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grunthus
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:28 pm    Post subject: SOLVED: Replace video card on G4 Reply with quote

Hi,

I have successfully installed Gentoo on a G4, all working well from software point of view. There is an issue with a borked video card (which was malfunctioning even with OSX installed). The card which is malfunctioning is an nvidia nv11 GeForce2.

Horizontal 'ghosting' effects appear on the screen whenever a window is opened, usually causing a strong horizontal dark band on the left and right side of any window as it is dragged around in X.

Given that a similar problem occurred in OSX, I decided to try several different graphics cards in the AGP slot.

Problem is - when booting, the G4 does not respond in any way. Optical mouse lights up, keyboard LEDs do NOT function. System does not appear to boot - can't get in over ssh etc.

Is there something about the Mac architecture meaning that graphics cards cannot be replaced in this way?

Thanks for any advice!
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Last edited by grunthus on Sat Jan 05, 2008 1:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgive me if I have misunderstood your question.

Well, as you'd expect, only certain graphics cards will work properly on the computer. Best to let your fingers do the walking and make sure new card(s) is(are) one of them rather than just trying them out. This is one source of information: http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/video.html

Also, I assume you're not just shutting down, popping the new card in and booting up. Some reconfiguration is required. While you probably weren't doing that, I just thought I'd mention it just in case.

I'm no expert, but I'd proceed by compiling a new kernel with support for the new card and working from there.

You could include support for both your current card and the alternative(s) as modules. This way, you can more easily switch cards by controlling which kernel gets booted and/or which modules get loaded. Of course, to use X you'll also need to switch the driver (probably easiest just to back up xorg.conf, create a new version with new device section, then start X).
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grunthus
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:03 pm    Post subject: Firmware issue? Reply with quote

Hi and thanks for the input. I've been back over my kernel checking console drivers and card specific modules etc. I'm still getting a 'dead' system with any other graphics card other than the original NV11. The system doesn't even 'POST' (not sure what the correct term is in PPC architecture), let alone attempt to load my kernel with (for example) an ATI Rage 128.

Perhaps now to reveal my ignorance. The substitute AGP cards I've tried are ones out of x86 boxes - it seems that is a NO GO!

http://forums.xlr8yourmac.com/action.lasso?-database=faq.fp3&-layout=FaqList&-response=answer.faq.lasso&-recordID=33548&-search

So, in the process of writing this it appears I have found the root of my trouble. I need a mac specific video card. :oops:
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Bones McCracker
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No biggee. You'd feel worse if you hadn't done any research and then fried one or more cards, motherboards, or monitors in the plug-and-chug process. :)

I remember doing some research looking for an upgrade card for my G4 AGP 500 (sawtooth) a year or two ago and deciding the best option was one of the Radeons -- can't remember specifically the model. I'm still hanging in there with a Rage 128 Pro.

When you find a card that is alleged to work with your machine, go back through the handbook instructions and isolate the bits that are specific to configuring for a given graphics card (should mostly be kernel and X). Also visit the docs that cover X, nvidia, and ati as appropriate.

Good luck!
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grunthus
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After many hours of searching I finally ordered a Rage 128 Pro from www.mac-pro.com

Not easy to find this class of video card!

Thanks for your help.
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