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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to upgrade my stock (32 mb NVIDEA Gforce 2 MX) video card. Any recommendations on a reasonably priced new card?

I do a lot of Photoshop work (nothing larger than 50mg, but who knows...). I would also like to start experimenting with video. I don't think I need top of the line but I don't want to waste my money on something soon to be obsolete either.

Thanks

Could I keep the NVIDEA caed and use it to drive a second monitor?
 

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Could I keep the NVIDEA caed and use it to drive a second monitor?
No. If you're going to upgrade your video card and replace it with a newer, AGP-based card, you can't keep this card. Your G4 has only a single AGP slot, and AGP cards don't operate in PCI slots (your Geforce MX card now is AGP-based). Note: Don't bother getting a PCI card to replace your Geforce just so you can keep it - no PCI card is better than your AGP-based Geforce MX card, and you will get zero benefit, other than a second monitor. Most new AGP cards, like the RADEON 9000, also support dual-monitors, making a second video card useless and not required.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Gotcha.

So is the Radeon 9000 the way to go? How is it performance wise next to the GForce? Will it make a difference in PS?
 

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So is the Radeon 9000 the way to go? How is it performance wise next to the GForce? Will it make a difference in PS?
The RADEON 9000 (64 MB DDR) is your best bet if you don't play 3D games - for everything else, it's a good card and signciantly better than your Geforce 2 MX 32 MB card (with a faster clockspeed - the RADEON engine is also faster than any MX engine on the Geforce series). Sports both ADC and DVI connectors, however, requiring dual adaptors if you want to use dual VGA-based monitors, although the card includes the DVI-to-VGA adaptor in the box (the ADC-to-VGA, or DVI, is not included and is actually quite pricy).

Not sure how much difference it'll make it PS, as I don't use the program too often, but when working with large images, and or video clips (not in PS), it'll make a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
How about the GForce 4MX? How would it compare to the 9000?

I know what I should be doing is getting a faster machine but I feel like this one (Dual 533) has yet to live up to it's full potential.

I figure that upgrading the HD to an 8mb/ 120 and putting a better card in may give it that extra bit it may be lacking (the HD for sure).

Good idea or no? :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Forgot something...


What about video input? I would like to dump some VHS material (with sound) into the machine. Does this require a different card?

Thanks
 

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Different world entirely.
You need a bridge not a card or do it through your camera. :cool:
 

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How about the GForce 4MX? How would it compare to the 9000?
The Geforce 4 MX is just an upgraded version of the Geforce 2 MX - you'd barely see a difference between the two - if any difference at all with 2D. Both the 4 MX and 2 MX have 32 MB of DDR VRAM.

The Radeon 9000 is definitely considerably better than both the Geforce cards, and also has double the VRAM - 64 MB DDR.
 

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I've done exactly that (replace Geforce2MX/32MB with Radeon 9000/64MB) and pretty much for the same reasons (2D performance over gaming).

Subjective comments:

I'm quite happy with the card; text is much sharper (I run 1280x1024 w/a 17" trinitron CRT) than the nVidia and edge sharpness/colour is also noticeably improved. The card is very consistent edge-to-edge.

Objective testing:

nVidia xBench:
Quartz Graphics Test 111.61 (Line 2.78Klines/sec Text 1.89 Kchars/sec)
OpenGL Graphics Test 108.22 (75.53 frames/sec)
User Interface Test 108.85 (35.01 refresh/sec)

Radeon xBench:
Quartz Graphics Test 142.82 (Line 3.07Klines/sec Text 8.50 Kchars/sec)
OpenGL Graphics Test 89.92 (62.93 frames/sec)
User Interface Test 198.59 (63.88 refresh/sec)

You can see the 2D performance figures are significantly improved (ie text, quartz), while the nVidia has a slight edge with OpenGL (gaming).

All other paramaters (cpu, memory, system, etc) were unchanged for these two results. I've been able to tweak the Radeon's performance a bit since installing it, but these tests were done back-to-back, for direct comparison.

G4 QuickSilver 2001 867/2MB cache/1.5GB RAM/4x AGP

The Radeon 8500 is essentially the same card but offers different output options (has a S-Video out but no ADC).

