I got a question, a friend of mine switched from a PC to a Powermac and was wondering if he could use his soundblaster (audigy) card and/or an old DPT SCSI card on the G5. We searched on the net but found nothing of such. I'm new to the Macs so I'm not much help either :-)
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And the reason I point this out is: If you look at the photo the 'new' G5 compatible cards have an extra notch in the PCI interface (these cards are a different voltage). And if a card doesn't have this, it won't even fit in.
The short answer is maybe. Check with the manufacturer of the card. I wouldn't advise jamming in cards to "just see" unless you really know what you're doing. Motherboards are expensive.
The Audigy isn't really necessary on a G5 anyway; the built-in sound does everything the Audigy does and does it better (Audigy resamples everything to 48KHz which alters the data; the G5 doesn't need to resample, and there's plenty of software, starting at $ free, if you miss the equalizer or something else with the Sounblaster app). If that's all you wanted to know, you can stop reading now.
Older PCI cards and buses are 5 Volt, while newer ones are 3.3 volt. The lower voltage cards come in regular PCI and PCI-X versions; but they both fit in a PCI-X slot. PCI-X is backward compatible with PCI and accepts either 3.3v or universal (both 3.3 and 5v on one card) PCI cards (33 or 66 Mhz) as well as PCI-X cards. 5v cards are not compatible.
Now, whether you can use a 3.3V card from a PC is another thing; you might need drivers or some other compatibility issue may crop up; a lot of PCI cards do pretty specialized things that need software to happen, and some cards use different chipsets on the Mac and PC versions.
There is also the 32-bit and 64-bit issue; PCs normally have a 32-bit PCI bus while Macs have a 64-bit bus. 32-bit cards might work in 64-bit buses but not vice versa.
Some cards are more "universal" than others. PCI cards that are both 3.3 and 5 volt are called "universal cards". However, 3.3V 32-bit cards are relatively uncommon, so chances are your PC had either a 5V or universal (3.3 and 5V) 32-bit card.
For any hope of installing a PCI card in a PCI-X slot it must be 3.3v.
How to tell at a glance:
[backplate]xxxx[3.3v slot]xxxxxxxxxxxx[5v slot]xxxx[32/64 slot]xxxxxxxxxx
64-bit universal 3.3 and 5v card or slot
32-bit universal 3.3 and 5v card or slot
64-bit 3.3v card or slot
32-bit 3.3v card or slot
32-bit 5v card or slot (won't fit in G5; 3.3v slot at "V" closed preventing it from seating)
64-bit 3.3v card on 32-bit slot on PC motherboard (won't fit on most PCs; "V" are pins that are blocked on the slot but present on the card, preventing it from seating)
The lower-end G5's have regular 3.3v 64-bit PCI slots while the higher end ones have 3.3v 64-bit PCI-X slots.
If you looked at the M-Audio site linked above, you should be able to recognize it as a 32-bit 3.3v/5v universal PCI card from the photo, which will work in G5s as well as G3/G4 and PCs.
If you read the "G5 compatibility" link, you would learn that older M-Audio cards were 5 volt only and therefore are not G5 compatible but do work in G3/G4 and most PCs (newer PCs could be 3.3v only).
Last edited by gordguide; Feb 25th, 2005 at 03:16 PM.