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chris gorman
Video Graphics Card Problem
on Dec 21, 2014 at 7:13:07 am

My old PowerMac G5 is in the shop for troubleshooting and repair. Apparently, it's the fan (worn bearings) on my Mac edition ATI Radeon X850XT graphics card. It's not easy (maybe impossible) to find a replacement X850XT card. The repair tech got a refurbished X800XT and installed it. It has similar specs to the X850XT. They are both 256MB, but the X800Xt specs are not quite as good. In actual practice, editing with Final Cut Pro 6.0.3, I don't know if it will make any noticeable difference until I bring it home and put it to work.

It seems to be working, at least during testing at his shop. I'm wondering if I should accept this replacement card, or should I have him look for a replacement fan to put in the X850XT?

Would it be worth it to try to fix the X850XT by installing a new fan, if one could be found, or should I just accept the refurbished X800XT? If I can only find a fan for the X800XT, I wonder if that fan would work with the X850XT.

I would abandon this old PowerMac G5 if it weren't for the fact that it's the only way I can re-edit old projects created in Final Cut Studio 2.


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Roger Poole
Re: Video Graphics Card Problem
on Dec 21, 2014 at 12:26:44 pm

I think you'll be fine with that card. Fcp isn't so demanding on the graphics card but it does like plenty of Vram. Motion is heavily dependent on the card so as a test open one of the template's 'mortice - fire' and play it through whilst watching the frame rate meter. On a G5 with a good graphics card it will Max out at around 12fps if you are lucky.


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chris gorman
Re: Video Graphics Card Problem
on Dec 22, 2014 at 2:27:00 am

Thank you. I do want all the FCPStudio 2 apps., including Motion to work good. I'll see if I can test that while it's still at the repair shop. How do I access/view the "frame rate meter".

PowerPC G5 DP2.3, 4GB DDR SDRAM, ATI X800XT, OSX.4.11, QT 7.5.5, FCStudio2, FCP 6.0.5 Sonnet 5 Bay SATA (RAID or JBOD as needed), ACD 23" & Sony NTSC Monitor via Matrox v.1
Sony ZIU hdv, edit w.ProRes


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chris gorman
Re: Video Graphics Card Problem
on Dec 22, 2014 at 3:09:33 am

Thank you. I do want all the FCPStudio 2 apps., including Motion to work good. I'll see if I can test that while it's still at the repair shop. How do I access/view the "frame rate meter".

The X800XT has S-video out and 2 dvi ports rather than Apple's proprietary ADC port on one side with no adapter available, so it's a useless port for my purposes. I like better having the 2 dvi ports and S-Video as on the X800Xt.

However, another consideration:
I just read an old post on another website with the comment that that X800 XT has a different cooling system than the X850XT. This makes me wonder if I should repair the old X850XT.

The X800 XT uses a single slot cooling copper cooling solution, is fairly quiet under 70% fan speed, and doesn't cool the memory at all.

The X850 XT and PE use the new high end ATI reference dual slot copper cooler which has a slightly louder fan, (especially when its spinning over 70%) but it cools better and shoots the hot air out the back of the case, as well as cooling the memory on both sides of the card.


PowerPC G5 DP2.3, 4GB DDR SDRAM, ATI X800XT, OSX.4.11, QT 7.5.5, FCStudio2, FCP 6.0.5 Sonnet 5 Bay SATA (RAID or JBOD as needed), ACD 23" & Sony NTSC Monitor via Matrox v.1
Sony ZIU hdv, edit w.ProRes


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Roger Poole
Re: Video Graphics Card Problem
on Dec 22, 2014 at 10:35:09 am

The frame rate meter is at the top left in the window. I still have my old G5 though can't remember the last time I switched it on. It has an Nvidia 6800 Ultra 256 and prior to that an ATI Radeon 9800 256. Both good cards and would recommend either if you are looking for a replacement AGP card. You should be able to find something on eBay but be sure the card is a Mac version, particularly in the case of the Nvidia as a flashed PC version requires external power in the form of 2 molex connectors which are a bit thin on the ground in the G5.


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