View Full Version : PCI Cards

08-16-2001, 07:43 PM
I live in Brazil and I am an user of the platform Macintosh.
My computer is a Power PC, a Performa 6360 that accepts plates PCI.
I would like to use a plate of PC in my Performa and informed me that is possible to do this with the plates ATI or 3dfx, but here in Brazil I didn't get information on which the variety PCI t plats that should be installed in my computer.
Could you help me and would to be found out a plate of PC work in my computer?
Thank you
(Excuse me for my English )

08-16-2001, 09:48 PM
Welcome to Gurus! We love our international customers, and some of our staffers speak spanish, if that helps. Portugese, maybe not.

If I understand you right, you want to know if you can use a PC video card in your Mac's PCI slots. Sometimes you can, but you must flash the card's memory first. magician might be able to help you with this one.

http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/batlogo.gif Batsignal invoked to magician!

[This message has been edited by mactheripper (edited 18 August 2001).]

08-16-2001, 10:07 PM
As for 3dfx PCI cards, Voodoo 1 and Voodoo 2 PCI cards will work on your Mac without any flashing as long as you have the appropriate drivers (you can probably find them at www.versiontracker.com (http://www.versiontracker.com) ). Keep in mind the Voodoo 1 and Voodoo 2 are getting relatively obsolete, and are pass through cards only (only accelerate 3d for games and such, no 2d acceleration). The 3dfx Voodoo 3 2000 and Voodoo 3 3000 PCI cards will work as long as the ROM on the cards is flashed. Look for this utility on versiontracker.com also. The Voodoo 3 cards are 2d and 3d and are very fast in both areas, especially for gaming. Voodoo 4 PCI cards can be flashed but it requires some more work, maybe even the Voodoo 5 also but you may want to look at that at www.xlr8yourmac.com (http://www.xlr8yourmac.com) .

ATI cards cannot be flashed for use in the Mac, it just dosn't work. A group attempted this recently with a few Radeon PCIs, and it required some decent work and in the end it didn't work at all.

Good luck!

members.tripod.com/threedeefx/index.htm (http://www.members.tripod.com/threedeefx/index.htm)

08-16-2001, 11:45 PM
that is correct.

one point, though, dook: the national language of Brazil is Portuguese, not Spanish.


08-18-2001, 01:22 PM
There we go. Trotsky-style.

08-18-2001, 07:52 PM
Hello. Thank you for the help.
The problem now will be to find a specific plate here for Mac in Brazil.
Thank you

08-30-2001, 11:28 PM
Would you please explain your use of the term "Flash"? I do not understand. I am reading the video posts to see what will be the next step for my 7600. Now I have an old 14" multisync monitor. I want a clean 17" or 19" monmitor. The card I have has only 8 megs and has made this old monitor quite fast in scrolling. In fact, the video transfer rate, with the new G3 at 466, has trippled from the stock video.

So I read a review of the Voodo5 and liked it. But, I am trying to follow what you mean by "flashed".

Specifically, how does it relate to my getting a Voodo5, or another card if I find a better choice? Running an XLR8 400 clocked to 466, 512 memory.


08-30-2001, 11:34 PM
As you probably know PCI cards can work in both Windows systems and Macs. Usually the a Mac requires smarter firmware on the PCI card though - and not all vendors make their PCI cards 'mac compatible'. The 3Dfx V3 cards were originally not made Mac compatible, but 3Dfx was smart and set their card up so it could be updated - that is the firmware could be flashed - so it would work on a Mac. You do not have to do this with the V4 or V5 since 3Dfx started to officially support the Mac platform at this time.

I've flashed two V3s without issue - they work well. The V5 draws a lot of power - it is essentially two V4s (32MBx2) - you only use the 2nd GPU when in 3D mode.

08-31-2001, 08:45 AM
Ok, thanks, getting there. That does help with the concept. But how do you flash something? What does it mean to actually do it? Is it like hitting the CUDA button for several secons, or zapping hte PRAM?

I know modems and other devices have had the capacity for flash upgrades for a few years now. As I have never done it or even contemplated it, I am still in the dark as to what would be involved in flashing something.

