Purchased NOS FireGL X3 on eBay for G4

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ptdebate, Mar 26, 2015.

  1. ptdebate macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #1
    Not sure if this is true or not, but according to the seller, this is the most powerful G4/G5 AGP card money can buy. It's already pre-flashed for Mac so it's ready to be taped and installed. I already had a perfectly good 9600XT in my DAG4 but couldn't resist the urge to push this already very capable machine even further.

    There are a few more available from the same seller. Here's the listing (not mine, obviously):

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/161585867484
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #2
    forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1840152

    Not the same auction as the one you link to of course, and the auction you link to mentions that they work in a Quicksilver.

    I am merely providing a link to the other thread as a way to caution any use in a Quicksilver. Your's may work (and it should if the seller says it does) but the one I bought sure does not work at all in my QS, or bunnspecial's or the QS of a third user in the thread.
     
  3. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #3
    Hmm. That is strange. The seller does specifically advise updating to the ATI 4.5.7 drivers for OS X. I'm fairly confident though as the seller explicitly tested it in my Mac.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #4
    Yeah, let us know. One of the final posts in that thread was for an auction much like you linked to - if not the same one.

    If the card you get works in a QS then that would be interesting to say the least.

    P.S. I had the latest recommended drivers installed long before this. My intent had been to replace my 9800 Pro with the FireGL X3 card so those drivers were already there because of the 9800 Pro (and also because of my 9200 and my 7000).

    Taping the pins resulted in a boot, but my QS absolutely refused to recognize that there was ANY card at all in the slot. At first I thought perhaps it was because it was not getting enough power, but when bunnspecial and the other user reported their difficulties as well that eliminated that thought.
     
  5. desantii macrumors 6502

    desantii

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    #5
    Are there different QS revs? The screenshot in auction shows a Quicksilver..
     
  6. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #6
    Random question: will the more powerful card improve HD video playback or is that more CPU-dependent? I occasionally get skipped frames when watching compressed 720p video.
     
  7. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #7
    The video card plays a limited roll in playback. The various modern video codecs were not standardized around the time of the G4/G5 and Apple wasn't really using any of them. Consequently the CPU does the majority of the work where video is concerned.

    That's why the faster Quad G5s can still perform. Their raw CPU power makes up for the lack of the modern codecs.

    However, there are workarounds. Search for Dronecatcher's various video playback threads. He's got one that lets you play movies without skipping (although frames will still drop).
     
  8. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #8
    Whoa--so, I just did some searching on the internet and found zen's blog. Apparently, I've been using the wrong version of VLC! Version 1 is supposed to be a heck of a lot more efficient than Version 2. I simply used the latest because I thought it was the best.

    Now, with the FireGL x3 coming in the mail, that 30" Cinema Display is very tempting.
     
  9. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #9
    Hmm... Bel Air, MD is not far from my town. I wonder if that seller has any more Mac stuff to sell!
     
  10. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #10
    Wouldn't be surprised! Maybe you should message the seller on eBay :D
     
  11. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #11
    Maybe I will...
     
  12. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #12
    It worked!

    Check it out, guys! A FireGL X3 running in my humble Digital Audio.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #13
    Nice! There's hope for the Quicksilvers then.
     
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #14
    Now I'm really itching to try it in my Digital Audio-I don't think I've actually done that.

    I've done a lot of testing in one of my DAs, as I don't really do any serious work on it and it's easy for me to get to and work on. For most purposes I consider it "close enough" to a Quicksilver that what works(or doesn't work) on it is applicable to QSs.

    That card is a good match for your 30" Cinema. I think both ports are dual link and it has enough "horsepower" to drive two of the if you really wanted to go crazy :)
     
  15. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #15
    Don't tempt me! :eek:
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #16
    There's nothing like dropping $1K on displays for a computer that might be worth $60-70 with the upgraded video card :)

    Of course, you could buy a new Mac Pro tomorrow and still use the 30"(it's only those of us who like the acrylic displays that have been cut off from OS support recently :rolleyes: )
     
  17. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #17
    This is one of the reasons I stick with the acrylic displays – other than the fact that I'm not a fan of the aluminum ones.

