Advantages to a video card upgrade?

Discussion in 'Video Hardware' started by Curmudgeon, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Guest

    OK, this is acknowledgedly a dumb question, but I'd appreciate it if
    somebody could lay out what performance enhancements I might enjoy by
    upgrading the video card on my G4 Digital Audio. I've improved just
    about everything else I can -- 1.47 GHz accelerator; 1.5 Gb of RAM; a
    pair of 160 Gb internal drives; SCSI, USB 2.0, FireWire 800 PCI cards;
    and an external digital audio interface -- and the video card is just
    about the last thing I could swap out. It's currently running stock
    (ATI Rage 128 Pro w/16Mb VRAM), driving an old Sony Trinitron 19" CRT
    at 1280 x 1024 @ 75 Hz (32-bit color).

    I'm not dissatisfied by its current performance levels in any way, but
    I am having so much fun hot-rodding this old beast that I am thinking
    about adding a more powerful video card just because I *can* (maniacal
    laughter). Would it buy me anything noticeable or would I need a more
    up-to-date monitor to really take advantage of it?

    Please forgive my ignorance and clue an old fart in on what might lie
    beyond the yellow brick road. Many thanks in advance.

    --

    Cheers!

    Mudge

    "And if California slides into the ocean like the mystics and
    statistics say it will, I predict this hotel will be standing
    until I pay my bill."
     
    Curmudgeon, Jan 22, 2009
    #1
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  2. Curmudgeon wrote:
    > OK, this is acknowledgedly a dumb question, but I'd appreciate it if
    > somebody could lay out what performance enhancements I might enjoy by
    > upgrading the video card on my G4 Digital Audio. I've improved just
    > about everything else I can -- 1.47 GHz accelerator; 1.5 Gb of RAM; a
    > pair of 160 Gb internal drives; SCSI, USB 2.0, FireWire 800 PCI cards;
    > and an external digital audio interface -- and the video card is just
    > about the last thing I could swap out. It's currently running stock
    > (ATI Rage 128 Pro w/16Mb VRAM), driving an old Sony Trinitron 19" CRT
    > at 1280 x 1024 @ 75 Hz (32-bit color).
    >
    > I'm not dissatisfied by its current performance levels in any way, but
    > I am having so much fun hot-rodding this old beast that I am thinking
    > about adding a more powerful video card just because I *can* (maniacal
    > laughter). Would it buy me anything noticeable or would I need a more
    > up-to-date monitor to really take advantage of it?


    Well, seems to be a 'well-educated' oldie.:) - You could even have put
    in the 'big monster' of a dual G4/1,8ghz from PowerLogix, if you wanted
    to. - I have a QuickSilver enhanced nearly the same way like yours. But
    instead of the 1,47ghz, i've made it up with a GigaDesigns Dual
    G4/1,8ghz FreeScale 7447A Type II and a M-audio Delta 66 PCI soundcard
    with original break-out box. Wow! - this machine is fast..-)

    Also the graphics card is the weakest part on my QS - I have 'only' an
    ATI Radeon 9600Pro/64mb, but it fully suites my needs, since I do not
    use it for much except audio productionand editing.

    So if you want to push it to the absolute top-of-the-top, you can try to
    find an "ATI Radeon 9800Pro/256mb Macintosh G4 & G5 Edit5ion" or an ATI
    radeon 9800Pro/256 SpecialEdition for macintosh G4 and Windows". This SE
    card has a dual BIOS chip that makes it possible to run on both OS 9.x,
    all OS X as well as Win2000 to Vista. Both cards are 4x/2x AGP and are
    very, very fast and really usable for most graphics works including vieo
    editing.

    Radeon 9800Pro Macintosh Edition
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ATI Technologies/100435068/

    I can see that the 9800Pro Mac+Win Esition has been discontinued and
    instead there now is a similar ATI Radeon 9600Pro/256mb dual DVI with
    4x/8x AGP, - a bit cheaper than the 9800Pro/256mb.

    ATI Radeon 9600Pro/256mb Mac+Win
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ATI Technologies/100435065/

    The only alternative to the 9800Pro is the ATI Radeon 9200/128mb or
    256mb PCI card - no AGP. - This card is probably the fastest ever
    graphics card made for the G3, G4 and G5 series. Yes, - it can also do a
    rather fine job on even a Beige or B&W G3.:)!

    ATI Radeon 9200/128mb PCI
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/ATI Technologies/100436014/

    The 256mb version is discontinued.

