XFX 6200 in G4 Cube - wake issues

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by mode11, Jan 26, 2016.

  1. mode11, Jan 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016

    mode11 macrumors member

    mode11

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    #1
    Hi everyone,

    I have an upgraded G4 Cube with a (tower) Sonnet 1.2GHz 7455 CPU, a 200GB / 7200rpm Seagate HDD and 1.5GB RAM, and recently upgraded the graphics card to an XFX 6200 'WANG'. It has the black PCB and seems to be the recommended 6200 upgrade. I also tracked down and fitted the recommended Titan copper GPU cooler.

    The Cube boots quickly into Tiger and Leopard, and plays old games like Quake 3 / UT99 like a champ. It is completely stable and I haven't seen any glitches. The problem is that if the Mac is put to sleep, it generally doesn't wake up. It was fine with the Rage 128. The fans spin up and the power sensor lights up, but the display is blank. It will always wake if woken immediately after being put to sleep, and occasionally it will wake up as asked after, say, an hour. But usually, it does not.

    I used ROMs from the Mac Elite website, and have tried both the standard one and the 'no sensor' one (Tome's version; the regular 'no sensor' one wouldn't flash). I had already removed the HWTemp kext, but thought it worth trying a different version in case it solved this problem.

    I've tried everything I can think of - removing USB devices, different RAM, DVI, VGA, VGA via DVI-I, CPU Nap mode, PMU reset, PRAM reset, various energy saver preferences and so on.

    My questions:

    1. If you have put an XFX 6200 in a Cube, does it wake reliably from sleep? If so, is your Cube otherwise stock, or does it have a CPU upgrade?

    2. Has anyone had this issue with one card, then tried another and found it to work properly in the same machine? I.e. either tried another XFX WANG, or a different make (e.g. BFG) and found that worked?

    3. If I can't resolve the issue with the 6200, I might look into using a 5200 instead. I only need it for Core Image (Leopard) and a bit of Quake. Can anyone recommend a good card model + ROM combo? I have a 5200U in my iMac G4 20", which seems to do OK, so although a downgrade might not be that big a deal.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    #2
    I have a BFG 6200 that wakes fine. I don't know what the rom is though.
     
  3. mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #3
    Thanks for responding. Did you buy it already flashed? Is it a low profile model? DVI + VGA + S-video?
     
  4. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

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    #4
    I flashed it long ago with a "strangedogs" rom. It's a BFGOC card with DVI + VGA + S-video. If you dig around over at cubeowner you might find some info.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #5
    That's great. Will the card will fit without moving the VRM? How is the fan noise? Though I can always change it for the Titan if necessary.
     
  6. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2015
    #6
    The card fits fine (same size as the original rage128) but the shorter cards are nice if you put heatsinks on the VRM. With your upgraded CPU and GPU you might consider doing this. Run some CPU/GPU intensive programs with the cube out of the case and feel how hot the 3.3v and 5v sections of the VRM get.

    About the sleep issues, you could get a SSD and a temperature controlled base fan, and just leave the cube on. The SSD won't make any noise and if the CPU isn't doing much the base fan would slow way down and be nearly silent.

    One other thought is the monitor. When the cube wakes up it may try to detect the monitor again. What happens if you try power cycling or plugging/unplugging the monitor when the cube wakes up with a blank screen? Can you get into the cube through the network and see anything with VNC? If so, what happens if you "detect displays" or change the screen resolution through VNC?
     
  7. mode11, Jan 26, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016

    mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #7
    Yeah, the CPU is from a tower upgrade, so I assume it's pulling a bit more current than a Cube one would. I fitted a Panaflo base fan and put some copper heatsinks on the VRMs. They're only about 5mm or so tall though, and didn't interfere with the stock Rage 128 when that was in there.

    Leaving the Cube running permanently is fair suggestion, but as it's really an occasional use computer, it seems a bit wasteful of power, and may wear out the machine eventually. Plus, though the base and GPU fans are reasonably quiet, they are ultimately small diameter and noisy by today's standards. I may 7V the GPU fan and install a 25mm Noctua base fan at some point (though the latter is a motherboard-out job), but wanted to sort the sleep issue first.

