14 Replies Latest reply: Jan 1, 2006 6:50 PM by FangSuede
jsmith Level 1 (0 points)
I am thinking of upgrading my graphics card, my computer came with a Nvidia Geforce4 mx, I was at the apple store and noticed a few people having problems with this card. I was wondering if anyone out there has any info for me about the odds of this card working on my Quicksilver G4 933 MHz. Iam driving a Cinema Display 20 inch. I really like gaming online and could use the added memory that the ATI Radeon Pro 9600 has, plus my curent card has problems with full screen games.

933MHz G4, Mac OS X (10.3.9)
  • FangSuede Level 4 (2,195 points)
    The ATI 9600 is a high wattage video card (like the 9800). It requires a very perfect AGP slot to achieve the necessary power. Some DA's and QS G4's will get a black/blue screen because of the lower voltage available. Only the MDD has an uprated AGP slot with no worries about this issue. Note: the PC only version of the 9600 requires an outside power supply because of this.

    Your best bet is an ATI 9800 (unless you need dual monitors). It does require an aux. 12v power supply, you just 'T' off an existing 12v Molex inside the computer - I have 2 of them running. One is a flashed PC card (yoyomarv@Ebay) in my AGP and the other is an OEM Mac version in the QS, both work perfectly. It is the most powerful video card available for a G4 and will run just about any modern game.

  • jsmith Level 1 (0 points)
    How can I tell if my computer would need these modifications? My model is the quicksilver 2002. Plus I have never really done anything like that before… I would like to see if it is possible with out any mods to the computer.
  • jsmith Level 1 (0 points)
    Oh yeah, Thanks for the info
  • FangSuede Level 4 (2,195 points)
    Installing a ATI 9800 is pretty straight forward. Here's a movie and instructions to show you how: Scroll down to 'video card' >>

    There's one extra step with a ATI-9800 is to add 12v Molex 'T' and plug into the card.

  • Rodney Culling Level 5 (4,290 points)
    For the last couple of months I've been thinking about updating the graphics card in my QuickSilver 2002 with the Radeon 9600 PRO PC & Mac Edition, but like you were put off by the reports on the online Apple Store.
    However, I finally bit the bullet and ordered one at the weekend which arrived today. I plan to install it tonight and will let you know how it goes. I also considered the 9800 as it's a much more powerful card, but was put off by reports of the noisy fan. There are solutions to this, such as third party VGA coolers and quieter fans etc, but these seem to result in the loss of the adjacent PCI and memory slot. I guess it depends on whether performance or noise is more important to you. The barefeats website contains a comparison between the two cards in a QuickSilver, and with the original 800MHz G4 processor used in the tests there was little or no difference between them. It was only after the processor was also upgraded that the 9800 really pulled ahead.
  • Rodney Culling Level 5 (4,290 points)
    Just a follow up from my previous post.

    The Radeon 9600 Pro seems to work fine in my QuickSilver although I don't have many other upgrades installed, just three DIMMs, two hard drives and the optical drive (no PCI cards etc).

    Core image is now supported and the dashboard ripples when a widget is dropped although the Graphics Xbench scores aren't a huge improvement over the old stock card. The Quartz test is marginally better, the OpenGL test is actually worse but the User Interface test is better (averaged over three repeats).

    I didn't intend to install the supplied software as I don't normally fiddle with the settings etc and the card is supported by 10.3.6 (or later) anyway. However, there appeared to be a bug in the drivers supplied with Tiger (10.4.3) whereby the area under the cursor wasn't being redrawn correctly. For example, bringing up the Dashboard and then closing it would result in a dark square on the desktop where the cursor had been. Installing the supplied software seemed to fix this though.

    I hope this helps.
  • FangSuede Level 4 (2,195 points)
    From what I've seen/hear/read the 9600 will either work in a particular machine or it won't, no telling. Your 2002 is the newest model until the MDD so your chances were good.

    The 9600 has 4 rendering pipes (of the eight on the board) turned off, so the performance is adequate but not as good as it could be. Some think this was done to eliminate the 12v power connection and less heat.

    The newest ATI Firmware update takes care of some Tiger issues with various ATI cards.

  • jsmith Level 1 (0 points)
    So if I was to go with 9800 pro how do you go about the power issue?

    There's one extra step with a ATI-9800 is to add 12v Molex 'T' and plug into the card.

