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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Power Mac - Video card upgrade HELP


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JMD-2

 
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Member Since: Apr 29, 2007
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Mac Specs: G4 AGP, upgraded 1.4GHz, etc.

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Hi, I'm new to the Forum. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help.

Can anyone tell me which video cards are compatible with my G4 AGP Graphics 350 MHz (upgraded with FastMac 1.4 GHz processor), 1.5 GB RAM?
I'm waiting for an ATI RADEON 9800 Pro Mac Edition 256MB G4/G5 AGP Video Card that is currently on back-order (WAY on back-order) and I'm wondering which of the nVidia or S3 or others out there can fit the bill. I've only found a couple of website that tell me specifically what's compatible, but they only list ATI.

I don't do any gaming, but I do like to go to youtube.com and watch TV episodes at abc.com and right now my original ATY Rage128Pro isn't cutting it.

Also, do I even need the 256MB or can I get by with the (available and cheaper) 128MB ATI Radeon card? I've searched for so long on this issue that now I'm just confused.
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bobtomay

 
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Am sure you have already been to OWC, if not check there.
The problem is, I don't think any one is actually manufacturing the 9800 any longer. You're best bet to find it is probably going to be ebay.

Guess it depends on what you want to do with it as to the 128 vs 256.
Can tell you I had the AIW 9800 Pro w/128, (actually still have it, just fell by the wayside during one of my regular upgrades) and was able to play games like all the Tomb Raider series, Far Cry, the latest Myst and others without issue. Am not into the Doom style games, so never tried that type.

Does anyone know if the retail non Mac version of these cards will work by just downloading the Mac drivers or is there an actual hardware difference that would prevent them from being used?

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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JMD-2

 
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Yep, OWC is where my back-order is. I was told by customer service at another site that AMD bought out ATI and manufacturing has fallen by the wayside due to financial troubles and nobody is sure that the 9800 will be made.

That brings up my original question. Are there any other cards that are comparable to the Radeon 9800 that will go in the G4 AGP box? None of the video card sites are very helpful in saying which of their cards are good for the older computers! Ageism rears its ugly head again!
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bobtomay

 
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Based on a quick look at nvidia's site, would guess there is no card that will work. Went throught their entire line of cards, and while they have Linux and Solaris drivers for many, there are no drivers available for Mac's with any of their cards.

Any Radeon you can find will be a fairly substantial upgrade from the Rage chipset.
Am curious as to what you mean by "isn't cutting it" however.

As a hardware junkie, and due to the Mac cards holding their value at around $250 while the same windows version card is now only about $50, I would be hard pressed to put that kind of an upgrade into that old a system. Even the lowest end iMac will blow it out of the water all the way around. Know you're not really looking for this kind of advice, but I would be remiss if I didn't say it. Would suggest saving that $250 toward a new rig.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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JMD-2

 
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By "not cutting it" I mean when I watch videos (especially since abc.com upgraded their video player) there is a lot of stuttering and a lot of lag time. I've always had the problem of running out of resources and crashing in the middle of an episode of, say, "Grey's Anatomy," and I was never sure whether that was the fault of the video card or the processor, etc., but it just seems that I can't go to sites with video that others go to without one problem or another.

Regarding a new computer—I'd drop the cash for a new iMac 20" or 24" in a heartbeat if it weren't for the fact that I would then have to dish out additional big cash for the Adobe Creative Suite 3 (I use CS2 now). It's just a lot of money. We're talking $2,000-3,000 instead of $600 or so for video card, new monitor, USB upgrade, etc.

If I can get away with the upgrades for my few video needs, I'd rather do that because all my other apps are doing fine...Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign, etc.
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Two questions.

Do you have this problem with watching DVD's or other video stored on the hard drive or only while on the internet?

Do you have a high speed internet connection or still on dial up. If you're on dial up, a new video card will not help.

If you are only having problems during internet playback, check your preference settings.
In Quicktime, open quicktime preferences, go to the streaming tab and either uncheck Instant On or increase the delay so that more of the video is cached before it begins play. Most all players will have similar adjustments to help with stuttering and lag.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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JMD-2

 
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Hey, thanks for the tips. I checked the Quicktime prefs and changed them. We'll see how that works. I have a cable modem connection. I don't generally watch DVDs on the computer, but I'll check if there is any lag time there and see what's up. I do think I need to upgrade at least a bit, so I'll probably just go for the cheaper/available Radeon 9200 128MB. I'm pretty sure that's compatible.
Thanks again.
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