    > Please forgive my ignorance and clue an old fart in on what might lie
    > beyond the yellow brick road. Many thanks in advance.


    You're forgiven..-) - I do indeed like to see those oldies but still
    good working machines upgraded. I'v upgraded a lot of even the old
    Sawtooth 400mhz til both single and dual G4/1,4ghz, more DAs and QSs
    also with CPUs from dual 1ghz to dual 1,8ghz. But I've only done this,
    when people really needed the use of OS 9.x as well and the machines
    were fully equipped. If a machine is factory default or only a bit
    upgraded with fx. extra memory, upgrading to the top limit is too
    expensive, but with machines like yours - and mine - I think it nearly
    is a 'must' to give it as much power as possible. On my own QS I even
    run Leopard incredibly fast....

    Btw. I have also upgraded my old work-horse of a Beige G3/300mhzAV to an
    1133mhz. It is filled with disks, memory, extra graphics card, USB+FW
    etc., so with it's built-in CompoSite AV & S-VHS card this one also is
    capable of delievering a good job... The only one I haven't upgraded
    with new CPU is my old PM 9600/350mhz, but else it's filled with apprx.
    1,2gb RAM, ATA controller, USB+FW, Ultra Wide SCSI with 10k harddisks
    and more. - This one is my 'typewriter'.:))

    Cheers, Erik Richard

    --
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Erik Richard Sørensen, Member of ADC, <>
    NisusWriter - The Future In Multilingual Text Processing - www.nisus.com
    OpenOffice.org - The Modern Productivity Solution - www.openoffice.org
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Erik Richard Sørensen, Jan 22, 2009
    #2
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  3. Curmudgeon

    Curmudgeon Guest

    In article <>,
    Jolly Roger <> wrote:

    > In article <220120091410054414%>,
    > Curmudgeon <> wrote:
    >
    > > OK, this is acknowledgedly a dumb question, but I'd appreciate it if
    > > somebody could lay out what performance enhancements I might enjoy by
    > > upgrading the video card on my G4 Digital Audio. I've improved just
    > > about everything else I can -- 1.47 GHz accelerator; 1.5 Gb of RAM; a
    > > pair of 160 Gb internal drives; SCSI, USB 2.0, FireWire 800 PCI cards;
    > > and an external digital audio interface -- and the video card is just
    > > about the last thing I could swap out. It's currently running stock
    > > (ATI Rage 128 Pro w/16Mb VRAM), driving an old Sony Trinitron 19" CRT
    > > at 1280 x 1024 @ 75 Hz (32-bit color).
    > >
    > > I'm not dissatisfied by its current performance levels in any way, but
    > > I am having so much fun hot-rodding this old beast that I am thinking
    > > about adding a more powerful video card just because I *can* (maniacal
    > > laughter). Would it buy me anything noticeable or would I need a more
    > > up-to-date monitor to really take advantage of it?

    >
    > You didn't mention which version Mac OS X you are running.
    >
    > The ATI Rage 128 Pro doesn't support Quartz Extreme, which lets the
    > operating system use the GPU on the graphics card for two-dimensional,
    > layered drawing through OpenGL:
    >
    > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quartz_Compositor>
    >
    > What this means is if you are running 10.4 or later, you will see a
    > significant increase in drawing speed across the board if you upgrade
    > the video card to a ATI Radeon 7500 or better. You will notice that
    > everything "feels" snappier after upgrading the video card.


    *DOH!* I was so busy keying in the hardware stuff that I forgot all
    about the software specs. I'm running OS X 10.4.11 with no plans to
    upgrade to Leopard since I value the Classic environment too highly.
    After poking around, it looks as if my best bet for a graphics card
    enhancement is the ATI Radeon 9200 since the 9600 apparently doesn't
    support OS 9.2.2 (and is more power than I think I'd ever need). If
    the 9200 will give me more speed and the ability to drive a bigger
    monitor when the time comes to retire my old Sony, that's the way to
    go. However, given that I'm not a gamester nor into any heavy-duty
    video editing, it is probably something I can put on the back burner
    until I've got $120 which is eating holes in my pockets. I'm driven
    more by the need to feel I have "maxed out" this old jalopy than any
    specific current requirements for better graphics performance.

    Many thanks for your helpful input!

    --

    Cheers!

    Mudge

    "And if California slides into the ocean like the mystics and
    statistics say it will, I predict this hotel will be standing
    until I pay my bill."
     
