View Full Version : What's the fastest PCI video card?

02-21-2002, 06:20 PM
Concerning OpenGL-capable video cards, what's the fastest PCI video card for driving a single monitor? Is it the Radeon PCI (more expensive) or the Radeon 7000 (newer)?

[This message has been edited by ICCAFSN (edited 21 February 2002).]

02-21-2002, 06:35 PM
I know little about them - but I thought I was reading something about a 7500 card - heck it might have been an AGP. If I remembered half of the material I read I would be gettin smart.

This has some links off of it that might help you. http://www.barefeats.com/agppci.htm

But we both know that someone here knows this off the top of their head.

Good luck, Randy. http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Honda NT700V (http://www.cyclechaos.com/wiki/Honda_NT700V)

02-21-2002, 08:53 PM
For the fastest 3D/OpenGL cards you need AGP. That said my RADEON PCI on my G4/867 works really nice for UT. I only achieved about 30FPS AVG on my G3/500PCI. My 867 generates around 48FPS - same card, same game. I would bet that my G4 can push the theoretical limits of 133MB/s for the 33M/32bit PCI bus... According to Apple it can sustain about 215MB/s when using the full 64bits.

Most cards can run fairly fast at 640x480 - before they hit the fill rate. When you start to push 1024x768 and higher - then you separate the men from the boyz http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

The Cost Of Freedom:
Every bit of energy.
Every ounce of courage.
Every drop of blood.

Sic Semper Tyranus!

02-21-2002, 09:21 PM
Thanks for the replies so far. I'm planning out my last ever upgrade to my Power Mac 8500 which is why I'm looking for a PCI video card. I just don't know which card to get.

02-22-2002, 11:30 AM
The Radeon is the all around best Mac PCI video card. The Radeon 7000 can drive two monitors at a time (a combination of S-Video, DVI-I, and VGA) but lacks the Radeon's charisma engine. Beware though, the Radeon and Radeon 7000 do not fit properly into the 8500/9500. You will need to slightly round off the edge of the PCI slot in order for the card to be seated properly. I did manage to get a Radeon 7000 in my 8500, so it is possible. If you are concerned about this, the next best card would probably be a Rage128 based card (Nexus, Orion). Or, if you are into Unreal Tournament, Diablo II, and Deus Ex, you could opt for a 3dfx card.

But, if you are trying to run OS X on your 8500, you will run into serious video card problems. The OEM Rage128 from a Yikes G4 or B&W G3 is the only known card to work with Pre-Biege G3's with onboard video in OS X. BTW, if you're wondering how to run OS X on your 8500, you need XPostFacto. Again, this is only concerning OS X, all of the above mentioned cards work in OS 9.


It's a complicated process which requires a little tweaking, but it's possible. I'm no mac genius and I got OS X to run on my 8500. I have OS X and 9.2.2 (installed via classic) on my Cheetah off of Miles2 and a bootable OS 9.1 on the stock HD on the stock SCSI bus.

Good Luck

02-22-2002, 02:15 PM
Beware though, the Radeon and Radeon 7000 do not fit properly into the 8500/9500. You will need to slightly round off the edge of the PCI slot in order for the card to be seated properly.

Not entirely correct. Actually you need to remove the lower nut next to the VGA port for the PCI Radeon and 7000 to fit properly in the 8500/9500 machines. This renders the VGA port unusable because it is too close to the edge of the case. You can use a DVI-VGA adapter to run your monitor off the DVI port if needed. That's how I use a Sony monitor with the PCI Radeon in my 8500.

02-22-2002, 02:32 PM
I already have OS X 10.1.3 running on my 8500 so that part's all good (burning off my SCSI Yamaha burner works great too). However, I could have sworn that I've read reports of pre-beige G3 users getting Radeon PCI's working fine in their machines. My understanding is that simply popping the card into your machine and turning it on will kill OS X, but if you install updated drivers into your OS X system and THEN install the card, things should work out fine. Can anyone clarify? Also, what is the Charisma engine supposed to do again (it sounds familiar), and does anyone know of any benchmarking that's been done to compare the performance of the Radeon PCI to the Radeon 7000?