    The monitor detection idea is a good one, and I've wondered if it's something like that. I tried your suggestion, and unplugged / reconnected the monitor when the screen was blank. Unfortunately though, nothing changed. The Cube doesn't seem to be waking up fully, as I can't login in via Screen Sharing. Also, if I use the volume keys on the keyboard, I don't get the 'pup, pup, pup' feedback sound through the speakers either, so it's not just a case of the screen being blank. Another indication the computer hasn't woken properly is that the LED of the MS Intellimouse doesn't come on.

    Incidentally, when I turned the Cube on to try out your suggestion, the screen was initially blank and there was no startup bong. After wiggling the card it was fine again (I'd had the machine opened and closed a bunch of times). Normally it has no issues starting, but does make me wonder if taping pins 3 & 11 affects the contacts of any other pins in the slot.
     
  8. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #8
    I want to do this with my Cube, but don't know which specific 6200 to buy. Does the BFG card require the faceplate mod?
     
  9. mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #9
    All graphics cards not originally built for the Cube will need their faceplates modified, or they won't physically fit in. It will need to be cut down, and have holes drilled to take the original screws. If they are drilled slightly undersize (3.5mm vs. 4mm), you can use the thread of the screw to cut a thread into the plate.

    The faceplate is easily detached for working on by unscrewing the posts next to the DVI / VGA ports. I cut mine down with a hacksaw and file, which took some time / effort - a Dremel would likely make short work of it. You can also just leave the faceplate off, but there's then nothing securing the card other than the AGP slot. Given the vertical cable entry and limited space at the bottom of the Cube, it's difficult to avoid putting pressure on the card.
     
  10. mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #10
    Has anyone upgraded from a 5200 to a 6200? Did it make a noticeable difference, or are they similar in practice? And what model of 5200 did you use?

    The cards are so cheap it might be worth a shot just to see if perhaps there is a conflict between 6200s and my particular Mac.
     
  11. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

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    #11
    the Geforce 6200 is MUCH faster then the 5200 (the 5200 only supports part core image not all of it for example you do not get the translucent menu bar)
     
  12. mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #12
    Have you experienced both? I'm aware the 6200 has much better shader support, but would this be noticeable in practice? For the sort of old games I'd consider playing on a Cube (e.g. Q3), the 5200 can even be faster (though this may only apply to the 128 bit versions). Would the 6200 be any faster for OS X GUI, or webpage scrolling in WebKit?

    Btw, if you know of a 6200 in a Cube that wakes from sleep properly, could you let me know the 6200 make / model, and ROM used?
     
  13. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

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    #13
    You would probably not notice a difference between the 5200 and 6200 in regular UI stuff. The 6200 does core image, and is faster with things like games. The 5200's are cheap though. Get one and do some testing, and post up your results.
     
  14. mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #14
    Will pretty much any 5200 work with the ROMs on TME, or is it hit and miss with compatibility? Is there a recommended one, like the XFX generally is for the 6200?
     
  15. flyrod macrumors 6502

    flyrod

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    #15
  16. mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #16
    Ordered an Xpertvision 5500 256MB off eBay, so we'll see how it goes. I expect performance will be similar for my uses; just hope it wakes from sleep reliably.
     
  17. mode11, Feb 7, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2016

    mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #17
    Flashed the Xpertvision 5500 256MB with the TME 128 bit rom. It works perfectly in terms of waking from sleep (hooray) and general usage, but seems to crash after a while when being driven hard in Quake 3. It will either exit to the desktop (though the game's still running; clicking on the Dock icon brings it back), or freeze up the Mac (often between levels).

    The 5500's fan was jammed solid when I got it, and the heatsink full of dust. I blew the dust out with compressed air and put a couple of drops of sewing machine oil in the motor spindle, replacing the original sealing sticker again with tape. It then ran fine, though I've since replaced it with a Titan fan and added some memory sinks. Perhaps the card was run hot it its previous life, and this affected it?