How did you do it? How would I do it in the older Voodo cards?


08-31-2001, 12:24 PM
PCI Manufacturers keep the codes necessary to flash their brands of cards a tight secret. This prevents others (hackers?) from messing with their products. When you need to flash a PCI card, the software to do so will come directly from the manufacturer. It's usually a very simple process of running an application that checks the card and verifies if it qualifies as needing the upgrade, then proceeds to flash the card and instruct the user to restart the computer to activate the update.

08-31-2001, 02:19 PM
OK, thanks. That makes sense. To carry it a little farther, I saw a ATA/100 PCI card today that advertised a "flash BIOS". It even said that it could be flashed. It was also advertised as being for PCs/Windows only.

Does that mean that, if I can find a souce on line or in a Mac club that knows the hack, or has a patch that has already been found to work, then I could use it in my Mac?

And, isn't it true that some generic extensions or even manufacturer's specific control panels, seem to work in such circumstances - if you try the right combinations?

Since the card was $40.00 it would be a cheap sollution compared to the $89.00 I see for Mac compatible cards on line.

But , how do I find out what works and what will not work? And, if it is a good card with good archetecture (interior signal noise low, etc) would it "feel" like a cheap sollution? This attempt is for practice on my 7300. I still haven't decided on the LVD or ATA on my 7600.


08-31-2001, 05:42 PM
As I pointed out in my previous post, flashrom proceedures are a closely guarded secret of the manufacturers. It would be extremely rare to find a flashrom patch from hackers making a PeeCee card work on a Mac.

There are two types of code that might be found in a PCI card. The most common, because it's easiest to implement, is a platform specific BIOS. This is code written exclusively for a given platform in that platform's language. This is why a Window's only card will not work in a Mac or any other non-windows machine. Sometimes a manufacturer will place code for more than one platform. The card will have to be a bit more intelegent to "know" what machine is in use and supply the appropriate code. Flashram solves the multi-platform problem while keeping the card relatively stupid. This is much more cost efficient.

Some cards have no ROM at all! These are used through drivers in the systems operating system. This is why most USB cards will work on both Mac and Windows. While this is easiest to implement, the card isn't available to the computer until the driver actually loads. This technique wouldn't work on a card that muct be available on powerup like a SCSI card that needs to load the Operating System or a video card that would need to show something to the user before the OS starts loading.

09-03-2001, 12:23 AM
Huh? What happened to the local 3dfx folder! Empty!

[This message has been edited by spaz2 (edited 03 September 2001).]

09-03-2001, 02:57 PM
Since the card was $40.00 it would be a cheap sollution compared to the $89.00 I see for Mac compatible cards on line.

Well, there is still the ix3D - 8MB card at OWC - its only $39.99 http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
There are many threads in XLR8yourMac.com about flashing various cards.

One thing I forgot to mention is that the V4 & V5 have Mac & Windows versions. There has been very limited success in flashing any of them back and forth. One small hardware difference between the two cards is the DVI connector on the Mac models - other than that they are pretty close. Also - 3Dfx is the only company to date that has a good FSAA setup. I think the GeForce3 may have FSAA.... but you pretty much need to get a new Mac for that (4xAGP!) The V4/5 are definately the ONLY PCI FSAA options - since ATI still has not released this promised feature yet http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/mad.gif I think the V1 & V2 worked with no modifications becasue they are 3D only - you do not need that during boot.

nVidia does not actually manufacture their cards - they simply make the reference design and license it out. People have reported greater success with these cards - but they are mostly AGP. Some do not even need to be flashed (smart Firmware/BIOS http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ). I think there are some GF2mx cards that are PCI - I dont think there is much success with nVida on older Macs. I think the B&W/YoseG3 is the oldest these cards work on.

ATI is probably the hardest to flash back & forth. I'm not even sure there has been any success at all with this. Hopefully ATI will get smart and make their cards cross comptable - without flashing.

Often there are flashing programs that are PC only. Usually they flash the BIOS/Firmware to overclock the card. Theoretically if you could find or create a Mac BIOS and flash it on a PC - you could then use it on a Mac - although some cards do not have enough memory to hold all the Mac Firmware.