02-22-2002, 03:11 PM
I have a RADEON PCI running in a PTP 225 machine under OS 9.1 - haven't tried OS X though - I also have one running in a G4/533 along with the nVidia card the 533 shipped with...


02-23-2002, 10:01 AM
Radeons work in old-world machines without onboard video. This includes the 9600, PTP, etc. As far as I know, they do not work in any machines with onboard video (except the biege G3).

The Radeon 7000 does not work an any machine earlier than a B&W G3 in OS X. It does work in OS 9 and can usually keep up with the original Radeon in terms of fps. At higher resolutions, however, the Radeon's two TCL pipelines and charisma engine really boost it past the Radeon 7000.

Actually you need to remove the lower nut next to the VGA port for the PCI Radeon and 7000 to fit properly in the 8500/9500 machines. This renders the VGA port unusable because it is too close to the edge of the case. You can use a DVI-VGA adapter to run your monitor off the DVI port if needed. That's how I use a Sony monitor with the PCI Radeon in my 8500.

I've tried this with the Radeon 7000. The monitor attached to the DVI-I port received no signal. So, I got a knife and started chopping away.

[This message has been edited by titanium (edited 23 February 2002).]

02-25-2002, 01:23 AM
Well I purchased a Radeon PCI this weekend from MacWarehouse. They were pretty much the ONLY people who had it left in stock - and they were even nice enough to beat the price of some other vendors (who were all out of stock) by selling it to me for $150. When I get the card I'll check out how well it works in my 8500 in OS 9 and OS X. I'm thinking about getting a PCI extender adapter to raise the level of the card so I won't have to mutilate my case, but first I have to find out how much they cost.

02-25-2002, 11:01 AM
From XLR8yourmac -
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>" Mike, I haven't seen this solution posted on your site...
I bought a Radeon 7000 PCI for a client who needed to run OS X on a Beige G3 and wanted accelerated graphics. Well I didn't discover until after the installation that ATI had retracted their statement on the box saying that it would work with the Beige G3. [Noted some time back here on the main news page and 7000 owner reports page. The Beige G3/OS X issue with the Radeon 7000 was first noted here on January 16th.-Mike]
Anyway, I was determined so I spent way too much time working on the issue and finally got it to work!

I had to do the following:
--install the card and the ATI software
--boot from the internal video and enable root access if you haven't already
--log in as root
[or boot to OS 9 to remove files without permissions issues-Mike]
--go to system/Library/extensions
--remove all the extensions beginning with ATI and not including 'Radeon' in the name (sorry I've forgotten the exact names) this will be about 6 to 7 extensions with rage128 and ragepro in the names
--log out and back in with your usual user account.
--make sure that "Show displays in menu bar" is checked in the Displays
system preference panel (if you don't do this step, then when you try to change the monitors resolution in "Displays", system prefs will crash.
--shut down, attach your monitor to the Radeon card and start up.

This worked for me. I didn't try to use two monitors on the Radeon 7000 card, nor did I try to use the video out, but it works to operate a single monitor under MacOS X with accelerated video. Steve J."

There's still some hope this issue will be fixed in a future OS X/driver update but there's no guarantee of this. I've added Steve's comments to the Radeon 7000 owner reports page. (Which has also been updated with a report of dual VGA monitor issues with the card from a Beige G3 owner. Past reports noted running a VGA+DVI monitor ok, but I can't remember any other dual VGA monitor reports using the DVI-I adapter to run a 2nd VGA monitor.)<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

RADEON-TheSaga (http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/Graphics/radeon_7000_feedback.html#storytop)
I think people have better luck with the older ROMs/Firmware when running the PCI RADEON (original) on a beigeG3 (or older) with X. The articles above are mostly about the 7000 though.