    I could justify that amount (over time) for a Quad G5 or a Mac Pro, but not my QS. Hence I piddle around with multiple acrylic displays. Once I finally get all 6 acrylic 23" HD displays I'll probably have paid enough to match one 30" aluminum display but I can justify it as being 'period' for the Mac - that and there'd be SIX of them! :D

    The idea of a G5 with as many displays as I have right now (in 30"s no less) is an appealing fantasy but the cost would be astronomical and I desire the acrylic displays much more. While I have decided I'd like a Quad G5 at one point I've never cared for the cheese grater look to them and having used one for 8 years the look still did not grow on me.

    However at least they don't look like you decided to put a plastic trash can on your desk.
     
  18. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #18

    I'm not actually even sure you could put 6 30" displays in a Quad. I know the stock card can only drive one-all the other cards(and I think you need the FX4500 to drive 2x30") are double height, which would mean that you could only put 2 in. The second(double height) card would be in an 8x slot, which might also bottleneck it a bit.
     
  19. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #19
    Well, shows you how much I've worked with G5s then. The one at work still has everything stock that it came with in Feb. 2005 except for the HDs and the logicboard/CPU.

    The original HD is my secondary drive in the Mac Pro at work. It's been spinning for 10 years now, 24/7.
     
  20. ptdebate, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015

    ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #20
    So, after testing the FireGL X3 in the G4 just to verify that it works, I decided to go ahead and transfer it over to my G5. I will also tape the 9650 from the G5 and put it in the G4, doubling that system's VRAM and giving it a little boost.

    I'm actually thinking of replacing the G4 with the G5 as a daily-use machine. Why? Well, there's a handful of reasons:

    1) The G5 seems to be able to handle just about any kind of HD video, whereas the G4 has problems with certain codecs. I'd like to be able to watch movies in my bedroom on my shiny new Cinema Display.

    2) My G4 has an intermittent problem that makes it get stuck in sleep mode, which is probably related to the CPU upgrade card.

    3) Said CPU card has no fan moderation. They're basically on full blast at all times, which gets a little annoying.

    On a side note...The G5 actually feels like a "modern" computer. It's eerie...

    Another note---How can I possibly use enough programs at once to use 8GB of ram but not max out the CPU?
     
  21. desantii macrumors 6502

    desantii

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    #21
    So what is the difference between the DA and the QS...I once tried the same CPU card on both, same ram, same video and the DA consistently scored about 10% on geekbench

     
  22. ptdebate, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015

    ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #22
    10% more than the QS or less?
    And are you talking about my Newertech CPU card or the graphics card?
     
  23. ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #23
    I just realized something funny...I don't get the transparent menu bar in Leopard with this card! I wonder why...I guess I don't really care.
     
  24. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    #24
    I'm using the setup that Dronecatcher mentions in his thread. Works for me. Obviously it's not a solution for everyone and I'm not saying don't switch - just that this solution helps to keep me on my Quicksilver.

    When I had the dual CPU that I sent to Bunns I had the same issue. Mac won't wake, a forced restart is all you can do. Once I put the 1.2Ghz Sonnet back in everything was fine. Funnily enough however, in one of my recent purchases I got a dual FW400/USB 2.0 card, also by Sonnet and all of a sudden I get sleep issues again. The Mac absolutely refuses to keep the monitors off, something is always waking them, and if I sleep the Mac I have to force restart it. But now, the additional problem is that if I do that, the Mac still sees the hard drives as being asleep so it takes another restart or two before the bus catches up.

    However, I am used to having Macs on 24/7 both at work and home so this bothers me much less than it might most people.

    Except in a case where a fan blade is broken or a fan malfunctioning this is not something that's ever bothered me. I have two G4s at work sitting right next to my left ear - full blast all day. I guess I have long since learned to tune all that out.
     
  25. ptdebate, Mar 31, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2015

    ptdebate thread starter macrumors 6502

    ptdebate

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    #25
    Even with tweaks I was finding that h.264 files simply don't play very well, even though Xvid and AVI in general are terrific. The unfortunate thing about those latter two codecs is that they're far less common and file sizes happen to be huge.

    I prefer the relative quiet of the G5. What I may do is set up the G4 as a guest computer; for that I'd like to be able to wire up my acrylic studio display (for which I need an adapter). Presentation-wise, I really like the plastic-encased PowerMacs.
     

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