The 9000, because it was an Apple OEM option, is fully supported in OSX.
 

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The Radeon 8500 is essentially the same card but offers different output options (has a S-Video out but no ADC).
Correct, to an extent. The Radeon 8500 is considerably more powerful when it comes to renendering 3D objects and games. The Radeon 9000 fails to deliever at resolutions higher than 1024x768 with decent frame rates, depending on your machine speed - while the 8500 won't choke on resolutions as high as 1280x1024x32 (color depth), according to several review benchmarks. The inputs aren't the only difference.

The 9000, because it was an Apple OEM option, is fully supported in OSX.
Just to make it clear - all video cards from NIVIDA are officially supported in OS X (even ones that didn't ship in Apple computers but are Mac-compitiable), and all ATI cards from the Rage 128 through to the RADEON series and better (future cards) are officially supported in OS X. The common misconception is that only cards that shipped in Apple computers are supported - especially since in the Apple OS X Install screen it says, "Apple supplied video card" in the system requirements - which techncially speaking doesn't have to be true.
 

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I was referring to the 8500 and the 9000 only (the subject of my post). The 8500 requires ATI's drivers to work (ie with all features enabled) in OSX.

" ... Just to make it clear - all video cards from NIVIDA are officially supported in OS X ..."

nVidea (unlike ATI) doesn't make video cards; they are a chip company only (like AMD). All nVidia cards themselves are made by 3rd party manufacturers; they're all built using the nVidia reference design and chipset, but they're certainly not identical from one manufacturer to another.

"nVidia" card is a bit of a misnomer; actually we should probably say things like "ASUS card with nVidia chipset", etc.

So, although it's probably true that the cards with an nVidia chipset, and sold via Apple for Macs, are supported (because they're manufactured for Apple by some unknown assembler) I wouldn't go as far as saying any nVidia chipset card would be supported.

It's just that no-one else besides Apple makes them at this point * , so naturally those cards we have available to us right now should be supported.

By supported, I mean the drivers are part of your OS installation and have been tested to work in OSX. If you upgrade the OS, the drivers will be included in the upgrade.

Installing a supported card should only require plugging it in (although in some hardware the drivers aren't installed by the OS installer, so you still might have to do it manually).

With an unsupported card, you should install the manufacturer's drivers before you install the card itself, and may find you need to install upgraded drivers from the card manufacturer with a new OS upgrade.

*- That I know of. Do you know of an nVidia chipset card that wasn't sold through the AppleStore that's Mac compatible, Lars? I was under the impression there wern't any.

[ January 04, 2004, 09:39 AM: Message edited by: gordguide ]
 

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Gord there are a couple of "sold as native" 64 meg nVidia around that will plug and play but we've had issues in some Macs with them so have not bothered to pursue the category tho the savings were substantial.

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/G4ZONE/G4firmwareMXrom.html

I'm really ticked there are no optional cards for the G5 except through Apple or the horribly expensive 9800 which is a bear to use in a G5. :mad:
 

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Do you know of an nVidia chipset card that wasn't sold through the AppleStore that's Mac compatible, Lars? I was under the impression there wern't any.

There are a couple, but they are few and far between. You can however take a lot of Windows nVidia GeForce 2/3/4 cards and flash them with the Mac ROMs. Of course, if you screw it up you end up with a 150$-400$ piece of plastic that also has no warranty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
All of this being said, which, in all of your opinions, would be the most appropriate card for both my machine and situation?

Would it be even worth upgrading? Is it just a matter of saving a few extra seconds here or there or will the card be a hindrance down the road if I want to ask more of my machine?

I'm not a gamer (except for Links Championship Edition which seems to lag a bit at times) so I don't know if the 3D aspect of things is that relevant. I would like to inevitably get into video. Would a new card make a world of difference to that?


:confused:
 

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processors do most of the work for video rendering, but a new video card can up performance in general. i suggest you pick up either a 9000 (availablity/price) or a geforce4 but the 64mb version (hard to find, but you can probably get it pretty cheap and is actually pretty darn good)
 
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