeled for use in a Powermac G5, you can use it(with the pins taped) as I described above.
     
  19. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #19
    The retail ATI Radeon 9600 Pro "PC & Mac Edition" will work, and I have one installed in my G4 MDD. Other brands would need to be flashed.
     
  20. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
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    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #20
    I did search around on Marktplaats, but am having bad luck finding any of those Apple cards. I've only found someone selling an original MDD card, but the picture of the back of the MDD included in the ad shows it's the 867 DP model, which had a GeForce card with the exact same amount of VRAM. Not gonna help much, if at all.

    Where could I find a good readable guide to flashing? I know the basics (after all, I did flash my phone from Chinese to Worldwide firmware in order to get Google Apps working), but video card flashing is new to me. I suspect I'll need to get a PC out with an AGP slot? Good thing I still have a function motherboard with a Pentium 3 on it. Still need to make a fun Windows 98SE game machine with that.
     
  21. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #21
    This is the best resource out there

    http://themacelite.wikidot.com/start

    These guys wrote the ROMs, and have VERY generously made them available for free download and use.

    You need to be very careful about card selection to make sure you get one that will flash. Some cards simply won't.

    Aside from that, I've had decent luck flashing ATI Cards in OS X. Use a current version of ATI Flash, a version of OS X no newer than Tiger, and boot in safe mode. You will need a PCI video card to see what you are doing(a Rage 128 from a B&W G3 or G4 Yikes! is cheap and very handy to have around for general troubleshooting).

    Nvidia cards are-in my experience-more difficult to flash. You will need to do them in a PC with an AGP slot. You MUST have the correct version of NVFlash for the card you're trying to flash-too old or too new won't work. I've always used the DOS versions of NVFlash-I load it along with the requisite ROMS up on a DOS boot disk. Sometimes it takes some trial and error to find the correct version. When flashing in a PC, you can generally boot and use the card you are flashing, although if you successfully flash you won't be able to use the card in a PC on reboot.

    In all cases, DUMP THE ROM and save it before you flash the card. That way you can "restore" it if something goes wrong. Both ATIFlash and NVFlash have provisions for doing this.
     
  22. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
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    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #22
    I just pulled out the Rage 128 I salvaged from an G3 I got for an euro (well, I traded it for a CD player I paid that price for), which was said to have a failed GPU. I however suspected motherboard failure, and scrapped it for parts. I just booted the QuickSilver with it just fine. So that'll make flashing the card easier I suppose. An ATi it is, then!
     
  23. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
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    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #23
    Alright, I've been thinking, and I figured it would make more sense to use that MDD I'll be getting for image editing, since it will have more processing power (200MHz more at the least, hoping it's a DP though). I'll still get a Radeon card for that machine though. Assuming the MDD comes with a 64MB card, could I put that in the QS? The MDD comes with a Studio display, so if I want to use that, I'd still need a card with an ADC port, granted I don't mod it or use some sort of connector. I'd use the MDD with my HD IPS panel, and the QS with the Studio panel. Would the 64MB MDD GPU make Leopard run smoother? I would want to use the QS for audio editing and capturing, something that doesn't require a lot of GPU power at all.

    And, if someone happens to know, are there any PowerMac G4 compatible soundcards that allow 24 bit recording? I am more interested in a 1 slot card with 3.5mm jacks, rather than actual sound interfaces, although I could save up some cash for that and go all out on it.
     
  24. oi!, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2016
  25. DZ/015 macrumors 6502a

    DZ/015

    Joined:
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    New England
    #25
    M-Audio made several PCI slot sound cards. The Revolution 5.1 and 7.1 have 3.5mm jacks. The Audiophile 2496 and 192 have RCA jacks. All have been discontinued but can be found used.
     

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