    How is this done and where would I go about finding a 9800 pro to work in my G4?
  • FangSuede Level 4 (2,195 points)
    The 9800 is installed the same way as other cards. The card comes with a Molex "T" adapter wire, just connect it to an existing Molex wire in your Mac, like the Hard Drive wire, it's simple. Then connect the new "T" Molex wire to the video cards plug.
    Where to buy one? You can Google around, or look here:

    Have fun,
  • Eric S. Level 2 (385 points)
    I recently installed a Radeon 9600 Pro card in my Digital Audio with a Giga dual 1.8GHz upgrade. I've had no problems at all with the card. I did have a 9800 Pro installed for a very short period. The extra noise from the fan on the card and the extra heat it generated were just too much for me. My internal hard drive temps jumped 8 degrees F or more just from the installation of the 9800 Pro. Now with the Giga upgrade and the 9600 Pro, my hard drive temps. are right where they were when the stock processor and video card were in it.

    Now I can play DOOM 3 and Stubbs The Zombie with no problems.

    Eric S.

    Mini 1.25, 512MB RAM, 80GB HD;   Mac OS X (10.4.3)   ;G4 DA 533MHz DP w/Giga dual 1.8GHz upgrade, 1.25GB RAM, Radeon 9600 Pro
  • PB PM Level 4 (2,480 points)
    There are ways to reduce heat in your case if you have an empty PCI slot, such as installing a PCI slot fan (cheap solution too, $5 can get an average one).
  • StephenZcat Level 3 (710 points)
    Hey Dave,

    I have been trying to get a Radeon 9800 256mb card working on my dual 1ghz g4 mdd and have not been successful. I first tried two different flashed radeon 9800 128mb cards from eBay, when those didn't work, I bought a 256mb card from Radeon... and am having the same problems. Most notibly, the computer starts up, get's past the firmware and the memory check but stalls on the blue login screen. It will work in Safe mode.

    I have connected the card to the molex T but am still having problems getting it to work. I used a multimeter to check the voltage settings that are coming in to the card, they read at 5v & 12v so I am assuming the card is getting the correct power.

    I have done extensive testing and still cannot get the card to work. Here is a link for all the tests I have done:

    and a link on the apple boards that is incomplete but is still unsolved:


    If you have any suggestions on what I could try, I would be extremely grateful.

    Thank you.
  • JBernstein Level 1 (0 points)
    Great discussion thread ...

    I own a G4/500 (Graphite) with a ATI Rage 128 Pro 16mg graphics card (2x), with VGA and DVI-D ports. I've research all of Apple's support site and cannot find definitive information on upgrading this graphics card. The Genius Bar at my local Apple store recommended the Geforce3 or Radeon 8500 Mac Edition AGP cards, and the discussions forum added a recommendation of the Radeon 8500 or the 9600 Pro card. Unfortunately, the 9600 Pro is 4x, and I am told is not backwards compatible with a 2x AGP slot. The Genius Bar also suggested that the current 20" Apple display would work with the current Rage 128 card -- we tested that theory today, and now know that it will not work.

    I am surprised that Apple does not publish reliable (tested) upgrade information for owners of older products looking to maintain them. Is there any location within Apple, either searchable or for a fee by phone, where Apple's support team can provide very definitive answers to upgrade questions, so that I can purchase a recommended solution (complete with part numbers) with some confidence that the information is accurate and I will not get burned by purchasing something that will not work?
  • FangSuede Level 4 (2,195 points)
    I've been out of town for a bit and just saw your post and links. I'll do some research and see if I can come up with something. ...and maybe we can get some other experts in here.
    Apple usually has a disclaimer about all 3rd party upgrades to Mac's that states they 'do not support them'. So, if it's not for sale at the Apple Store or a Dealer, "It's not supported" - even if it works just fine. For Apple Authorized Do-it-Yourself upgrades there is a page you can access:

    There are many sites that track Mac upgrades, I'll list a few.
    For 3rd party upgrades and issues, look at:

    BTW, your 20' just needs at least a 32MB Video card to push it. Here's a list of most cards that will fit in your 'Sawtooth'. It's set up for Apple Cubes but the information may be helpful in
    seeing the differences in video cards
    Note: Your Sawtooth's motherboard does NOT support ADC connections. There is no power supply for them. You will have to make sure whatever Video card you get has DVI and VGA (not ADC).

    Look at this for compatible video cards for a Sawtooth:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/MyOWC/Upgrades.cfm?model=166&type=Video&TI=%23TimeForm at%28Now%28%29%2C&shoupgrds=ShowUpgrades

    Finally, there are a host of 'flashed' PC video cards available for Mac's on Ebay. I have a few and most work fine. If you want to see some options, I suggest you look at what a seller named 'yoyomarv' has for sale. Ask questions before you buy. A card you might consider is a converted NVidia Geforce 4 Ti 4600

    It's a start...