It is kind of baffling how well some things work in classic MacOS and how bad some things work in X.

The Cost Of Freedom:
Every bit of energy.
Every ounce of courage.
Every drop of blood.

02-25-2002, 02:20 PM
When I get the card I'll check out how well it works in my 8500 in OS 9 and OS X. I'm thinking about getting a PCI extender adapter to raise the level of the card so I won't have to mutilate my case, but first I have to find out how much they cost.

Once the card is in your possession, give ATI Support a call. Tell them you have an 8500 and ask for a free DVI-VGA adapter. You'll need to provide them with the serial number from the back of the card. This is how I have a Sony monitor connected to the Radeon in my 8500.

02-25-2002, 06:48 PM
When I get the card I'll check out how well it works in my 8500 in OS 9 and OS X

The card will not work in OS X in an 8500. It can probably be done, but it will take a lot of work. The 8500 is a machine with onboard video (as I noted before, the Radeon does not play well in OS X in pre-G3 machines with onboard video).

I purchased a Radeon 7000, but have since "traded" it to a fellow macgurus member (Damien) for, among other things, an OEM Rage128. This is the only known card to work in OS X in pre-G3 machines with onboard video. That post off of xlr8yourmac.com is concerning biege G3's. Radeons work in biege G3's out of the box (not sure if it requires drivers which must be downloaded), however, up until now, a Radeon 7000 would not work in a biege G3. Whether or not his method works in pre-G3 machines is unknown; I would say that it is highly unlikely.

Good Luck

02-26-2002, 02:17 AM
Woohoo! I got my Radeon PCI card today (thank you Airborne Express). I just tried it out and I am very happy. Let me clear some things up that are obviously causing a lot of confusion as well as offer a hint to getting these things working in an 8500.

First off, the card works out of the box on my Power Mac 8500 (that is without software drivers) in BOTH OS 9.1 and OS X 10.1.3.

OS 9 is no problem - plug in the card and it works. You don't get video acceleration until you install the drivers but it works nevertheless.

For OS X, (and here's the trick) you have to have a second monitor, or at the very least a Mac->VGA adapter, connected to the built-in video port (I've seen this hint in several places). This is how you get an ixMicro card to work under OS X (I know since the Radeon is replacing my Ultimate Rez). If you plan on using only one monitor, you have to do a dual monitor hook-up the first time you use your computer under OS X (borrow a friend's monitor if you have to) so that you can then set the main monitor to the Radeon monitor (otherwise you'll just see your desktop picture on your Radeon screen). Note the same thing applies if you plan on running a single monitor off an ixMicro card in an 8500.

Once I had both monitors hooked up and had switched my main monitor over to my Radeon screen in OS X, I played a Phantom Menace trailer QuickTime movie at 1920x1440 just to see if hardware acceleration was active, and it was! I'm guessing OS X installed Radeon drivers into my System.

Now it's time for me to install the drivers and 'test' (i.e. play) some OpenGL games.

P.S. I have a 20" Apple ColorSync Monitor. Unlike ATI's suggestion, I have the monitor attaced to the VGA port of the Radeon instead of using the VGA-DVI adapter that ATI suggests you use (since the VGA port is occluded on an 8500). The Apple 20" is an old Mac-style, 2-row video cable and comes with a Mac->VGA adapter. I just shaved off excess parts of the adapter and bent some metal parts out of the way and the monitor+adapter plugs in snugly into the VGA port of the Radeon. When I plug the Apple monitor's ADB connector into my 8500, I can even change geometry settings (size, position, focus, etc.) through software (just like you can on an iMac).

02-26-2002, 03:40 AM
This thread makes me believe I would see better [gaming] performance with the older Radeon card on my 20th Anniversary/BeigeG3/9500 Macs, because the older Radeon PCI has the Charisma [¬øgaming?] engine missing on the newer Radeon 7000, and they're running only MacOS 8.6 through 9.1.