09-06-2001, 12:19 AM
Yes, the IX card is what I now have. Found it at a MUG garage sale for $20. But, it can't run a couple of generic multisync 17" monitors I have borrowed to try.

I saw the ATI Orian today new for $140. I have heard glowing reviews about this card over the years on line. I see that the Voodoo5 is still to be had new for about 120-140.

Is the Orion such a great card that it is still worth the same price as the old Voodoo5?

I would like to do some reading on the whole topic of video cards. A couple of tterms that I am not familliar with are:

"...difference between the two cards is the DVI connector on the Mac models "
My 7600 has a slot for something with DAV. IS this what we are talking about?

"I think the GeForce3 may have FSAA.... "
What is FSAA?

"but you pretty much need to get a new Mac for that (4xAGP!) The V4/5 are definately the ONLY PCI FSAA options - since ATI "
I know what PCI is (My mac). I assume that AGP is the latest version of the PCI card and that I can't use AGP No matter what.


09-06-2001, 12:24 AM
By the way, copncerning cards that basically have no BIOS and only need standard drivers, like USB cards. Does this also apply to Firewire cards?

UMAX has a scanner that I have been loking at. It comes with a firewire card and cable (Firewire scanner obviously). The info says that it is for PC only. But I have read revies on line that say it can definatly be used on a Mac.

And so, are all Firewire and USB cards game for the Mac? Are Apples stock system drivers for USB and Firewire enough so that a pci card for one of those is all I would need? I just tryed out a USB card for my old 7300 for a printer and it worked flawlessly. And for $19.95.

09-06-2001, 01:09 AM
Apple isn't very specific about which firewire pci cards will work ("FireWire Enabler: This extension adds hardware-specific support for certain FireWaire interfaces." - Apple article ID 58642). I've a friend that purchased a generic OCHI compliant FireWire/USB combo board. It seems to work okay in OS 9.1, but OS X refuses to load with the card present.

09-06-2001, 09:19 AM

The ATI Orion is an older card than the VooDoo5

Orion is a 16MB card running the Rage 128 chip

V5 is a 64MB card with Dual VSA100 chips

The V5 performance (at xlr8yourmac.com) seems to be a LOT closer to the Radeon/GeForce2mx than the orion card

However 3dfx is no more, so the drivers are out now are all you will ever see. No OS X support.

If you are setting up a killer gaming Mac made from that old beige Mac you have the PCI Radeon or the Voodoo 5 are the 2 best choices.(Rage 128's need NOT apply) I currently am doing just that, making a 7300/200 into a mega-Mac. I chose the Voodoo 5 as the video card because I never will run OS X on this Mac, the V5 supports RAVE, OpenGL AND Glide, and dangit even though the Radeon is a faster card I just don't like ATI anymore.

BTW VooDoo5 Mac cards can be had on ebay for around 90$

09-06-2001, 09:23 AM
FSAA is Full Scene Anti-Aliasing and what it does os remove the "jaggies" from your scene in whatever game you happen to be playing. The V5 was the first and IS the ONLY pci video card for the Mac that uses it because like normal, ati has promised but failed to deliver this to their cards (probably take about 10-14 more months for ATI and by then we won't even care anymore)

I also believe the GeForce AGP cards use FSAA but I have no factual basis for it. Just my impressions from my GeForce 3 card

09-07-2001, 11:05 PM
I have been wanting to try a Voodoo but with all the different Voodoo's 2,3,4,5, how much more do they increase performance and is it only for 3D and color in gaming?

Where else will it help the Internet, video clips, resoultion/color ???

Trying to justify a vodoo when I don't do the heavy games.

Sounds like a Voodoo 4 or 5 would be best how about a 3? Other than Ebay where can you find them and how much?.

Running a 7500 with the XLR8 G3 400Mhz, 224 megs ram, 4 MB VRAM,


[This message has been edited by rwm (edited 08 September 2001).]

09-08-2001, 10:52 PM
Sounds like a Voodoo 4 or 5 would be best how about a 3?
They are all about the same speed - in FPS. What the V4 allows is FSAA - it is essentially a V3 with 2x the VRAM or 32MB. The V5 is essentially two V4s (32MBx2) and allows you to run FSAA without much penalty.

