10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 14, 2010 1:47 PM by Jayw1990
Jayw1990 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hey Guys.

I purchased a used Power Mac G5 couple months back. Its a Dual 1.8GHz, 2.5GB Ram, 160GB Hdd, Geforce FX5200 64Meg AGP.

Ive noticed sense i got the machine that when watching video's on youtube or any type of high resolution video's, the playback is choppy. Even scrolling through webpages seems a bit choppy. With just standard applications the machine runs great and its nice and quick. Its just the video play back that is kind of hauting me. Now this may be a stupid question but will i notice a difference if i were to purchase another higher grade video card? Or is my machine not powerful enough for HD playback? Do i need more ram? Anyways thanks in advance for any type of advice.


Power Mac G5, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Power Mac G5, Dual 1.8Ghz, 2.5GB Ram, 160GB Hdd.
  • romko23 Level 2 Level 2 (395 points)

    The problem has to do with flash related content which Youtube makes heavy use of.. First off, I would get rid of the 64MB video card and replace it with the Geforce 7800 GS which has 256MB of video memory and is a lot better overall for your machine.

    Your memory seems to be fine also, though I would expand your memory to the 4GB mark - max it out as this will also help. Your hard drive is ok, though if you are noticing that its really full(less than 10 percent space on it), this will have an impact on performance as well.. You can get pretty much any SATA hard drive you wish.. I would also consider an option for you a higher capacity hard drive - this depends on what you use your mac for.
  • Jayw1990 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks romko

    Now can i get any old 7800GS and install it or do i have to get an apple specific 7800gs? Is the 5200 really holding the system back? Also, i believe i can go to 8gb ram. Is it worth my while?
  • old comm guy Level 4 Level 4 (2,235 points)
    The 5200 is the weakest of the G5 AGP cards, and almost any other card would be an improvement.

    Bear in mind that there are two flavors of AGP card, well three, really. There are Mac OEM cards like many of the Radeon 9600 and 9800 cards, many of which have one DVI and one ADC connector, or the GeForce 6800 GT and Ultra cards, which are considerably better than the 9600 Radeons and somewhat better than the 9800's. That being said, the second flavor is the PC AGP cards flashed to Mac ROM. Some fly, some don't fly so well. The third flavor is the PC AGP cards not flashed with Mac ROM, which are, in a word, unusable on a Mac.

    With respect to Flash content, I will say that at least with Flash Player 10, you can expect with a GeForce 6800 Ultra OEM card to see sluggish playback in some cases, mainly because of CPU loading from the Flash plugin. In most cases, the 6800 Ultra is a pretty peppy card, but if things are loading the CPU, it can't help you much. With respect to scrolling and things like that, the better cards generally handle things pretty fluidly, but again, if there is a Flash or Java script running somewhere, like in an advertisement, things can get sluggish because of CPU loading.

    One thing I would do is get a larger drive in there. A SATA-1 or SATA-2 drive should work just fine; a SATA-3 drive will undoubtedly need a jumper to bring it back to SATA-1 speeds.
  • Jayw1990 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    How do i flash a card for apple rom? Is it like a bios flash for a motherboard?
  • Jayw1990 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Also my hdd is a 150Gb velociraptor. I really should change my info. I still have over 100gb left of free space. I don't normally use my Mac much but when i do use it all i do is surf around and watch youtube video's. I believe having the velociraptor in my system is contributing to the speed greatly.

    I was also on ebay and found an ATI 9800 Pro 128 for 68 Dollars. Would this be substantial?
  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,385 points)
    How do i flash a card for apple rom? Is it like a bios flash for a motherboard?

    Similar, but in the case of a Geforce graphics card, it must be done on a PC.

    The Geforce 7800 GS is a good card, but only one with a 5.70 BIOS can be flashed to Mac ROM.
    Also of note is that the 7800 GS is not as good a card in Leopard as it is in Tiger.
    There is a problem with performance for many in Leopard.

    For the money, the Radeon 9800 is not a bad card at all.
    Much better than the 5200.....

    As noted, Flash is CPU bound, and, like it or not, for HD content, your CPU is on the slow side.

    Downloading video, using alternative players (VLC), and increasing cache are just some of the work-arounds.

    Replacing the FX 5200 with most any card will provide you with a much better user experience (the FX 5200 is simply a very poor card) but this is not a "cure it all" for HD web content.

    Such is the nature of the net, old machines, and even new machines, have issues with bloated softwares that are in common use......
  • Jayw1990 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So even if i do replace the fx5200 the problem wont really be solved? I only notice the choppy playback when frame rates increase. It also makes the machine hesitate.
  • japamac Level 7 Level 7 (24,385 points)
    Performance +will definitely improve+, but web content, especially Flash can slow down even a new, high powered machine.
    Flash is bloated, poorly coded software.

    As to HD content, HD came after the G5, with minimum specs above the older machines.

    The FX 5200 has been said to be "slower than a monkey with crayons".
    Replacing it will provide a much better experience.
    The nature of web content, however, is such that there will always be some problem content.
  • Jayw1990 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the help.

    I will be hunting down a real Apple card rather then a flashed card. I'm still green to the apple world so I'm still timid when it comes to hardware upgrades. Again thanks for all your help everyone.

  • Jayw1990 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)