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commodorejohn's picture
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Joined: 2011 Aug 1
Power Mac G4 (Gigabit) & Radeon 9550?

Okay, so I got the Sawtooth G4 running and then went back to the recycle center as I'd seen two other Power Mac G4s there, and picked 'em up. One was a bare Sawtooth board with no RAM, video card, or hard drive; the other was a 533MHz machine with Gigabit Ethernet, so I exclaimed "score!," transferred the hard drive into there, and gave the working Sawtooth to a friend Wink

It's working pretty nicely, except that thanks to the piddly little 16MB ATI Rage 128 it came with, graphics-intensive tasks are just not so great on it. I do have, as part of my stash of random PC components, a 256MB Radeon 9550 that's physically compatible (i.e. it has the same weird zigzag card-edge.)

Problem is, it's a PC card, not a Mac card. I'm certainly up for trying to flash it, as I have no other use for the thing, but I'm getting some mixed information on whether this particular card is compatible with the Mac or not. I've seen pages claiming that the Gigabit Ethernet model is compatible with the 9500, but I've also seen pages stating that the 9550 is actually a down-clocked 9600, which the Gigabit model is supposedly not compatible with.

And to further confuse the issue, I'm a little confused on whether this Mac is the Gigabit Ethernet model. It's in a Graphite case, but it's running at 533MHz, not 500, and it has four PCI slots, not three, which leads me to believe that it's actually a digital-audio Quicksilver model? I am confused :/

Can anybody enlighten me on whether this is going to work or not? I'd simply go ahead and try it, but I don't actually have a PC on hand with a compatible slot, so I'd have to track one down at the recycle center - and if it's pointless I'd rather not go to the trouble. Alternatively, if anybody wants this card as-is, I'd gladly trade it for a less puny card that will work in my G4.

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bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/ is the bible for tasks like this.

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Joined: 2009 Apr 18

http://themacelite.wikidot.com/ is another place to check, with SW… Wink

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

And to further confuse the issue, I'm a little confused on whether this Mac is the Gigabit Ethernet model. It's in a Graphite case, but it's running at 533MHz, not 500, and it has four PCI slots, not three, which leads me to believe that it's actually a digital-audio Quicksilver model?

Sounds very much like a AGP Graphite Gigabit (front p-switch light glows white if it is) with a single CPU - Grab this: a zipped PDF of all G4 Macs, it has CLEAR illustrations pointing out the differences to expect in any G4 Mac model.

Its useful for other tasks re: G4 Macs, too. Gets a Beer Beer Beer Beer Beer award from me Smile

Good luck on the flashing of the vid card tho', my experiences haven't been positive so I steer clear of that side of voodoo.

commodorejohn's picture
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Joined: 2011 Aug 1

Yeah, the power switch does glow white. I'll have to take a look at that...

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

Sounds like a AGP Graphite (digital audio) Gigabit G4, to me. The last of the graphite case G4s. I had the dual CPU 533 model. Lovely Mac, still my favorite G4 for running OS 9.x.

Good specs on this model here.

commodorejohn's picture
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Joined: 2011 Aug 1

Yeah, I looked and it is the digital audio model. I made the mistake because Wikipedia groups it in with the Quicksilver G4s for some reason. Still trying to figure out if the 9550 is compatible with it or not, but I think I might just try flashing it anyway and see what happens - I don't have any other use for the card.

MikeTomTom's picture
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Joined: 2009 Dec 7

My guess is the original graphics card has been swapped out from an earlier model G4 too. This one should have shipped with at least a 32 MB card.

Good luck with your Radeon project.

commodorejohn's picture
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Joined: 2011 Aug 1

Yeah, it did seem kinda puny for the era. 'sokay, I think kicking it up to 16x the RAM and a later GPU should make for a nice improvement Wink

amatecha's picture
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Joined: 2010 Mar 10

Hey commodorejohn, let us know how it goes if you try flashing the card. Just curious to hear whether it works or not, really Smile

commodorejohn's picture
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Joined: 2011 Aug 1

I will! Not going to get around to it right away, as I forgot to take it with from my parents' place, but I should be able to give it a try sometime in the next couple weeks.

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Joined: 2009 Apr 18

Heh, used the stuff from link above to, amongst other, flash a 9800Pro 256Mb for my MDD 1.25GHz only to find the Zahlman fan obstructing the memory sticks. And the original puny ATI fan wasn´t up letting me near the speeds I was about set for the GPU and VRAM. Sad