    Either way, I pretty sick of flashing PC cards. They never seem to run glitch free, and are a lot of hassle when you take into account cutting down the end plate for the Cube, and taping the pins. Perhaps the generic ROMs on TME need customising to individual boards to work properly?

    Many people seem to have working 6200s, but perhaps many bought them ready-flashed on eBay (or just never sleep their machines). Of course, all the action with these cards was around 2006, so it's understandable that all the ROM-flashing experts seem to have moved on...

    Edit: Been playing UT99 a bunch. Twice now, I've played through several matches in a row with no problems (about 30 mins each time), and it's then hung whilst loading the next arena. So seems to be hanging in both games when levels are loading (rather than in intense moments). I've tried with hard drive sleep on and off in Energy Saver. This at least was always fine with the 6200. The 5500 does run UT very well though, perhaps even smoother than the 6200.
     
  18. mode11, Feb 10, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2016

    mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #18
    Update. Found that the 5500 works perfectly under Tiger, and seems to get higher / more consistent fps there too - about 60-80 fps at 1600x1200 in Quake 3. Never had a crash or other problem.

    After discovering this, I decided to reinstall Leopard from scratch (I have 3 partitions, and Leopard didn't have much on it). Games now usually run fine when in-game, but weirdly they always hang the computer (with a still-movable mouse cursor) on or after exiting. Sleeping via the button works (eventually), but it hangs again soon after re-waking, which means I basically have to force-reboot.

    Incidentally, I found that the exiting-to-desktop in Q3 was actually caused by the IntelliMouse driver mapping middle mouse (zoom in Q3) to "Next Application"... Changed that and now only have the lock-up-on-exit issue mentioned above.

    Leopard (or at least 10.5.8's) graphics drivers seem to have an issue with my 5500. I'm done messing with this, so will just stay in Tiger until I can be bothered to look at it again at some point in the distant future.
     
  19. MacVidCards Suspended

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    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #19
    Fun to read that people still find use in the old cards. Most of these roms were written by a clever guy named Arti Itra but we were the exclusive sellers back then. I used to know how to mod the WANG cards to power their own fan. I even used to mod the faceplates so they were a screw in replacement, ready to go. Dremeled the ends of my fingers a few too many times, go right through skin like you wouldn't believe.

    I recall battling sleep issues, but don't have the roms anymore. There was a very cool Asus 5200 that had Dual DVI ports. But I seem to recall that only one of them was even fully Single Link capable, the other one was usually only good for 17" display or so. And that card wasn't especially fast, but Dual Digital outputs with Core Image was a thing that no other Cube card could do.

    We always felt that a truly excellent Cube card was around the corner, but 6200 was basically as good as it got.

    Someday if I have a mansion I'll set up a room with old PPC machines and create some of the old cards for fun. But fun to see the work we did still helping people today.
     
  20. mode11 thread starter macrumors member

    mode11

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    #20
    Hi MacVidCards. I think that Asus card used the 5200's poor quality internal TDMS transmitter for one DVI output, in conjunction with an external (working) one for the second DVI output. It's great that the original flashers, especially Arti, uploaded all their hard work to the Mac Elite site for all to use, as this has hugely increased the number of possible cards for these old machines (and other G4s).

    It might be worth adding some disclaimers / caveats in the notes beside these roms, though. One can go to a lot of effort buying, flashing, taping and dremeling a card, only to find a fairly significant issue that no one mentioned. Then on Googling e.g. "6200 Mac wake issue", find this is actually a relatively common problem. To make matters more confusing, there are also others saying the card works great. Am I correct in thinking that back in the day, the generic roms were tweaked for individual cards / revisions by pro sellers, to resolve such issues?

    For anyone else trying this (admittedly 10 years after the scene moved on), my results have been:

    XFX 6200 WANG (black PCB): works perfectly in Tiger and Leopard, but won't wake from sleep.

    Xpertvision 5500 256MB: seems to be perfect in Tiger, but hangs computer when exiting a 3D game in Leopard.
     

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