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ATI Video card in a G4 PowerMac 3,1 (AGP graphics)?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 8, 2008 12:49:41 AM

Has any put a new card e.g. ATI 9800 Pro video card in an old G4?

Here is my Hardware Overview:
Machine Name: Power Mac G4 (AGP graphics)
Machine Model: PowerMac3,1
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (3.3)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1.2 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 256 KB
L3 Cache (per CPU): 2 MB
Memory: 1.5 GB
Bus Speed: 100 MHz
Boot ROM Version: 4.2.8f1
Serial Number: XB94904RHNZ
Sales Order Number: M7824LL/B

I would be happy with even a AGP 16MB video card that has Quartz Extreme support for the Mac! But, I can't find a new or used card that will work.
June 8, 2008 1:06:25 AM

1.2 GHz G4? Have you upgraded that machine? Didn't that machine originally come with something more like a 400 GHz G4?

Anyway, what do you do with that machine? Buying a whole new machine might make a whole lot more sense. I know that's not what you're asking about, but...

First, you're looking at an AGP graphics card. On the PC side of things, those are already mostly overpriced. You're looking at an old PPC Mac, meaning you're going to need a "Mac Edition" card. Back in the day, when you could pick up a Radeon 9800 Pro for a PC for sub-$200, the Mac Editions costed north of $400. If you want a Radeon 9800 Pro, you're going to need to find a Mac Edition one somewhere, which will be tough. Additionally, you're going to need to find a retail edition, I believe. People who bought a Mac with a Radeon 9800 Pro back in the day directly from Apple got a special OEM edition with some nonstandard connection next to the AGP connector for power. You'd have to do some soldering to get that to work in your AGP slot, I believe.

So look around. If you're lucky, you can get one secondhand, though I doubt it. The number of Macs with 9800 Pros is very, very, VERY small.

It might be worth your while to pick up a Mac mini, because even that low end computer might be faster than your current computer.

Sorry, I haven't kept up with Apple hardware in a long time. You might get more help (and more accurate help, also, since I might be wrong) on a Mac forum. Tom's Hardware caters more towards the gamers and overclockers (and car enthusiasts?)
June 8, 2008 1:08:14 AM

EW a mac......

The 9800pro is an old video card. Besides, why do you need a video card? Surely you don't game if you own a mac, nor if you would be wanting a 16mb card.
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June 8, 2008 1:36:13 AM

1.2 GHz G4? Have you upgraded that machine?

lamb: Yes, I knew that it had been upgraded when I bought it used a couple of weeks ago.

Didn't that machine originally come with something more like a 400 GHz G4?

lamb: Yes, probably so.

These old G4 desktops are like iron. The problem of course is the video card.
I am running Final Cut Express HD on OS X (10.4.11) which requires the Quartz Extreme support.

No, a mac mini, ibook, imac, just want do video editing as smoothly as a machine with internal hard drives. All kinds of issues with multiple firewire connections/drop frames etc.

I just spotted a ATI 9800 128MB Mac edition video card at CDW. According to the picture it will physically fit in the machine for $242. I don't mind the cost just want to know it is going to work!

An Apple guy actually suggested this site, thought I would give it a try. Thanks for the help anyway.
June 8, 2008 1:53:25 AM

You can buy an entire new PC tower than kicks this mac for less than $242!
June 8, 2008 2:08:11 AM

not likely
June 8, 2008 2:56:13 AM

Final Cut Pro, huh? Yeah, then I understand why you want to use the machine you use. Obviously, a Mac Pro is a bit on the expensive side, so you'd rather upgrade.

However, if you use the computer for a living, and a Mac allows you to be more productive because it's the platform you've been using, then what's an additional $1,000 if it lets you make much more money? (or whatever other reason you may have; I don't want to restrict it to just money)

I'm sorry I couldn't really be of help, but best of luck on all your future endeavors.
June 8, 2008 3:58:09 AM

Yes, it does help. I would prefer just purchase a new one but the nearest store, an hour away, didn't have any more answers than I did. And, they only had the 9250 and 9800 in stock. I wonder what version of the 9250 they had?

Is the 9250 AGP 2x compatible?
June 8, 2008 4:00:52 AM

Their web site say 9200.

http://microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?pro...

Product Specifications
Interface Type PCI Interface
Graphics Processor ATI RADEON 9200 Graphics Processor
Video Memory Installed 128MB DDR SDRAM Video Memory
Ports and Connectors (1) VGA 15-pin Port; (1) Digital Video Interface (DVI-I) Connector; (1) TV Out S-Video Port
Supported Macintosh Operating Systems Mac OS 9.2.2; Mac OS X 10.2.8; Mac OS X 10.3.3 or Later
Minimum Processor Type PowerPC G3 Processor or Faster
Minimum RAM Required 256MB
Peripheral Devices CD-ROM drive, DVD-playback requires DVD drive
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year Limited Warranty
June 8, 2008 4:02:01 AM

Nope, that won't work it's a PCI.

OK, off to e-bay!
August 8, 2008 7:07:54 PM

I just went through a similar search but for an upgrade to a Powermac G5 - which is also AGP - in order to work on 3D graphics.
My advice is to call all your nearby Apple dealers and see if they have a Radeon 9800 Pro Mac Edition still in stock.
I bought mine for $250. and it works really well - speeds up redraws and OPen GL.
There is an extra power connection needed but the cable is included and simply branches from another drive connector. Should work work on a G4 but check just to be sure.
Cheers.


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