Can someone confirm this? I may have to snap up a few of those older Radeon PCI cards from MacWarehouse, too.

02-26-2002, 03:53 AM

Check out this url: http://www.insidemacgames.com/reviews/view.php?ID=232 .

It's a review of the Radeon 7000, but they review it by comparing it to a Radeon PCI using a beige G3.

P.S. When I ordered my card Friday afternoon from MacWarehouse, they said they had only a handful left - which upon further questioning I found out to be less than 10.

[This message has been edited by ICCAFSN (edited 26 February 2002).]

02-26-2002, 07:08 PM
Strange, most users reported a kernel panic when using a Radeon in a machine with onboard video. Maybe 10.1.3 fixed this...

02-26-2002, 09:22 PM
I can't comment on previous versions of OS X, but if you don't have a second monitor or at least a Mac->VGA adapter connected to your built-in video, you absolutely get a kernel panic. I had this problem with my ixMicro Ultimate Rez card when I was using 10.1.2 as well.

02-27-2002, 08:29 PM
Yes, even with the Mac to VGA adapter plugged into the onboard video, people still got kernel panics.

I can't even get 10.1.3 to install on my machine correctly (it's also an 8500). I suspect the problem is the MIles2 card, but the kernel error reports: cannot find drivers: APPL, 8500. This is what XPostFacto is supposed to solve, but I managed to break it.

Good Work with that Radeon... Long live the 8500!

02-27-2002, 10:01 PM
That review was done in OS 9

02-28-2002, 05:37 AM
Hmmm, I didn't know that people still got kernel panics even with the built-in video port being used. I must have gotten lucky.

Brian Higgins
03-10-2002, 12:12 PM
I have recently upgraded my PPC7500 to handle MAC OSX 10.1.2 This includes a Sonnet G3, ATA card, and ATA drive. Everything works just dandy except that screen scrolling in OS X is slow. So I thought that a vido upgrade card will improve scrolling spped. Is this correct?

I have read a lot about the problems others are having ( very confusing at times) and hope I can ask whether the following procedure will work on my system(single monitor):
(i) Get a a Radeon 7000 Mac Edition
(ii) Install in PCI slot ( by removing one of the chassis nuts) VGA port should be accessible.
(iii) Get Mac->VGA adapter
(iv)Do a dual Monitor Hook-up for the first time.
(v) Boot into OS X
(vi) Set Main Monitor to Radeon ( is there a OS X panel for this)
(vii) Shut Down, disconnect on board monitor, replace with mac>>VGA adapter; boot back into OSX and I should be back in business.

Is this wishful thinking? Do I need any drivers other than what comes with the card?

Thanks much for any suggestions


03-10-2002, 12:51 PM
I just installed a Radeon 7000 in a G4/350 Yikes box and it was plug and play under OS X - ensuring that I installed the Radeon software BEFORE I installed the card as per ATI's instructions. and I have Radeon's in all my 7300 / G3 machines BUT those ones aren't running OS X - they are still under 9.0.4 or 9.1 and it's fine...

the caveats on the Radeon 7000 and OS X on Beige G3's and earlier make me a bit leery...


03-10-2002, 01:06 PM
Chris is right. While the new RADEON PCI 7000 works great in newer systems (Yosemite and up) under X and they work good on old system with 9.1 and lower, the card seems to have issues running on older systems with X.

You might be better off with an original PCI RADEON, RAGE128 or RAGE128VR (I do not think you get the AV part though). This is the min card you need for 'video accleration'.

I think you can put an adaptor on the built-in video to fool X into thinking a monitor is attached.

