Should I upgrade my G5's video card?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by g-fixie, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. g-fixie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #1
    I really want a new MBP to replace my aging G5 but I can't quite afford it yet. Maybe by the end of the year.

    In the meantime, I was thinking about doing some upgrades to try and get me through the rest of the year. RAM is pretty cheap, but what about a new video card?

    I have a G5 single 1.8GHz (2.25 GB of memory) with a GeForce FX 5200 AGP card. I'm mostly concerned with CS3 and video playback.

    Here's my options:
    ATI Radeon 9600 from Other World Computing?
    A card from eBay? (I've heard good things about applemacanix)
    A PC card and flash it? (Though I'd have to find a PC friend to do it, as I don't have another computer.)
    Or do nothing and limp along until I get that MBP?
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    I say limp. Max out your RAM, but don't spend any more money on PowerPC tech.
     
  3. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5G77 Safari/525.20)

    I echo Tallest Skil. If you're going to be purchasing a new computer anyway I say limp along my friend.

    RAM will get you a bit of a boost but if you can do without that I say hold off. That is just more money to put toward the MBP and maybe get it a bit earlier.
     
  4. tompon1923 macrumors 6502

    tompon1923

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Location:
    15°35'30.45S 54°31'22.17E
    #4
    I've got an ATI 9600 PRO in my G5 1.8 Single (see my sig) and I noticed the eyecandy is a lot smoother as with my fx5200. I use it as my main desktop. And it is working pretty good.
     
  5. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #5
    Sell your stock video card on ebay. I sold mine for $50-60, can't remember. and then use that money to buy a 9800 Pro and flash it yourself on the Mac. You don't necessarily need a PC to flash it ;)
     
  6. g-fixie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #6
    So OrangeSVTguy, it sounds like you flashed the 9800 Pro you're using? Do you have good and fairly simple instructions for flashing that card on a mac?
     
  7. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #7
    The one in my sig was an OEM one. I flashed 128mb and 256mb verisons a few years ago when I had my G4. Just google it as I don't have the links anymore on how to do it "blindly".
     
  8. g-fixie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #9
    Thanks Dave H. Did you happen to do a blind flash of your card?
     
  9. Dave H macrumors 6502

    Dave H

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #10
    I tried a blind flash but it didn't work. Then I borrowed a PCI video card and did a regular flash, which worked.

    What went wrong with the blind flash was that I hadn't quite taped the pins correctly (to force to card to slow down to 4x AGP mode).
    This won't be an issue in a G5 as they have 8X AGP, so no taping is needed.
     
  10. g-fixie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #11
    After you flashed your 9800 XT, was it crazy loud?
     
  11. Dave H macrumors 6502

    Dave H

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #12
    Yes, almost like there was a radial-arm saw in the Mac's case... The stock fan was clearly dying though. I actually was worried it wouldn't last long enough to finish the flash, but it did.
    I replaced it with an ATI Silencer 3 R2. It's very quiet and does a good job with cooling, but it takes up a PCI slot.

    If it helps, the 9800XT Mac ROM usually provides high/low fan speed control, but it only provides VGA output. The 9800 Pro ROM runs the fan at full speed all the time, but all the ports work.

    The utilities included with Graphiccelerator can be used to do a regular flash on a Mac, and to determine the capacity of the card's ROM chip (whether to use a full ROM or a reduced ROM).
    http://thomas.perrier.name/graphiccelerator.html
    I have been using the reduced 9800XT ROM for over a year BTW.
     
  12. g-fixie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    #13
    Thanks Dave H.

    So the reduced ROM is pared down so it can fit on the card? You're not actually loosing any functionality?

    Since you're using the 9800XT ROM, I guess you're only using the VGA out?
     
  13. Dave H macrumors 6502

    Dave H

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    California
    #14
    The full Mac ROM requires a 128k chip, but PC video cards can have 64k or 128k chips.

    You don't lose any functionality with the reduced ROM in OS X if you install ATI Displays. It installs a system file called "ATI ROM Xtender" which fills in the gaps.
    Edit: Corrected link. http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/atidisplays4-5-7.aspx

    I am using the VGA out for a CRT monitor, and TV-out (standard definition) with an Apple DVI/Video adapter, through the DVI port.
     
  14. wpc33 macrumors 6502

    wpc33

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #15
    LISTEN TO HIM

    I have the same computer as you, and I spent $150 and a lot of research-time flashing a 7800GS

    I have 4GB of RAM and still, with the 256MB of VRAM on the 7800GS, this chunk of :p can barely handle 480p.
    720p? As if!
    1080p? Impossible. Check the Quicktime site for the requirements. You may not want HD video, but I use this as a prime example.
    This thing is not worth upgrading internally. Hell, iTunes uses 50% of my CPU! My RAM is never maxed, and I don't have that much.

    Save your money for an Intel machine. AVENGE MEEEE ;)
     
  15. tompon1923 macrumors 6502

    tompon1923

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Location:
    15°35'30.45S 54°31'22.17E
    #16
    I also have the same G5, only with a 64meg 9600 PRO, 3,5gb ram and mine handles 720p beautifully even when it is streaming. I do recommend if you are playing HD video content you use vlc player. VLC's codec runs a little bit smoother
     
  16. markiv810 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2002
    Location:
    in Limbo
    #17
    You can always upgrade your PowerMac G5 and install Linux on it, Linux guys would always support the PPC platform.
     

Share This Page