    Curmudgeon, Jan 23, 2009
    #3
  4. Curmudgeon wrote:
    > In article <>,
    > Jolly Roger <> wrote:
    >
    >> In article <220120091410054414%>,
    >> Curmudgeon <> wrote:
    >>
    >>> OK, this is acknowledgedly a dumb question, but I'd appreciate it if
    >>> somebody could lay out what performance enhancements I might enjoy by
    >>> upgrading the video card on my G4 Digital Audio. I've improved just
    >>> about everything else I can -- 1.47 GHz accelerator; 1.5 Gb of RAM; a
    >>> pair of 160 Gb internal drives; SCSI, USB 2.0, FireWire 800 PCI cards;
    >>> and an external digital audio interface -- and the video card is just
    >>> about the last thing I could swap out. It's currently running stock
    >>> (ATI Rage 128 Pro w/16Mb VRAM), driving an old Sony Trinitron 19" CRT
    >>> at 1280 x 1024 @ 75 Hz (32-bit color).
    >>>
    >>> I'm not dissatisfied by its current performance levels in any way, but
    >>> I am having so much fun hot-rodding this old beast that I am thinking
    >>> about adding a more powerful video card just because I *can* (maniacal
    >>> laughter). Would it buy me anything noticeable or would I need a more
    >>> up-to-date monitor to really take advantage of it?

    >>
    >> You didn't mention which version Mac OS X you are running.
    >> [...]

    >
    > *DOH!* I was so busy keying in the hardware stuff that I forgot all
    > about the software specs. I'm running OS X 10.4.11 with no plans to
    > upgrade to Leopard since I value the Classic environment too highly.


    I presumed that in my answer, since you've spend that much to maximize a
    DigitalAudio machine.:)

    > After poking around, it looks as if my best bet for a graphics card
    > enhancement is the ATI Radeon 9200 since the 9600 apparently doesn't
    > support OS 9.2.2 (and is more power than I think I'd ever need).


    The 9600 is supported. I'm running OS 9.2.2 as well on my QuickSilver
    with the 9600Pro videocard... - You need to install the ATI Displays
    software ver. 4.1 for OS 9.x and then again run the OS 9.2.2 updater.
    And the ver. 4,5.7 for OS X must be installed onto your Tiger
    installation. After this, run the OS X 10.4.11ComboUpdate to update to
    latest version. The OS 9.x software is no longer available from the ATI
    site, but you can get it from me. - Remove the capitals and underscores
    from the mail address in my signature to contact me directly.

    > If the 9200 will give me more speed and the ability to drive a bigger
    > monitor when the time comes to retire my old Sony, that's the way to
    > go. However, given that I'm not a gamester nor into any heavy-duty
    > video editing, it is probably something I can put on the back burner
    > until I've got $120 which is eating holes in my pockets. I'm driven
    > more by the need to feel I have "maxed out" this old jalopy than any
    > specific current requirements for better graphics performance.


    The 9200 /is/ fast. It is originally developed for fast gaming, so it
    has to be fast.:)

    I came to think that there might be some other alternatives, if you
    could find one of them in a slightly used and good-working version.

    NVidia GForce 2MX/64mb
    NVidia GForce 4MX/64mb or 4MX/128mb.
    The NVidia software can be found somewhere on the Apple download sites -
    or you can get it from me. But you first need to install the NVidia main
    software from OS 9.1 and then run the 9.2.1 and 9.2.2 updates. You must
    open the OS 9.1 installer in customized installation and only install
    the Nvidia software.

    NVidia FX5200/128mb - the one from the first generation G5
    This card is directly supported by Os X, but not accelerated for use
    with OS 9.x and can therefore only use the generic NVidia driver in the
    NVidia OS 9.x package in the 9.1 installer.

    ATI Radeon 7600Pro/128mb
    This card is fully supported by use of the ATI software mentioned above.

    ATI Radeon 8500/64mb, 8500/128mb
    Those two are both supported by OS 9.x and OS X

    ATI Radeon 9000Pro/64mb, 9000Pro/128mb
    These two are also supp0orted by OS 9.x as well as OS X

    All the videocards I mention can take a CRT monitor up to 26" with a
    resolution of 1600x1200@120hz and up to 2400x1920@67hz as well as any
    LCD monitor at least up to a 30" with a resolution of +1920x1280@67/75hz.

    cheers, Erik Richard

    --
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Erik Richard Sørensen, Member of ADC, <>
    NisusWriter - The Future In Multilingual Text Processing - www.nisus.com
    OpenOffice.org - The Modern Productivity Solution - www.openoffice.org
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Erik Richard Sørensen, Jan 23, 2009
    #4
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