You can probably still find a new RADEON PCI, but you will probably have to goto a place like EBay to get the old RAGE128PCI.
Also check out http://www.xlr8yourmac.com
The site has a good database to see what works at what does not - or if you are the first you can share you experience, success and misery http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
VideoCardDB (http://forums.xlr8yourmac.com/fpsdb/fpsdb.lasso)

Brian Higgins
03-10-2002, 03:15 PM
I see that Ebay has several RAGE128PCI pulled from B&W G3s on bid. So before I start to bid on one, I have a few more questions

(i) Has anyone actually put one of these cards in a 7500 and got it to work under OSX .
(ii)Did it improve performance.
(iii) Also do you still need a Mac VGA adapter on the existing 7500 port to get it to work.

Sorry if these questions sound mundane, but I want to be sure I am not wasting my money. This topic seems to be a moving target....

I did check the videoDB on xl8yourmac site but no details for 0SX/7500/Rage128, for what it is worth

03-10-2002, 09:37 PM
I traded my OEM card to a forum member here named Titanium so he could put it in his 8500. He said it worked like a charm in OS X Also he did need a video adapter on the stock video port.

Your GX performance will improve since you are going from NO accelleration to a rage 128!

Brian Higgins
03-11-2002, 03:58 AM
Damien, and Dragon_x,
Thanks much for the the recent feedback to my query regarding Rage 128. I have purchased a board from ebay and will let you all know how it works.

Brian Higgins
03-11-2002, 04:33 AM
Is this the adapter that I need to put on the existing video port of the 7500?

03-11-2002, 06:44 AM
The steps you outlined in your post for getting the Radeon 7000 working with your 7500 are in line with what I had to do to get my Radeon PCI working with my 8500. You can change the main monitor setting by going to the Arrange tab of the Displays system preference panel. After you have your main display set to your PCI video card, you're set.

I'm not familiar at all with Rage 128 cards in 75/8500's, but I wanted to mention that I don't think scrolling in OS X is video card-accelerated because after I upgraded my 8500 with a Radeon PCI, my scrolling is still nowhere even close to my scrolling in OS 9.

03-11-2002, 09:14 AM
Yes that IS the adapter you need.

Brian Higgins
03-11-2002, 11:40 AM
Thanks everyone for all the help. I have also started to implement some tips suggested in this article to improve scrolling:

Brian Higgins
04-24-2002, 08:24 PM
Well after a long, long wait I eventually got my Rage video card for my mac 7500 with now OS10.14. It seems I need some help getting the card to work with OSX.

Here is what I have done. I installed the card and set up another monitor on this card. When I reboot eventually I have two monitor screens showing with desk top. I went to the Display preferences pannel and click on the arrange tab. Two monitors are visible. The orginal monitor (off the mac built-in card has a menu bar. I dragged the menu bar onto the new display connected to the Rage card.I did not click on the mirror button.

I then shut down the system removed the monitor connected to the apple vido port, connected an adapter to that port and resarted the mac. Got a blue screen plus spinning ball on the monitor connected to the Rage card. Eventually i got a lot of text , something about a kernel trap.

Any thoughts on what I might do. Is there some software that is needed for the Rage card that I must download or a dip switch on the card that I must activate...



Brian Higgins
04-24-2002, 08:48 PM
Another bit of information. If I have two monitors connected, and I start up the
system, the monitor on the apple port is first blue with spinning ball then shortly after control goes the other monitor and I get the OSX log-in screen. The monitor on the apple port is then blank blue screen. (this is after I have set the display preferences as mentioned in my previous message.

I would have thought the monitor connected to the Rage card would be dominant..


Brian Higgins
04-24-2002, 09:39 PM
Ok. I think I got the problem resolved. There were two part to the puzzle:
(i) I need to have the monitors mirrowed
(ii) And I have to set the dip switches on the video adapter correctly.I have set it to SVGA.

When you have this done, then on reboot. You do not see the mac icon with spinning ball, but eventually you get the OSX screen with log-in info.

Hope this helps others trying to do the same thing


04-30-2002, 05:01 AM
Hmmm... with the latest versions of XPostFacto, you shouldn't be needing anything to be attached to the built-in video anymore.