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Best video upgrade for a G4 Gigabit Ethernet w/AGP


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My GE G4 is running on the stock 16mb ATI Rage card it came with. I've added a Pioneer burner, ram, USB 2.0 and larger HD's. My next step is a new video card, and I wanted some advice.

 

My PowerBook G4 runs 64mb with a GeForce FX Go5200 and my G5 runs 64mb with its original card. I'm pretty happy with both those machines so I figured upgrading the GE G4 to 64mb would be good too.

 

Can anyone suggest a good AGP 64mb card they know performs well?

 

I want to be able to run the new iPhoto well and I'd like to upgrade this machine to 10.5. iPhoto's new graphics stutter really bad but my Photoshop CS has been decent. It's a work computer so that's about all I do with it.

 

Any suggestions would be great!

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Thanks MacJunky, I appreciate the input. I agree with you, video ram isn't everything but if I hope to run 10.5 at a good workable rate on my G4 I've gotta get more than 16mb of video ram.

 

I like those 9800 Pro's though it'd be funny putting that in my G4 when my current workhorse, a G5 dual 1.8 only has 64mb of ram, ha ha.

 

Thanks for the link! I'll hunt down a good deal on a 9200 or a 9800.

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If your wallet is not burning a hole in your pocket and you want decent performance for your budget, find a cast off GeForce 4MX or Radeon 9000 from a later model G4 like the QuickSilver or MDD. These cards are reasonably peppy (they don't support Core Image, but they do QE fine), have more VRAM than you're likely to really need, and they'll work in your AGP 2x slot.

 

And they should be relatively cheap.

 

Peace,

Drew

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i seen a few 6800 Gt cards on ebay going for $60 shipped and up ( these are PC cards that need to be flashed to Mac)

 

the card i am looking at to put in my DA is a eVGA 6800 GT, still a very nice card

 

but i dont know if it will work in a AGP 2x slot or not. the 2x AGP limits what card you can put in it. but almost anything will be better than the stock Rage card in it now.

 

a few questions, do you boot into OS 9 at all, cause if you do the ATI Radeon 9200 is the last card ( that i am aware of) that will get acceleration in OS 9 ( mostly used for games and the GUI and a few other things). i am not sure what the latest Nvidia card will 100% work in OS 9

 

but if you don't boot into OS 9 at all then it broadens your video card selection a bit more. the 9800 might be a good bet. you just got to look and see on the Mac elite to see what card will work on your Mac.

 

Mac edition cards always fetch a premium price vs the PC counterpart

 

good luck hunting and have fun

Frank

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Well, I was going to go with a stock Mac card but there just aren't a lot of them out there for obvious reasons. I was almost sold on the Radeon 9000 and may still get that. I don't dual boot OS 9 and I've never flashed a video card so I may give that a try. The FX5200 is nice and cheap, 256mb. I just wonder about the chip sets and variations within.

 

BTW, the FX5200's all seem to be 8x...does flashing them take care of the 4x and 8x problem? It doesn't make sense but hey.

 

Thanks for all the help guys.

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Well, I was going to go with a stock Mac card but there just aren't a lot of them out there for obvious reasons. I was almost sold on the Radeon 9000 and may still get that. I don't dual boot OS 9 and I've never flashed a video card so I may give that a try. The FX5200 is nice and cheap, 256mb. I just wonder about the chip sets and variations within.

 

BTW, the FX5200's all seem to be 8x...does flashing them take care of the 4x and 8x problem? It doesn't make sense but hey.

 

Thanks for all the help guys.

 

8x cards will work in 4x slots, but some may need pins 3 and 11 to be masked with tape. You'll need to finds specs on specific cards to determine if they are electrically compatible with 2x.

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i know that the Mac elite has a list that shows what will work in what system

 

http://themacelite.wikidot.com/compatibility

 

it looks like the 6200 is the latest card that will work in a 2x slot for nvidia cards. and the 9200, 9500/9700/9800 are the latest cards that will work in a 2x slot for ATI cards.

i would try to find something that supports both QE and CI.

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  • 2 weeks later...

you should have done some benchmarking with the stock video card still installed vs the flashed one to see how much of a difference it made. like using xbench, open mark, and a few games ( demo's like halo, UT 2K4, RTCW, and a few others) to see how much of a difference it made to real world things.

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you should have done some benchmarking with the stock video card still installed vs the flashed one to see how much of a difference it made. like using xbench, open mark, and a few games ( demo's like halo, UT 2K4, RTCW, and a few others) to see how much of a difference it made to real world things.

 

I did do some benchmarking with XBench, but I don't have any games to try. XBench doesn't seem to indicate much improvement, but I'm noticing that even people with Radeon 9800s aren't showing any improvement either with the stock 533MHz processor. My guess is that the processor is the bottleneck. I'll be getting a new processor soon - we'll see how that works.

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I bought a (PC) 9800 Pro for my Digital Audio. It seemed the easiest way to get both Quartz Extreme and Core Image (I'm not exactly sure how useful the latter is yet - I can live without such things as the dashboard ripple - but it seemed like something worth having) and didn't completely suck like any nVidia card with a number less than '6' anywhere in the model number.

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