Sawtooth G4 w/ Leopard - video card advice needed!

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by WhiteyFisk, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. WhiteyFisk macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    Hello all - longtime reader, first-time poster :)

    Hoping somebody can help me out here. I have a Sawtooth G4 that is currently equipped with the following:

    1.2GHz CPU (Sonnet upgrade)
    2GB RAM
    80GB 7200rpm HDD (IDE)
    USB 2.0 PCI card
    ATI Rage 128 Pro

    My plans for this machine are to add a few more TB's of storage via a PCI SATA card and use it primarily as an iTunes/media server. I would, however, like to also be able to use it occasionally to watch SD movies, burn DVDs, and do some light photo editing and web browsing.

    I have recently performed a clean install of Leopard 10.5.8 after having run Panther 10.3.9 and OS 9.2 in the past without issues. Since installing Leopard, all function related to video have become unbearably slow and/or unuseable - iTunes/Quicktime videos lag and are extremely choppy; the OS X DVD Player app will not function at all (I get an error message saying "Valid Video Device Not Found 70017"); and any animation within OS X (bouncing dock icons, minimize/genie effect, etc.) is jerky and slow.

    Which leads to my first question - I'm thinking that the problem may lie with the OEM Rage 128 video card. Does this sound plausible, or am I barking up the wrong tree? The CPU and RAM obviously exceed Apple's minimum requirements to run Leopard, so I don't think that's the issue.

    Secondly, assuming I do need to upgrade the video card, would an ATI Radeon 7500 offer any significant improvement? After looking around online at my options, it looks like I can still buy a new Radeon 7500 from OWC for a cheap price. I'm not interested in flashed PC cards, nor do I want to spend a ton of money on this computer considering what it will be used for. It seems that most recommend the Radeon 9800, but I'm concerned that the stock PSU won't be able to handle it alongside the other upgrades already installed. Therefore I'm hoping that the 7500 will be "good enough" for what I need.

    Any help or advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    Speaking only from a experience point of view, the Rage 128 is not the issue. Sure, performance will obviously be better with a better video card, but I've got Leopard on two G4s, both with a Rage 128 card. A G4/450 AGP here at work and my Quicksilver at home (for a second monitor). The Rage 128 actually has better capabilities than the NVIDIA 2G card that's stock. Which isn't saying much for the NVIDIA card because I understand the Rage 128 to be completely underpowered for Leopard.

    But I play video without issue, other than the processor and ram issues. I'm maxed with a 1.0 ghz Sonnet upgrade.

    My point is that overall while getting a new card will help, the 128 isn't the problem. Your error probably has something to due with something not being installed. I'm not having any issues on my QS with DVD Player.
     
  3. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #3
    According to Googling, Leopard does not have Rage 128 drivers, probably none of the Macs which were able to meet official requirements shipped with Rage 128 (I think so, but I haven't checked):

    http://nanchatte.wordpress.com/2008...ro-128-video-drivers-from-tiger-into-leopard/

    The most common upgrade (atleast based on forums in my country) in your situation where you already have swapped CPU is to flash Radeon 9800 Pro and do tape-mod to force lower AGP speed.

    I did have flashed Radeon 8500 once and it also worked fine. Of course if you can find genuine card for a price that's acceptable to you then go for it. Atleast here where I live you can't find 'em easily so flashing is the only reasonable method.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #4
    That may be the case (Leopard and Rage 128 drivers). And when I boot verbose mode tells me that the card is too old. However, it's using some sort of driver because the G4 here at work had two Rage 128 cards in it for quite some time. It only has one right now and my Quicksilver has one. Both cards are working.
     
  5. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #5
    The ATI 7500 would give is a small boost in speed and usability. It has QuartzExtreme and will free up some CPU cycles. For best results you'll want to look for a CoreImage capable card. I think most CoreImage cards that'll work in a Sawtooth are flashed PC cards.
     
  6. WhiteyFisk thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2013
    Location:
    Michigan
    #6
    Thank you to everyone for the replies. It looks like I might be stuck using a flashed PC card after all; I would have never guessed that having a non-CI capable card would have such a dramatic effect on system performance with Leopard.

    With regard to flashed PC cards, are there any certain cards that are better/more reliable when flashed? As mentioned above, I am hesitant to use cards such as the 9800 that will tax the stock PSU. Also, can anyone recommend a trustworthy seller of flashed cards? I do not have a PC to do it myself, so if I do decide go this route I will have to buy one already flashed.

    Thanks again :)
     
  7. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a

    Zotaccian

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2012
    #7
    Well I've seen many users claiming that they have Radeon 9800 Pro in Sawtooths and with CPU upgrade installed. I personally had Radeon 8500 in my Digital Audio -machine, Radeon 8500 manages to work without additional power (no need to hook molex cable)

    Radeon 9800 Pro I had in Power Mac G5 which of course is designed to officially support that card...

    There are chips and then versions of cards with such chip which are easier to flash. With Radeon 9800 Pro the easy thing is that the most common version of PC card is also the most compatible for flashing.
     
  8. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Location:
    Inside
    #8
    If you won't be gaming on the machine, the Nvidia 6200 seems to be a popular choice for a cheaper mid-high end card. But just note that it is not a gaming card and will not perform very well for graphically intense games.
     

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