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Fastest NuBus Video Card for 68k Macs?

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  • 68kMLA Supporter

Now that I've got a Wicked Fast IIfx, I'm curious - what is/are the fastest NuBus video cards for a 68k Mac? I did a little poking around on Google, but most of the info I saw seemed to relate much more to the early PPC machines...


Just wondering,



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The supermac Thunder II, Radius Thunder IV cards are decent. It all depends on what you are going to use the IIfx for. Video cards with DSPs onboard mostly just speed up photoshop, so if you are not a heavy photoshop user a cheap Thunder/24 would be great (and easy to find).


Some Rasterops cards were decent as well.


Apple 24*AC cards are a bit hard to find, and have limitations on what OS they work on.

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Not sure, since the base card should have quickdraw acceleration anyway I think. Also I don't think the DSPs can do photoshop and quickdraw at the same time (guess that does not matter since the App pretty much locks the system when you are doing DSP work).


I you look at the Thunder II Supermac line the differences between the 3 top models is DSP card addon , RAM onboard, and for the high end one a different monitor connector.

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That is probably the only card Apple made that is worth getting. I hear it runs a bit hot.


And it's the card that everyone hated, because it had so many compatibility issues with newer system software releases. I love it because the architecture is so workstation-like: the card actually boots into it's own OS that receives QuickDraw calls from the Mac.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The Radius Thunder-IV drivers include a QuickDraw accelerator extension that speeds up Quickdraw noticeably. There is a hot-key you can hold down to turn it off and on again. I did it on a IIci with a 040/50 in and it made one HECK of a difference to the speed of screen redraws on the desktop. It made 7.x very usable at 1280x1024 [:D]]'>


In all my travels around NuBus video cards (I've got a few ya know [;)]]'>) I've found that a properly setup Thunder IV is hard to beat, especially for Photoshop work.


Actually, although scrticly OT, the video on the 840av is blooming stonkingly quick too, so much so that despite the restricted resolutions (if you want to keep the video overlay working at 24-bit) it was preferable to the Thunder IV (hence why I dropped it in the IIci [:)]]'> )

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  • 4 years later...

This is a great thread for the Peripherals Forum and needs to be continued and expanded upon, IMHO. I'll be posting some links to the other VidCard threads that we have scattered about the barracks. Discussion about, and pics of, Cosmo's recently acquired Radius Le Mans GT has pushed me back into recurring VidCard OCD Mode once more.


Jeff, if you could get this ball rolling again I, and the rest of the gang, would greatly appreciate it! [;)]]'>


Meanwhile, any additional information about the LeMans GT or the Radius/SuperMac Thunder II series would also be much appreciated.


Practical experience of comrades with the NuBus VidCards introduced at the time of the Quadra to x100 PPC transition, especially Drivers and OS compatibilities, would be most enlightening. I've been trying to piece together available information from the Compatibility/Resolution Matrices compiled by gamba and the LowEndMac Video Card Articles. So far I've come up with a lot more questions than answers.


Areas to research for compilation of an updated/expanded VidCard Information Matrix:


1) A VidCard TimeLine overlay for a CPU Timeline (SCSI Card, Video Capture Card, Sound Card, etc. along with PDS Card overlays for same would really rock)

1) Refresh Rate availability at all resolutions of NuBus Video Cards would be most helpful, especially so for determining 60Hz LCD compatibility.

2) NuBus Block Transfer capability would be another important row to to populate, especially for Radius Rocket performance. Additional applications for NBBT?



From applefritter: nubus video compatible with G3 upgrades in...

From MacGurus: PDS Video Card Adapter


I'll add more as thoughts arise, suggestions more than welcome! :approve:

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Yep, just read that somewhere in my searching today and someone mentioned it recently in another thread.


There was an interesting bit in the section of the Radius Q&A about the Apple Hardware Test always reporting VRAM as bad on any second source Video Card. It also suggested using a different testing utility than Apple's(?) for Video Performance, which is weighted toward functions other than those leading people to have payed more for a High End Video Card than they would have spent for the target Mac.


That's probably the same utility that shows MoBo Video performance besting those same High End Video Cards. MoBo Video never stretched resolutions for 24bit Color and MuscleCards aren't optimized for the tasks the standard utilities run at lower resolutions and lower color depths.

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