Top 5 Graphic Card's for G5?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Beaniecheese, May 29, 2009.

  1. Beaniecheese macrumors newbie


    May 29, 2009
    Hi guys, my first post so go easy on me :eek:

    My mac spec is as follows...

    Model M9454LL/A
    Dual 1.8GHz PowerPC G5
    3GB Memory [expandable to 4GB]
    ATI Radeon 9600 Pro 256MB

    I'm no techie so I find upgrading hard work, I normally just call up a supplier and buy stuff that they recommend. But after a few bad purchases I decided to ask the real experts... you:cool:

    In a nut shell, I want to upgrade my G5. I will upgrade the memory as this is simple enough to, do even for me. However, the graphic card upgrade is starting to baffle me!

    To make this easier for me, to make an informed choice of which graphics cards is best for my purposes. I thought I'd ask you guys to list what you consider the top 5 graphic cards.

    I regularly have multiple apps open e.g. CS3 PS, Illu, and InDesign, plus Acrobat, Safari, Email etc. I like to work fast so I don't like closing them unless I have to.

    The only time I close my apps is when I play WoW, which struggles even with low settings.

    I'm sure if I can get a Graphics card that can give me a better experience with WoW then Photoshop and the like will follow suit.

    So please list what you consider the top 5 graphics card for my spec and purposes.

    I will look forward to reading your posts :D
  2. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    There are plenty of video cards for your model. Some examples of real upgrades would be: ati 9800 pro, ati x800, ati x850, nvidia 6800 (gt/ultra), nvidia 7800GS (this is a pc card, has to be flashed with a modified rom to work, but the rom is easily found).

    Make sure the card you buy is an AGP card with a PPC OpenFirmware rom.
  3. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    If you ever plan to upgrade to CS4, you will want one of the Nvidia boards.

    The 7800GS is by far the best card for an AGP G5 in terms of raw power. Big limitation is that it has only 1 @ DVI output, the other being a VGA. You can flash one yourself on an AGP PC, or buy one already flashed around $225. The DVI port is good for a 30" Display. (ie, Dual-Link)

    Next down the list are the 6800 cards. The difference between Ultra and GT is tiny, don't concern yourself with it. The OEM Apple cards are massive but offer Dual Dual Link DVI. (can run 2 @ 30") The flashed cards are typically incapable of running ANY 30" displays unless they specifically mention it. The 6800 cards run hot and die the OEM ones are getting premium prices, upwards of $500 while flashed are nearer $200. I would look for Dual DVI on the flashed ones, many offer DVI and VGA...limiting for future.

    The next card down would be a flashed Nvidia 6600GT. Some of these are Dual DVI, some are DVI and VGA. Big plus is that they can run a 30" from at least one of the DVI ports. (Dual-Link) WHen Barefeats tested these he found them to be FASTER than a Radeon 9800. Again, this card enables CS4 GPU acceleration while NONE of the AGP ATI cards do.

    The only ATI card I would even consider would be the X800. The OEM ones still command CRAZY prices on Ebay. They can run an ADC monitor and a DVI with DUal-Link. Of the flashed varietes there are 2. Most are VERY limited and can only do 2 @ VGA out, these sell for $200 or so. The RARE version offers 2 @ DVI ports, of which one is Dual Link. Applemecanix gets $400 or so for these, but there are better deals if you look. You can try flashing one of these yourself but it is a difficult flash and some just DON'T WORK for no obvious reason.

    The Radeon 9800 was awesome in it's day but is years past it's prime. You can get a PC one for $20 or so and flash it, best deal of all. Pre-flashed ones are around $100.

    Just always be sure that you buy either an OEM Apple card or one that is ALREADY flashed and tested. Some PC folks see the higher values for Mac cards and sell theirs as "Mac Compatable" but let you figure out how to do that.
  4. Beaniecheese thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 29, 2009
    Thanks for the replies, you guys are very quick.

    As far as I can tell, everything superior to the X800 XT uses PCI-Express [PCIe] slots. Where as my G5 has PCI slots, so I'm assuming there's compatibility issues?

    I've been researching for a few hours and I have made a list, which I would like your views on.

    1. X800 XT Mac edition overclocked
    2. X800 XT Mac edition
    3. nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL
    4. nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra GT
    5. ATI Radeon 9800 XT 256mb
    6. ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Special Mac Edition 256mb

    Yes I've put 6 in, I felt sorry for the 9800 XT having no partner :p

    Out of the 6 I would only really consider the first 4 as I think the 9800 series is a bit dated compared to the others.

    Please let me know your thoughts.
  5. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    The 7800GS is still an option, it is an AGP card. The 7800GT is the PCIe card and must be avoided.
  6. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Take a moment and read what I wrote.

    I wasn't just exercising my fingers, I know whereof I speak.

    Whether your G5 is PCI or PCI-X matters not a whit as far as GPU goes. IT IS AN AGP MACHINE. Therefore, you need an AGP CARD.

    The only other G5 is a PCI-E...which uses PCI-E CARDS.

    All of the cards I mentioned work in your machine.
  7. Beaniecheese thread starter macrumors newbie


    May 29, 2009
    I didn't assume for a second that you didn't know what you speak of, I was just overloading with information that didn't make sense, from my own research. As I said, I'm no techie, so I have to learn as I'm going. For example I didn't even know what OEM stood for :eek:

    I've took on board your advise and I'm currently looking at 2 possible cards.

    1. GeForce 7800 GS £140
    2. GeForce 6800 GT £110

    I followed your lead about 'Barefeats' tests and checked them out there. The 6800 GT is quite a competitor. But for £30 extra I think I may take a stab at the 7800 GS.

    Going from a 9600 Pro should breath some new life into the old dog me thinks.

    Is it just plug and play regarding new graphic cards, or should I expect to be supplied drivers with the card or will I be able to download drivers?
  8. lannister80 macrumors 6502


    Apr 7, 2009
    Well, you *could* run a PCI video card in a PCI slot and have it be your main video card, if you wanted to...right? The performance would suck (I assume), but I think it would work...
  9. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Yes, and as PCI-X is backwards compatible with point still stands. What exactly are you trying to say?
  10. gugucom macrumors 68020


    May 21, 2009
    Munich, Germany
    PCI and PCI-X can be used for grafic cards but usually you would not do it because theese cards are very basic and dumb. PCI and PCI-X drive storage interfaces and other stuff like USB or Firewire, sound, and other lower bandwidth stuff. Before PCIe arrived we had PCI slots for all kind of cards but usually we had one faster AGP slot for the grafic card.

    When PCIe came along no special grafic card slot was needed as the PCIe standard catered for cards with high band width with and without resident firmware. So the latest G5 generation with four PCIe slots has the benefit of multiple grafic card capable slots but practically no offerings of general purpose cards that can be used in the PCIe slots. I have often cursed that they did not retain at least one PCI slot.
  11. zmttoxics macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2008
    Please stay on topic. The OP is not looking for the history of the video card, but rather what are his purchase options.
  12. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    FWIW, I think that prices for G5 AGP cards are finally dropping.

    I just noticed the DUal-DVI version of X800 on EBay for like $250, quite a drop from $400 a couple months back.

    The 7800GS is still probably a better deal at $225, but if you need Dual DVI the X800 may be the way to go.

    And if you just want to DOUBLE the horsepower of a 5200 or 9600 for peanuts, buying a used Radeon 9800 for PC for $25 or so and flashing it yourself is still best option in many cases.

Share This Page