Upgrade Sawtooth PMG4's Graphics Card?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Geoff Myers, Apr 18, 2007.

  1. Geoff Myers macrumors member

    Mar 19, 2007
    I'm using a 450 MHz "Sawtooth" Power Mac G4 as a cheap alternative to an Apple TV or Mac Mini. It currently has an ancient ATI Rage 128 Pro card with only 16 MB VRAM. If it's going to be of any use, it definitely needs a better graphics card. I would really like to be able to play 720p or maybe even 1080p DivX video. Could I get a graphics card for real cheap that could do that (like under $100)? Or is that asking way too much? I checked NewEgg and found a lot of cards that seemed pretty good to me (link). I would get one with DVI and at least 256 MB VRAM. I'm wondering if these less expensive, lesser known brand AGP cards are even compatible with my Power Mac. My best guess is that since they all have ATI or NVIDIA chipset, they should be compatible (but, again, I don't know). Is any of this trouble even worth it, do you think?

    Thanks! :)
  2. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    Nope. There are sometimes physical differences, but the biggest problem is that the firmware doesn't work on Macs at all. You can technically use many or most of those cards if you flash the firmware to be Mac-compatible, but I'd recommend that only if you really know what you're doing, especially since it often requires some physical modifications as well.

    Nope again. :) The graphics card has nothing to do with playing movies. That's 99.999% dependent on the CPU of your computer, which is kind of slow. You'd normally only be interested in upgrading the graphics card if you want to get better gaming performance (or other 3D-heavy stuff).


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