Video Card Upgrade on G4 PowerMac 400Mhz

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mail4asim, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. mail4asim macrumors member

    mail4asim

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #1
    I have a G4 PowerMac 400Mhz running OS 10.4.8. The graphics seem a bit slow at times and I was wondering if upgrading the video card from the current ATI 16MB to a GeForce2 32MB would help? I have 1GB of memory so I know I am good there. Any suggestions ?:)
     
  2. Angrist macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2005
    Location:
    MI or NJ
    #2
    It'll help some ... but not all that much.

    The CPU and HD are going to limit much of what you can do with that machine.


    What tasks do you do that you find the performance to be lacking?
     
  3. mail4asim thread starter macrumors member

    mail4asim

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #3
    The HD is a 7200 RPM 60GB IDE.
    Currently I am using it as a spare at work and use it for web work etc. But I have noticed that at times the graphics/windows are a bit jerky.. and I was wondering if using a GeForce2 with 32 MB would provide enough memory and the GPU power needed to drive the GUI more smoothly.

     
  4. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    #4
    Your 400 MHz G4 probably has a "Yikes!" logic board, meaning no AGP video cards and no Quartz Extreme.

    I don't recommend putting any more money into a system this old - you're much better off selling it and picking up even a used G4 mac mini.
     
  5. mail4asim thread starter macrumors member

    mail4asim

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Cincinnati, OH
    #5
    Actually it does have an AGP slot. :D

     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #6
    No- that computer would have a Sawtooth board. I used to have one of those and I upgraded the card to a 64 MB Radeon 9000 Pro. It helped quite a bit. If it's not too expensive, go for it.
     
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

    Joined:
    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Sod off
    #7
    You need to determine whether you have a Yikes (PCI) or Sawtooth (AGP) G4. I belive the Sawtooth's AGP socket is brown, while the Yikes has only white PCI slots...

    Anyway, once you've determined that, make sure you have 512MB-1GB RAM minimum to take full advantage of a better-than-stock video card setup.

    A Yikes G4 can only handle PCI cards, so your only new option is a Radeon 9200 Mac Edition. It is a good performance match for a stock Yikes, but it is 5 generations old and $130.

    You can also buy a GeForce FX5200 or 5500 PCI card for the PC and flash a modified Mac ROM into it. It's considerably more modern in terms of feature set and faster too, but the flashing process is not necessarily for beginners...

    If you have a Sawtooth, you have a lot more options in terms of flashing cards, but really only one retail option - the Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition. This four generation-old warhorse retails for a breathtaking $250, but will provide all the performance a 400MHz G4 can handle and then some. They can also be flashed pretty easily with a Mac ROM and PC versions can be had for much less than $50 on ebay.

    Beware people selling flashed cards on ebay - they may or may not be shafting you by misrepresenting their flashed card as a "real" OEM Apple card. Don't pay OEM prices for a PC card with a hacked Mac ROM.

    There are other options as well, check out the Strangedogs video card flashing forum and its accompanying wiki.
     

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