For Glide games the Voodoos ROCK - my PTProG3/500 with the V5 looks better @ 800x600x16bpp+2xFSAA than my G3/500 B&W RADEON PCI (rave) running 1024x768x32bpp.

One thing - though the V5 uses a lot of power - esp in 3D mode, when both GPUs are running full tilt, so it is probably not the best card for a 7500 - esp if you have a lot in it. I think your powersupply is only about 150W.

Others have mentioned places where you can get V4s & 5s - maybe they are still selling them?

Life in the fast lane leads to:
The Resteraunt At The End Of The Universe

09-08-2001, 11:51 PM
www.MegaWatts.com (http://www.MegaWatts.com) has Voodoo 5500's for $109.99. No drivers come with the card. You can download the latest (unofficial beta) driver at www.versiontracker.com (http://www.versiontracker.com)

I did find them somewhere else (I forget where, sorry) online for substantially less, but they were sold out. You might get lucky looking around. Some vendors seem to be cutting prices to clear out their stock. That's what that low-price I found was, if I remember correctly.

09-10-2001, 07:58 PM
I just bought one from Ebay for 102$ in shopping ebay for them I was tracking several and they all went for 95+ $ all the way to 120$ so that 109 sounds reasonable just to not have the ebay hassle

09-11-2001, 01:11 PM
Well I was thinking a Voodoo 3 would work good - not too expensive, not stressing my power supply and I really don't do the 3D or heavy duty grapics.

Dragon - does a Voodoo 5 really pull too much power in a 7500 with the XLR8 G3 400Mhz upgrade


A Voodoo 3 is $65+ used/new so a new Voodoo 5500 for just at or over $100 sounds like a better deal........

Suggestions or comments very much welcomed.

If I don't use my computer for games - what would a Voodoo cards do for me? Am I wasting my money?


09-11-2001, 04:31 PM
Well the G3/400 probably uses less power than the original CPU. Not sure how much wattage the fast large L2 on the G3 uses though. It is probably still less than the 604e/200Mhz or faster.

I might have a spare V3/3K. I am thinking $50 + ship would be fair. It will be flashed with the Mac b12 (or higher?) firmware. I can include drivers... I might put the on my site.

If you play Glide games and have been Voodooless - I think you will be impressed.

Now back to our regularily scheduled Terrorist Butt Kicking Contest http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/mad.gif http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/mad.gif http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/crossbones.gif http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/jollyroger.gif

09-11-2001, 04:42 PM
Are the 3df Voodoo cards specfic to either a MAC or PC?

OR are they the same card for each?

Different right?

I will get back to you if I end up going Voodoo 3 - for my needs it sounds fine.

Thanks again

[This message has been edited by rwm (edited 11 September 2001).]

09-11-2001, 05:34 PM
The PC version of the Voodoo3 is the same one that is used on a Mac. There actually never was a Mac version of the card. 3Dfx released a beta driver so that the PC version could be converted to work on a Mac. The latest two beta drivers are available here on MacGuru's ftp site.

09-11-2001, 06:47 PM
Actually there was a Mac version of the Voodoo 3 released, but by Village Tronic (remember them?). Since the downfall of 3dfx, there are no more VT 3dfx cards, they're using Trident chips now. Also, read that other post in the videophiles section.

As for flashing the V3's ROM, I recommend the Beta13 ROM and drivers (they seem to be the fastest in testing), you can grab the Beta13 drivers from my website on my signature.

09-12-2001, 01:22 PM
Ya the Voodoo 4 even a 5 seems like the better deal - unless I can find a Voodoo3 for $30.00

I was told by a PC user that he knows of people flashing a Voodoo 4 and using it in a Mac.

I have found several good prices for a PC Voodoo 4.

Is this an option ...OR... am I making a biggher mess for myself.


09-12-2001, 04:58 PM
We are off on another topic now -

I started a new thread in Video Upgrades -> Voodoo3 flashing, drivers PC/MAC

Thanks for the input so far. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif