View Full Version : VRAM upgrade

02-22-2002, 11:02 AM
I have a PowerComputing PowerCenter 150 with a 400/200 CPU 224MB RAM and only 1 MB VRAM. I have a larger monitor enroute, and have found I will probably need more VRAM to take advantage of the 19" capability.

I have 3 slots. My manual indicates I can add 1 MB in each slot.I haven't counted pin holes, but it looks like 112, being somewhat shorter than the 168 pin RAM next to it. Am I correct?

I think the correct VRAM from Gurus is $29.95 for a 1MB DIMM.

Am I headed in the right direction?


02-22-2002, 11:48 AM
Maybe. but then again, I'd go for even a cheap IXMicro Ultimate Rez or something (depending on if you have PCI slots). OWC has the Rez for less than 2MB will run.

02-22-2002, 02:08 PM
Gregory is right on. I did jump my VRAM to max - but at the cost of VRAM you can purchase an new or older PCI Graphics card and it will make a 3-4x improvement.

I don't know what your needs are but I picked up an older Voodoo 3/3000 and it runs my 19" Hitachi 640x480 @85Hz to 1280x1024 @85Hz - I am not a big gamer or 3D user so this worked fine. $50 bucks.

A new PCI Graphics post - http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/Forum2/HTML/000311.html


02-22-2002, 02:30 PM
Thanks, Gregory, I found the PCI card. Wondering if it will fit...12" long...Looks like that is ok.

Problem...That fills the last PCI slot, and gives no flexibility for the future.
Slot 1...4 port USB + 1 internal USB PORT
Slot 2...3 port FW controller for external 40 G HD
Slot 3...open

I plan to keep this Clone for quite awhile. I don't do games or anything else that involves large volumes of speed or storage. I got the FW HD for portability down the road.

Question...Is this the "best use" for this last slot, given that the alternative is twice as costly for half the MB of VRAM?

I can't answer that question yet, because I don't know how else it can be used, except maybe USB 2, down the road?

I still have a SCSI connection available on the internal cable, and an open spot for a SCSI something. That is not pertinent to VRAM, but it does give me some long term options.

If I put the IX Micro card in there, what kinds of functions would I have to do without unless I change it or one of the other 2 cards?

02-23-2002, 09:03 AM
Ordered the IX Micro. Meanwhile, rec'd my new Samsung 955 DF 19" monitor. Really sharp picture. One question: It won't boot with my Mac. It's green light continues to flash in the energy saver mode during booting. Have to boot with the old Sony 13", then connect the Samsung after the Mac start up process is underway. Have resolution set to 1024x768 @ 75Hz, which is one of the two choices of native resolution of these monitors. The other is @ 60 Hz, I would guess. System Profiler only shows the resolution setting.

One thing I noticed....the connector on the Sony is a 15 pin, with #9 pin missing. The Samsung has #9 missing, along with #4 and #11. This should not make a difference, should it, because the Samsung works, after a fashion.

What do I have to do to get the Samsung to boot with the Mac?


02-23-2002, 10:15 AM
You could get a combo FireWire/USB card to save one slot. No mention of what OS but you may need to find drivers for the card - no CD? Some monitors have two of what seems to be the same, one supports both platforms, the other is PC only. I know that OS X has support for a lot of monitors already built-in (I use ViewSonic G90f 19").

Does it need an adapter? Does it work with just the Samsung?

02-23-2002, 11:06 AM
Both Monitors have the same 15 pin connector....same shape, size, pin location. The Samsung has 2 less pins...they just aren't there.

I went to my HD to look for "monitor" items in the Directory, hoping to find something that would give me some options to change start up conditions. Nothing jumped out saying "here is the answer to the monitor boot problem".

I have 2 jacks at the back of the Mac: DB 15 pin and a VGA. The Samsung is compatible with both PC and Mac. Samsung assumes that for a Mac, an adapter is needed, IAW their brief instructions. That is not true with many of the Power Computing Macs. They can use monitors for either platform without adapters.

I think my problem is that the Samsung isn't reacting the same way to the "signal" the Mac is sending DURING Boot, but will react properly after the Sony has started operation. I can get a picture during Boot ONLY after using the Sony as the startup monitor. I can connect the Samsung DURING boot and get a picture, but not before starting the boot.

Some process occurs during boot that is recognized by the Sony but not by the Samsung. I have not tried the Samsung with the resolution rate set to 60 Hz. The Sony reacts to the 75 Hz setting. The Samsung should also.

I'll try to get the specs on the Sony off their website, and compare them. Maybe that will give me a clue.

02-23-2002, 11:47 AM
Sometimes deleting the Monitor and Display preferences will help. Often there are ColorSync profiles at the vendor web site. Zapping PRAM and VPRAM (commond option PR and command option AV) can help. The first - from a cold start so it cycles through two cycles (most users do 3+), and the other (C+O+AV) during startup to clear any stored settings. TechTool Lite is also useful to zap pram.

I know in the past monitors would come with or require adapters and I ahve a box full, (Apple long-looking ones, short ones with dip switches, etc) to deal with different resolutions and such and pins.

Let us know and I hope you get it to work, they're a wonderful model.

02-23-2002, 02:09 PM
Got my answer!!! Called Samsung Tech Support again. Described the problem. Techie told me to shut everything down., connect Samsung to Mac. TURN OFF SAMSUNG. Boot Mac, and wait 30-40 seconds. Turn on Samsung. Oila!! Seems as though the Samsung wasn't getting what it wanted, when it wanted it, to wake up.
So it continued to sleep. Turning it off along with the Mac, and then waiting a bit after startup before turning it on works.

Sure looks like a VRAM problem, which hopefully the IX card will fix.


02-26-2002, 03:39 PM
Got the IXMicro card today. Installed. Fits. I see there are 2 jacks, one of which is a 15pin DB. Do I connect the monitor to it instead of the Mac 15 pin jack? Do I need a driver for this PCI card? What is the other (larger) jack used for?

These are 2 questions I should have asked earlier. I just went on my merry way thinking the card is the complete answer.

Just out of curiosity, why doesn't the System Profiler see either my FW PCI Controller card or this IXMicro card?? It recognizes the USB PCI card.

T'anks again in advance.

02-26-2002, 04:13 PM
Answered my own questions. Found the Drivers via the website of OWC. Installed them. got a message that they won't work because there is no monitor connected to the PCI card. Did that.

Wow! A scillion choices for resolutions.

Thanks folks. Next time.