G4 (and G5) AGP Graphics Card Upgrades:
Part 2- OS X

When it comes to graphics performance in OS X, a performance oriented graphics card can greatly enhance a users experience.
More so, in OS X Tiger and especially in Leopard, a graphics card that supports Core Image should be considered as necessary.

Core Image does more in the GUI of OS X than give you the “liquid” effect around new Widgets.
Core Image supporting graphics cards provide for a more highly detailed, more beautifully rendered desktop, with smoother performance characteristics.

“Why is this?” you may ask.
Well, keeping it simple, and allowing for you to search the web for information to broaden your knowledge base, the answer is simply “Because the Core Image supporting cards have more power”.

Not only do Core Image supporting cards enhance the GUI of OS X, but these cards also have greater GPU processing power, faster and more capable VRAM, greater rendering capability, and support later versions OpenGL than the earlier, non-Core Image supporting cards.
This translates into better overall system performance, improved game detail and performance, improved shading and texture presentation in popular graphics software, and improved filter application and rendering in video applications.

We now bid “Farewell” and say goodbye to OS 9 graphics cards.....

The previously listed cards for OS 9 are now moved out of the discussion.
All of the cards will work fine through Tiger, 10.4x, and many can still work in Leopard, 10.5x, but none of them supports Core Image, and they are all lacking in support of OpenGL 2.0 and later.

If one still wants to know “Why???”, see my pages on Core Image and OpenGL, 
as well as look up the terms in Wikipedia.

Time to focus our attention on graphics card upgrades for the G4 that support Core Image in OS X.

This time, I will list the cards based on two characteristics- GPU speed and total bandwidth.
For the most part, cards will perform better as GPU speed and bandwidth increase.
Translation:  The cards are listed from slowest to fastest.

Oh, yeah, one more thing.
With the exception of the Radeon 9700 OEM card, which was a BTO for MDD machines, 

NO APPLE OEM card that shipped with the G4 supports Core Image.

OS X Core Image Supporting Graphics Cards

    Geforce 5200           ƒ,,2x
    Geforce 6200           ƒ,2x
    Radeon 9600 Pro     ƒ,
    Radeon 9650            ƒ,
    Radeon 9600 XT      ƒ,
    Radeon 9500 Pro    ƒ
    Radeon 9700 Pro     ƒ,,2x
    Radeon 9800 Pro     ME,ƒ,,2x
    Radeon 9800 XT     ƒ,
    Geforce 6600 AGP  ƒ
    Geforce 6800 GT    ƒ,
    Geforce 6800 Ultra ƒ,
    Radeon X800XT     ƒ,
    Radeon X850XT     ƒ, 
    Geforce 7800 GS    ƒ

Flashed WinPC cards, denoted by “ƒ”.
Retail Mac Editions, denoted by “ME”. 
OEM G5 cards, denoted  “”
Use in 2x AGP machines possible with flashed or ME cards denoted by “2x”

All cards listed will work in G5 AGP graphics models without pin modification.
 All  8x AGP cards can be used in 4x AGP machines when pins #3 and #11 are properly modified.
 2x compatibility denoted cards DO NOT include the  card. Flashed WinPC or Mac Edition card only.
 2x compatible cards may be used in Sawtooth models without pin modification.
 2x AGP gigabit Ethernet models require pin modification for all 2x compatible cards except the Radeon 9800 Pro MAC EDTION.
 Not all cards may be used in MDD models. The Geforce 6200 and all Geforce 6800 models are incompatible with the MDD.
 The Geforce FX 5200 barely supports Core Image. The card is so poor,  Apple disables GPU  Core Image use in Aperture.
 Apple OEM G5 cards may be modified to use in G4 machines.
 The ADC port on Apple OEM cards in 4x AGP machines will NOT work without further hardware modification. 
 For best results, use a flashed WinPC card in a G4 before modifying a G5 version. The G5 version  may not only have limitations, but it is also worth a lot more money than a WinPC counterpart.
 Port support varies with card model, so be sure to confirm support for your desired monitor(s).
The Radeon 9600 PC and Mac Edition is left out purposely due to often reported issues in MDD and G5 machines.

Remember, you can’t have too much graphics power!../Page%203%3A%20Core%20Image%20.html../Page%201%3A%20OpenGL%20.htmlshapeimage_1_link_0shapeimage_1_link_1
Should I upgrade my graphics card?
How can I make my cat better?
Saturday, January 2, 2010