: video card upgrade

May 15th, 2004, 02:59 PM
Other than the added benefit of taking advantage of Quartz Extreme (what exactly is the advantage?), what is the rational behind upgrading video memory if I am not a gamer? Will I have any added benefit within my applications such as Photoshop, browsers, etc? G4 350 Sawtooth- upgraded multiple drives, but that's it.

May 15th, 2004, 03:13 PM
the interface in all of your apps will be much more responsive under quartz extreme. also, switching between apps may be slightly faster as the screen redraws will be quicker. not a huge difference but a noticeable one.

May 16th, 2004, 02:56 AM
I'd suggest an upgrade. Even a lowly 32MB Radeon would do and they're fairly cheap. I have the Radeon 9000 Pro in my Sawtooth -- among other things :cool:

[ May 16, 2004, 04:03 AM: Message edited by: Macaholic ]

May 16th, 2004, 07:15 AM
I see that the ATI Radeon 9800 Mac Editon requires OSX. With that, what should I expect if I boot into OS9 with that particular card installed?

May 16th, 2004, 08:26 AM
I've no idea. But if you're looking for the cheapest way to get Quartz Extreme, the 8500 is overkill.

May 16th, 2004, 08:58 AM
Yeah, but what I'm thinking is that when I upgrade to a new machine someday (G5?), I can transfer the overkill card and reinstall the oem 16 meg card. Overkill for now, yes, but a potential sver in the long run?

May 16th, 2004, 08:59 AM
Yeah, but what I'm thinking is that when I upgrade to a new machine someday (G5?), I can transfer the overkill card and reinstall the oem 16 meg card. Overkill for now, yes, but a potential saver in the long run? Oops! Double post. Must let those typos go instead of canceling out to correct.

May 16th, 2004, 09:13 AM
Well, the G5 uses 8X AGP. It'll come with a better card than 8500.

May 16th, 2004, 11:55 AM
Ok then, maybe I should settle for the 32 meg ATI Radeon.

May 16th, 2004, 12:57 PM
Actually Macaholic you are wrong!

He was talking about the ATi Radeon 9800 Pro which is better than anything in the G5s and compatible with the 8x AGP port even though it is a 4x card.

Most G5s come with the really crappy Nvidia FX 5200, a entry level card, then comes the Ati 9600 pro, a crippled mid level vid card, finally you can upgrade to the Ati Radeon 9800 pro, the high end vid card.

So unless he plans on upgrading the card when he purchases the G5 we can be sure that he'll get a inferior card compared to the 9800 pro he is thinking of purchasing.

(Don't forget that the retail 9800 pro for both G4 and G5s is clocked higher than the OEM one in the G5. 350 vs. 380)

Finally, the retail 9800 pro supports pivot modes on lcd displays, currently it is the only Mac card that has that feature.

May 16th, 2004, 01:05 PM
Also don't forget that the 9800 Pro w/128 MB VRAM doesn't work properly in a 2X-AGP slot, nor with a G4 running slower than 1 GHz. With that in mind, getting the 9800 Pro for a old Power Mac G4 is pointless, unless you intend to upgrade to a G5 within a short time frame (which you can use the 9800 properly with).

May 16th, 2004, 01:19 PM
Man, where did I get the 8500 in this thread??

Anyway, if what Lars says is right, then it's academic. All this time, however, csonni seemed like he really didn't NEED the GPU for anything other than benefitting from Quartz Extreme, in which case a 1st gen Radeon would do the trick -- which i thought was also a good suggestion assuming that wouldn't want to spend a boatload of dough on it -- which he definitely would if he bought a 9800. He's not a gamer, so i thought I'd try and save him some dough smile.gif

Just checked ATI's prices (http://ati.com/buy/pricesmaccdn.html). The 9800 is $500.00. The Radeon "Mac Edition" is $279.00 -- and thew 9000 Pro with DOUBLE the memory is $10.00 cheaper than the original Radeon! What the -- ?!

[ May 16, 2004, 01:34 PM: Message edited by: Macaholic ]

May 16th, 2004, 01:21 PM
Where has it been documented that the Ati Radeon 9800 pro doesn't work in a 2x agp mac?? Even the official system requirements state the opposite:

System Requirements

Mac® OS X 10.2.5 or later

AGP 4x or 2x capable Macintosh®

Power Macintosh G4 or G5 AGP system
OWC NOTE: For installation in a G5 system, see this instruction manual on ATI's site.
128MB of system memory

Installation software requires CD-ROM drive

DVD playback requires DVD drive

Power connection to the computer

RADEON™ 9800 PRO MAC EDITION requires connection to your computer’s internal power supply for operation. ATI recommends a 300-Watt power supply or greater to ensure normal system operation where a number of other internal devices are installed


I personally have tried the card in a MDD 1ghz, MDD dual 867, and a DA 466.

Worked perfectly in all of them, obviously it won't give you as good performance with a sawtooth 350 compared to the G5 or even the MDD 1ghz.

May 16th, 2004, 02:04 PM
I'll be interested to see Lars' response to your question, insertclevername. All I know is that, on the first generation AGP Powermacs, there is a voltage deficiency in the AGP system that apparently prevents them from running DUAL DVI monitors off of one card. maybe this voltage issue is related to lars' comment?? :confused:

May 16th, 2004, 02:42 PM
I haven't heard of that problem with the earlier AGP Power Macs, but either way the ATI Radeon 9800 Pro doesn't get its power from the AGP port, you need to power it from the IDE power connectors.

May 16th, 2004, 03:11 PM
Lars says alot of things...

A Radeon 9800 would function in Mac OS 9, but there wouldn't be things like OpenGL support or the like. But if you just want Quartz Extreme a Flashed GeForce 2mx or an original Radeon is all you really need.

Many high end videocards require external power now, the problem is the quality of many power supplies that don't provide enough current to the AGP slots. Hence the external power plug, you can also buy Firewire cards powered directly off the power supply.

[ May 16, 2004, 03:25 PM: Message edited by: Trevor 10.2 ]

May 16th, 2004, 05:29 PM
First off, from a gaming perspective (I know, I know - he's not a gamer), but when I say that 9800 Pro doesn't work [i[properly[/i] in older "Sawtooth" models, I mean that because of your slow processor and slow 2X-AGP slot, the card would out-perform the computer, and would "hang" in games, waiting for the CPU. In order to take full advantage of the 9800, you'd need, like I said, probably something close a 1 GHz G4 with a 4X-AGP slot, 133/167 bus or better. In otherwords, for gaming, you'd never be able to take the full advantage of what this card has to offer. The same thing goes for the Radeon 9000, 64 MB graphics card - it works in a 2X-AGP slot, but because it's designed for a 4X-AGP slot (along with a decently fast G4), you'd never be able to take full advantage of the card, no matter how good it seems to you - it's lacking.

Secondly, unless you own a Gigabit Ethernet model or better, you're right - you can't run dual DVI-based monitors off the same card, nor can you use its ADC (Apple Display Connector) port if it has one. (unless it uses an external power sourec - the 9800 does I think.)

All in all, though, if you don't game and just need some Finder-acceleration, any 32 MB graphic card or better will do the job.

May 16th, 2004, 05:55 PM
For the record -- and so that I don't look like a chump -- I bought my 9000 card at an incredible price: $179.00. I never would have bought it at retail, opting for a Radeon or something.

May 16th, 2004, 06:36 PM
Realistically, not even the latest of the G4 towers, including those with DDR memory can really exploit a high performance videocard.

That isn't to say they won't "work" they will "work" perfectly, but the performance will lag behind the potential.

Before the G5, the memory subsystem and other buses in the Mac were prehistoric relative to those in PC's, barely on a 440BX level.

2x vs. 4x vs. 8x AGP isn't that big of an issue, in the PC world. The real issue is what is behind the AGP slot. In a mac, other than write combining, there is nearly no tanglible difference between 2x and 4x AGP because the corelogic has the same bus weakness.

And the mac model has NOTHING to do with Dual DVI.

May 16th, 2004, 07:14 PM
And the mac model has NOTHING to do with Dual DVI. Really? I think that's what MacDoc told me once upon a time. Maybe my recall is off, mistaking it for ADC, as in getting a dual ADC card?

So, are you saying that I CAN run dual DVI monitors with my Sawtooth/Radeon 9000?? graemlins/heybaby.gif

May 16th, 2004, 08:29 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I think I am now reconsidering what card to upgrade with. The 32 meg is just what I would need to experience more of a thrill with OSX. Since I am definitely not a gamer, anything more would most likely be a waste of my money. Thanks plenty.

May 16th, 2004, 09:25 PM
The Mac Radeon 9000 comes with an ADC port and a DVI port. A DVI-VGA adaptor is included in the box.

To use two DVI monitors, you need a get a ADC->DVI cable, about $30. ADC is just a propritary DVI form factor.

When an ADC plug is unpowered, there is no monitor power. But their is still a DVI signal going to the pins.

May 16th, 2004, 09:32 PM
Right. I'm using the DVI-to-VGA adaptor for my CRT. So, for the OTHER output from the Radeon, I'll need either an ADC-to-VGA or ADC-to-DVI adaptor, depending on what interface I decide to get on the flat panels.

I was a little concerned initially about living with flat panels. i hate the "artifacting" and blurring that can occur. If I keep them in native resolution, however, they should be fine. I watched the Matrix Revolutions "burly brawl" on a flat panel at business Depot, yesterday and it looked very clear and sharp. I just have to be mindful of the specs on the displays I look over.

[ May 16, 2004, 09:49 PM: Message edited by: Macaholic ]

May 17th, 2004, 06:35 AM
I am currently using an "old" Sawtooth AGP 400meg PowerMac.

I do a shi*load of digital video work and am into Photoshop 7 practically every day.

My machine is working just FINE, thank you!

Despite being crippled with the stock ATI RagePro 128 Video Card, and a cheap nondescript ATI 3D card for my second monitor (I run two 21 inch CRT's, BTW)....

(BTW, I have a gig of RAM and two 60gig Hard drives, plus an external 100gig HD hooked into this unit)

This is a PowerMac G4 400 AGP that is almost FIVE years old...but it DOESN'T seem the least bit slow or outdated. At least to me;)

Am I missing something here? Or can I realise a major power boost by getting a newer video card?

If so...which one?

May 17th, 2004, 07:56 AM

you're missing something, alright :D

but seriously, i just went from a g4 450 with stock Rage card at work to a dual 1.25 g4 with a 64 meg card and the difference is quite dramatic. you don't realize how much time is consumed by the UI until you work with Quartz Extreme for awhile. for the money i think the upgrade to a 32 or 64 meg card is worthwhile.
a 64 meg card might be overkill in a Sawtooth though.

of course for those who only use their machines for surfing, checking email, and microsoft word any video card upgrade would be a waste of money.

May 17th, 2004, 02:50 PM
Although this thread seems to have run its course, I did stumble across a pertinent piece of info about the 9800 cards and compatibility at barefeats.com. According to this page (http://www.barefeats.com/quick.html):

9800 OEM version (BTO @ Apple store):
128MB, 8X AGP (G5) ONLY, DVI + ADC ports.

Radeon 9800 Pro (the retail "Mac Edition"):
128MB, 2X/4X (any Mac with AGP -- presumably including the G5, but would throttle down to 4X AGP performance... maybe? I;m guessing). VGA + DVI ports.

Radeon 9800 Pro ("Special Edition"):
256MB, 8X (G5 ONLY), DVI + ADC ports.

So, it looks like the only Mac that can use 256MB of VRAM is the G5, and that the Radeon 9800 Pro (retail "Mac Edition") is the only card that can be used by any Powermac -- but will probably not run as well as either the stock or optional 8X cards on the G5? That's my hypotheses, anyways.

May 17th, 2004, 06:29 PM
Actually the Retail 128 mb card is better than the stock card. The speed difference between 4x and 8x is non-existant. But the clock speed is 350 vs. 380.