• Hello, Guest! Welcome back, and be sure to check out this post for more info about the recent service interruption and migration.

Making a PC video card work in a PowerPC?

Swabbie

Member
Seems any good PowerPC compatible “Mac Edition” AGP (and PCI) video card (64GB, 128GB etc) out there are exponentially higher in cost than their PC counterpart. (See example below).

Is there a way for an avg user/layperson like myself to make one of these work in, say, a G4 GE?

If so can someone point me to a tutorial?

 

CircuitBored

Well-known member
You can find a list of available Mac video GPU ROMs here.

As you can see, some cards have a "reduced" ROM (no boot screen, card starts with OS) which can be flashed onto the PC cards' smaller flash chips. Other than that you will have to replace the flash chip with one of a higher capacity. I have done this on quite a few PCI Radeon 7000s as those cards can be had very cheaply and have DVI, VGA and S-video. You can flash the AGP R7000s with the same ROM.

You'll need to use a utility like flashrom, nvflash or atiflash to re-flash the ROM chip. Alternatively you can flash the chip with a specific tool for doing so, although those are expensive. Some cards have write protection on them so the latter method is sometimes the only way.

Here's a sample tutorial.
 
Last edited:

Byrd

Well-known member
Adding to CircuitBored's splendid post, you ideally need an old Pentium II or III working setup to adequately flash the cards. Look for x86 versions of the cards that look roughly reference in design, or similar to the Apple OEM cards. Look for good quality brands and cards (not low profile, not hobbled 64-bit cards with crappy slow RAM speeds, with good fans and heatsinks).

The card you have indicated won't flash over easily IMO - Radeon 7000 is the easiest, maybe Geforce FX5200 cards second.
 

Swabbie

Member
Sorry I’m just getting back to this. I agree, as usual circuitboards posts are always splendid. It answered my question and gave me a lot to digest.

Also Thank you Byrd for the heads up that the card I pointed to would be a headache to convert, what cards would fair easier and what type of rig to use for this.

This pairs well with what I’m wanting to splice together on the PC side anyway as I hope to build a one-size-fits-most data recovery rig that can clone SCSI, IDE and SATA data drives.

Killing two birds with one stone is always nice.
 

Nathan_A

Well-known member
I'm still determined to get my PCI 3Dfx Voodoo 5 5500 to work on a Mac. It's been an infuriating process so far, but the only difference between the PC and Mac cards besides the firmware is the presence of a DVI port on the Mac version.
 

Ncc74656

Well-known member
i bought a ch341A and new rom chips off digikey (1MB) and flashed a few with different rom revisions. i soldered them onto my radeon card and am currently going through testing for performance on my 6360CD. i do not own a PC with a PCI slot so this was my cheap route
 

macuserman

Well-known member
I'm still determined to get my PCI 3Dfx Voodoo 5 5500 to work on a Mac. It's been an infuriating process so far, but the only difference between the PC and Mac cards besides the firmware is the presence of a DVI port on the Mac version.
Why has it been so difficult? Were you unable to find the mac firmware? I thought these had pretty good support for flashing.
 
Top